Cantillon Cupcakes

I know nothing about beer. I know I like a cold Bud or a limey Corona every now and then but nothing about specialty or craft beers. The most adventurous one I’ve ever tried was a banana bread beer which tasted like those foamy banana sweets you get at the cinema. But while my cousin, Christopher, was visiting this week we went on a sort of craft beer crawl and tasted lots, including cherry beer, coconut beer (served in a coconut) and limoncello beer. I wanted to bake him something while he was over as he lives in America so we never see him for his birthday. I bought these raspberry Ferrari gummy sweets from Sugar Sin last week in the hope of making something for Christopher while he was over (he also loves cars), but wasn’t really sure what. As soon as he told me about his favourite beer over a family lunch I knew it would be fun to make it into a cupcake. Cantillon beer is from a brewery in Belgium which produces lambic beer, made by the fermentation of the natural yeast known to be in that area. He also told me this particular one was raspberry flavour (perfect for the sweets I’d bought) and that it had a naked lady on the label, probably the real reason why he likes it. Apparently it’s super rare in America and not the easiest thing to find here in the UK either. I managed to track some down at The Hops & Glory who had a case in their basement and my lovely sister picked it up and brought it back on the train. To make the cupcakes I doubled this recipe but instead of using all milk for the liquid used some beer. I added the first 120ml and then with the eggs added the other 60ml and then 60ml of beer. When they had come out of the oven and were still warm I poked the tops with a cocktail stick and brushed more of the beer on top so it would soak in. To be certain the flavour came across I also put some in the frosting and topped it with some raspberry sherbet to lift the flavour a bit and balance out the sour beer. I knew something was working when I was told the kitchen smelt like a brewery but they really did have that rich beer flavour. It was cool to make something unique and memorable for my cousin. Although we miss him already and want him to come back SOON I’ll be happy to go back to drinking cocktails and cider for a bit.

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