I must admit, my first though when Maiden got into beer was “…seriously?”. It took me a bit to warm up to the idea and get really excited about it; a big plus was that Bruce Dickinson himself got involved: it wasn’t just a matter of sticking Eddie’s face on a cheap (in terms of quality) can of lager. I used to live close to Bruce, I knew (and still know) which is his favourite pub, he almost run me over with his car once too (totally my fault, I crossed the street without looking if someone was coming). Anyway, I know he loves Ales and I decided to trust him.
I fell in love this beer quite easily, so much that I would buy it even if it wasn’t “Iron Maiden’s beer”. It’s malty, it’s rich, it’s packed with flavours and yet it is so refreshing and light on the palate. Why cupcakes? Well, because cupcakes are delicious and because these mini-cakes are usually packed with flavours yet they are so addictive that you really have to force yourself not to eat loads, just like you have to force yourself not to have another pint of Trooper! These cupcakes are not overpowering and they smell of lovely malt when you take them out of the oven.
To make 12 – 16 cupcakes
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 280g dark brown sugar
- 240g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 150ml Trooper beer
- 50ml milk
- 2 large eggs
For the frosting
- 50 ml Trooper beer
- 500g icing sugar
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
First thing first – heat the oven at 190C / Gas mark 5, line a muffin tin with muffin cases and get all the ingredients weighted and ready to be used. I know, it is a silly thing to say, but especially when you don’t have all the time in the world to cook, this will ensure you got everything you need (I started lots of recipes only to realise half-way through that I was missing various ingredients….), you won’t forget do add anything (it can happen, believe me, especially if you got a toddler calling your name every 3 minutes) and that you won’t add too much / not enough of something.
Grab a big bowl, your hand-held electric whisk or free-standing mixer and mix butter, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Quick tip: if you don’t want your kitchen covered in flour and sugar, give everything a gentle stir before you mix.
Pour milk and beer into a jug, add the eggs and combine everything together with a fork. Then, start pouring this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine everything till smooth.
Get your muffin tin and fill each case with two-thirds of the mixture. The easiest way to get even cupcakes is to help yourself with a table spoon. Count how many table spoon it takes to fill one case and use this quantity for the other ones. Do not over-fill the cases: you don’t want your cupcakes to rise too much; remember you got frosting to add!
Bake your cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy when you touch them. Be careful trusting your eyes: beer will give cupcakes a brownish colour and you need to keep an eye on your cupcakes before you go from cooked to burned in the space of a minute! Once your cupcakes are cooked, take them off the tin (be careful not to burn yourself) and leave them to cool.
Once cupcakes reach a nice room temperature, it is time to do the frosting. I swear, it is very easy to do. Put your icing sugar and butter into a bowl, whisk everything together (give it a stir first or you’ll have icing sugar everywhere on your kitchen) and add beer half-way through. The icing is ready when the mixture is soft, fluffy and not powder-ish.
Decorate the cupcakes once these are cold….and enjoy!
Variations: these cupcakes taste delicious and their flavour, though it will come through, it is not overpowering. Having said that, if you want a bolder taste, substitute the milk with beer and enjoy!