(BPT) - For those that are experienced in the kitchen, wine may be a familiar ingredient to cook with, but many people don’t even consider using craft beer in their recipes. While it may not be commonplace quite yet, more and more people are learning that craft beer can add a flavorful dimension to a variety of dishes.
Whether you’re an accomplished cook and a craft beer connoisseur, or just starting to build your culinary and beer knowledge, a few simple tips will help anyone create a meal that is sure to impress.
Look for high-quality craft beers for cooking, like Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Samuel Adams is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; through the years they’ve remained at the forefront of America’s ever-growing craft beer community because of their attention to quality and focus on innovation. Just as you carefully select the ingredients for your dish, you should be sure the ingredients in your beer are the highest quality. If you like to drink a certain beer, chances are it will be delicious to cook with.
Spice it up
Craft beers are a unique culinary tool that can bring out hidden flavors, balance complex ingredients, and pair well with bold or delicate flavors equally. The ingredients used in craft beer provide an inherent spice package that creates an added depth of flavor without overpowering the taste of other ingredients. This built-in spice packet also makes cooking simpler, infusing dishes with exciting flavors that might be difficult to achieve otherwise.
Don’t be afraid to try incorporating beer into a variety of dishes. Samuel Adams brewer Jennifer Glanville advocates for experimentation. “I encourage everyone to incorporate craft beer into their cooking. If you have a favorite dish and a favorite brew – find a way to put them together. There are so many options when cooking with craft beer,” she stated.
Craft beer for every course
Because of the variety of craft beers on the market today, there is a beer that fits in any recipe. Various beer types can fit in marinades for meats, sauces, and even desserts. Glanville recommends making a marinade with Boston Lager for steaks and burgers. The malt flavor in the beer emphasizes the caramelized flavors of the meat, and the beer’s citrus and spicy notes from the hops intensify the flavor of the dish.
To show just how tasty a dish made with craft beer can be, Samuel Adams worked with Chef David Burke to create a beer-infused cupcake that is worthy of any celebration – especially the brewery’s 30th anniversary. Burke says of the partnership, "Samuel Adams continues to experiment with ingredients and brewing techniques, just as I experiment in my cooking, so it's been exciting to see how we've been able to push culinary boundaries through our unique partnership."
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Boston Lager and learn how simple cooking with craft beer can be, whip up a batch of Boston Lager cupcakes and toast to your new culinary know-how.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager Cupcakes Recipe (makes two dozen cupcakes):
Recipe by Chef David Burke
Ingredients for Boston Lager Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for Boston Lager Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipping cream
2 tablespoons Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Directions for Boston Lager Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat together butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs and mix until thoroughly combined. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until well combined. Pour in water and beer and finish by adding salt. Stir until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.
Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Pour approximately 3 to 4 oz into each cupcake. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Directions for Boston Lager Buttercream Frosting:
In a standing mixer, whisk together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract, Boston Lager and whipping cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed.