As we’ve made pretty clear over the last while, we love pairing beer with food. And, from some of our other blogs, we’ve also made it clear we like beer in food. Someone who shares that love, is Louise from Tasty Buns Bakery; one of our food vendors for our Oktoberfest festival.
Tasty Buns is aptly placed on Bread Street in Edinburgh, providing a cosy little nook with warm, soft furnishings, locally roasted coffee, and an ever-changing menu of cakes. We went in sip a coffee and have a chat ahead of the festival, so we could get into what Tasty Buns is all about.
Louise hasn’t always been a professional baker and cake extraordinaire, and in fact started off while she was studying at university.
“Tasty Buns Bakery was inevitably always going to be the goal after the slow realisation that actually I am quite good at this whole cake malarkey. What started off as the occasional birthday cake for a friend, trying out new flavours on work colleagues and generally distracting myself from focusing on university essays turned into supplying craft beer bars in Edinburgh and discovering an increasing demand and love for boozy bakes”
And that happens to be Louise’s speciality: boozy bakes. Cakes with a little something extra added. It allows her to combine two things she loves; cakes, and craft beer.
“Baking with Beer, kind of sounds unappealing to some people. ‘Why would you ruin a perfectly nice cake by putting beer in it??’ and ‘Surely it can’t actually taste nice?!’ are lines I have heard many times since deciding that I wanted to start experimenting and mixing two things I love – Beer, and cake.
The Craft Beer scene in Scotland is turning out some phenomenal beers with innovative flavours that when combined with the right ingredients can make delicious cakes. When it comes to adding beer to your homemade treats the trick is to focus on the key flavours of the beer then create a cake to compliment them.
For example, IPA style beers such as Brave New World or The Pale Armadillo work well in citrus based bakes such as a passionfruit tart, you can incorporate the beer into some homemade passionfruit curd or top the tart with some tasty, sweet Brave New World Buttercream.”
“Darker, richer stout style beers are incredible with chocolate. This has to be one of our favourite combinations when it comes to baking with beer! Not only is delicious but we have a simple recipe for you to give it a go at home. The great thing about this recipe is you can tailor the extra flavours to whatever beer you are using. We reckon an Old Parochial and Chocolate Sponge would work deliciously with a Maple Syrup Buttercream and some Pecans to bring out that deep, smoky flavour from the Bourbon Casks it has been aged in.
Or try pairing a Chocolate Red Eye Flight Sponge with a White Chocolate Buttercream and drizzles of Salted Caramel to emphasise the Chocolate and Toffee Notes that you get from drinking a lovely cold bottle.”
At the heart of everything though, is a talented and passionate baker. Louise’s love for injecting a bit of fun and creativity into her baking and making cakes she’d love to eat is completely in harmony with what we do here at the brewery. We make beers we want to drink…and she makes cake we want to eat! We asked finally if she’d happen to have any secret recipes she’d be happy to share with everyone.
“This is a tried and tested and loved recipe that is sure to win over any sceptic who thinks that beer in cake won’t work… it’s our Chocolate, Double Shuck and Peanut Butter Cake!”
250g Unsalted Butter
250ml of Double Shuck (or stout of your choosing!)
400g Caster Sugar
75g Cocoa Powder
140ml Sour Cream
275g Self Raising Flour
250g Softened Unsalted Butter
275g Icing Sugar
1 jar smooth Peanut Butter
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, grease and line two 8-inch cake tins.
- Place 250g unsalted butter and 250ml of Double Shuck in a pan and place on a medium heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil, you want to heat it enough to melt all the butter.
- Take of the heat and let it cool whilst preparing the rest of your ingredients.
- In a large bowl place your caster sugar and cocoa powder.
- In a separate smaller bowl mix together your sour cream and eggs.
- Now add the butter/beer mix slowly to your caster sugar and cocoa powder and stir well to ensure no lumps. Next add the sour cream and eggs and stir well.
- Finally sieve in your flour and fold into the chocolatey, beery goodness. At this point your mix may look very wet – don’t worry, it’s supposed to!
- Divide evenly between your two tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Keep an eye on your sponges and they are ready when well risen and springy to the touch.
- Set the sponges aside to cool so you can start preparing your icing.
For the Buttercream, beat your softened butter until smooth and there are no visible lumps of butter – you may find this easier with a hand mixer. Once the butter is soft and smooth add in your icing sugar in four separate batches making sure it is well incorporated after each addition.
Finally add in your Peanut Butter – As much or as little as you want this is purely down to personal taste!
Once your sponges are thoroughly cooled they are ready to be iced and decorated! Take one sponge place a generous amount on the top and spread it with a knife. Place the other sponge on top and repeat, or if you are feeling confident and adventurous you can use the buttercream to ice the sides of the cake too! Decorate with peanuts, melted Chocolate, Chocolate Sprinkles or whatever your heart desires!
AND….. TAH DAH.
Delicious Cake….. made with beer!”
You can check out Tasty Buns at the shop on Bread Street, Edinburgh, and can keep up with them online on their Twitter and Facebook.