February 2009

blue-buckPhillips Blue Buck is currently my “go-to” beer for parties. In fact, I was drinking it this Sunday at my Super Bowl party. It is a tasty, easy drinking pale ale.

Blue Buck pours a rich amber colour with a very slight citrus aroma. It has a toffee malt flavour with a tiny bit of hoppy bitterness which nicely balances out the sweetness. The finish is crisp as the beer goes down easily. This is definitely one of my favourite beers. It is also readily available at most Vancouver area liquor stores, which means I don’t have to make a trip to my trusty Firefly if I am out of the area or in a rush.

Thumbs up for Blue Buck!


I first had this cake at a friend’s birthday party at The Whip, one of my favourite local pubs. She had baked it for her birthday and had the pub serve it to all her guests. It was a smash hit and I was lucky enough to persuade her to bring it to my birthday party a week later.

I recently adapted the recipe to make cupcakes and topped them with cream cheese icing. They were delicious!

Guinness Cupcakes

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast
Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 cup Guinness
1 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tins with liners.

Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted and remove from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar.

In the mixer bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla. Slowly pour in the Guinness mixture into the mixer in a thin stream. Stir until all combined. Then, beat in the flour and baking soda.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each up 3/4 to the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the pan as the cake is very damp.

Ice the top of the cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

To make a cake: Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool in the pan.

Cream Cheese Icing

From Simply Recipes

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 – 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness.

Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.