A brewmaster in an abbey brewery in the year 1812 made ale without weighing or measuring the barley malt. This would have been most impressive – had he always gotten the measurements correct. One day, his weighing was particularly askew and the whole abbey got so drunk that they believed themselves to be possessed by the devil. (This part of the tale comes from Les Memoires de Jef Lambic, Editions La Technique Belge, Brussels, undated; via Brewing Techniques.)
…continues with an abbey cheese…
Regular readers may recall that I posted recently about Chaumes cheese (a Trappist monk-style cheese that I received from Ile de France). I imagine that in their stupor, the monks would have questioned the devil’s involvement in this strange cheese that smells like passed gas but tastes like heaven.
…and concludes with a cupcake.
While I don’t believe that there is any connection between devil’s food cake and monks, I thought that in light of the historic beer mistake, the freakish cheese, and the desire of monks to rid themselves of the devil’s influence, I would create a devil’s food cake cupcake featuring both Trappist Ale and Chaumes cheese.
As for the taste: The Devil and The Monk Cupcakes will be devoured before you can say, “Amen.”
The Devil and The Monk Cupcake Recipe
(Recipe hugely adapted from David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake Recipe)
The Devil and The Monk
- 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 C Trappist Ale
- 1/4 C milk
- 1/2 C Chaumes or other soft cheese
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
- Mix together the ale and milk.
- Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add the ale and milk.
- Stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
- Mix in the cheese until fully incorporated.
- Divide evenly among 12 cupcake liners.
- Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly.