Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pale Ale Corn Muffins

In the middle of February, when the days are cold and the work is slow, how better to heat things up then with a chili cook-off.  This past Friday the ladies and gentlemen of the costume shop put together a killer feast with four types of chili, a plethora of toppings, deviled eggs, fruit salad, and of course, corn bread.

In retrospect, I should have tracked down a recipe without any flour, or modified this one to accommodate our two co-workers with gluten intolerance.  Such substitutions would have been fairly easy.  Keep in mind, if you do convert this recipe, be sure to find a gluten free beer as well.  The wheat content is usually nominal, but better safe than sorry.

Those that were able to grab a muffin thoroughly enjoyed them.  These are dense.  And moist.  More akin to a quick bread than the crumbly Jiffy mix I'm more accustomed to.  Sweet, too.  Bursting with corn flavor from both the grain and the whole kernel corn.  The course ground corn meal adds a lovely grainy texture as well. 

The beer acts as a leavening agent as well as imparting a bit of flavor of its own.  The market is saturated with so many wonderful craft beers right now.  If you want to keep the flavor light, stick with a pilsner or other lager.  A pale ale is lovely, if you find one with the right type of peppery hops.  If you're vigilant, you may even stumble upon one with chili or smoked pepper out there.  Trust me.  They exist. 

I opted for Furthermore's Knot Stock, which is a pale ale with an intense cracked pepper flavor.  The pepper is barely discernible in the final product, but there is no mistaking the effervescent quality that the beer lends. 

Adapted from Jackie at the Beeroness

yields about 15 muffins

The Ingredients:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 Tbsp fresh, minced jalapeno
3/4 cup course ground corn meal
3/4 cup milk
3/4 all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
2 eggs
3/4 cup pale ale
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 400

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the jalapenos and saute until tender and  fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add the cornmeal and milk.  Whisk until well combined and bring to a gentle boil.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey.  Stir the wet into the dry.  Add the cooked cornmeal and fold until just combined.  Add the beer and corn, again mixing until just combined.

Generously grease or butter 15 muffin cups.  Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of batter into each cup.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly in the muffin tins.  Transfer muffins from the tins to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea! I bet the IPA really gives a nice hoppy bitterness to the corn muffin. I can definitely see that paring well. Thanks for sharing :)

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