The Mast Farm Inn’s Official North Carolina Beer Month "Character Building Cupcake", sponsored by Thomas Jefferson • April is North Carolina Beer Month, and we’re celebrating NC beer in a big way, statewide and at The Mast Farm Inn. See our special NC Beer Month dining and lodging packages by clicking here, and more information on North Carolina Beer Month by clicking here.
Traditionally, each guest checking in at The Mast Farm Inn, gets a little homemade treat on arrival, as a small token of our appreciation. To celebrate North Carolina Beer Month, besides the special dining and lodging packages, we have created a commemorative cupcake, to serve as the ambassador of our gratitude, which features a venerable North Carolina Craft Beer from Highland Brewing Company. And every guest checking in during the month, will receive The Character Building Cupcake sponsored by Thomas Jefferson, and its recipe on good old-fashioned parchment. If you would like to try it at home, see recipe below.

For our official character building recipe we use Highland Brewing Company’s Black Mocha Stout. "It is Highland’s most robust beer, having a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor, all achieved solely through the use of special roasted barley grains. It is black in color with a very clean finish and moderate hop flavor. Stouts traditionally contain a distinct roasted malt flavor and can run the gamut from a dry stout, such as Guinness to a sweet stout such as Watney’s Cream Stout. Highland Brewing Company’s Black Mocha Stout falls in the sweet stout range and derives its chocolate and coffee tones from the use of appropriate roasted malt grains and is very often used as an after dinner libation or an accompaniment to dessert."

Why character building you ask? We thought you’d never ask! Well, we write peevishly as we lower our eyes to view our shoelaces, "Each guest gets just one." And "promptly finding the silver lining" we would add in our best southern drawl: "That there would be the old-fashioned character building portion of the thing"; An exercise in frugality, self-discipline and restraint, well known to our forefathers and foremothers, before the invention of potato chips and television advertising… we say rantishly. But we digress.

Our motto is after all "Step Back in Time at The Mast Farm Inn". So we are here to affirm, in old-testament bible-thumping righteousness, that you can eat just one; If you put your mind, and every other cell of your body and spirit, to the thing.

Which is a good thing because you can’t buy a second one unless your last name is Buffett, at which point we abandon the whole character building altogether, and head off in our dual private jets to Ireland, like the folks from Barbarians at The Gate. You also can’t offer the front desk, or kitchen staff, robust heartfelt pledges of mind boggling gratuities thereby encouraging them to dream of acquiring their next Blue Ridge Parkway cruiser, the 2014 Porsche Boxster S. And you can’t negotiate, or plead for one, by speaking of your philanthropic endeavors to save the natives in the remote Southeast Peninsula of Waiheke Island.

Of course you could attempt random acts of kindness towards your significant other, in a no doubt futile effort to get theirs. Like Thomas Jefferson said: "What happens behind the tree, or behind closed doors, is your business". But then again that was before the Zuckerberg millennium. So whatever you do, don’t share this page, or personal photos, or comments resulting from this page, on FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. On the other hand if you want to register to receive specials, you might, or might not, win an extra cupcake by clicking here. So grab your cupcake, head out to the nearest tree with your significant other, and… well… you know… pour them a North Carolina Craft Beer.

The Recipe

- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch Fine Salt
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- 1 bottle Highland Brewing Company’s Black Mocha Stout beer, room temperature
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1/3 cup stout
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
• In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
• Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.
• In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the stout and sugar and slowly mix until incorporated and smooth. Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

For More Information
WebSite • www.themastfarminn.com
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/mastfarm
Pinterest • www.pinterest.com/themastfarminn
Google+ • www.bit.ly/mfi-google-plus
Twitter • www.twitter.com/MastFarm
The Mast Farm Inn is an award-winning historic country inn & restaurant in the Valle Crucis Historical District of North Carolina, which has been welcoming guests since the 1800s. The Mast Farm Inn is a Historic Hotels of America hotel, a Select Registry Inn, and is on The National Register of Historic Places. "So Much More… The world renowned Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis is nothing short of a handcrafted masterpiece of North Carolina Folk Art". ~ Emma Johnson

The Character Building Cupcake 2014 is a page from: The Mast Farm Inn, Historic North Carolina Country Inn

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