I blame Matt. I also blame Fergus.
In a week involving non-stop salami and the hypnotic display of roasting pigs on a spit, I had pork on the brain.
I'm a pig that way.
I'd like to think this is why I could not stop thinking about bacon last weekend, and why, when brainstorming a dessert--my favourite pasttime--to bring to Simon's luncheon, I'm thinking cupcakes. With chocolate. And bacon. Mother taught me you should never turn up to someone's house empty-handed.
And so it was. Bacon and chocolate. United in a patty pan.
I wasn't sure how these would be received, but I should have known better. A gathering of food bloggers? They were decimated within minutes.
I'm not the first person to come up with chocolate bacon cupcakes but I did end up devising my own recipe. The chocolate cake has a little less sugar, and the stuffing of cooked bacon pieces provides a pleasant savoury surprise.
The sweetness comes from a majestic swirl of buttercream icing flavoured with maple syrup. A dusting of maple sugar adds aroma and make sure you reserve the crunchiest bits of bacon for the garnish. A generous sprinkle of salt flakes proved to be the crowd highlight - that tingle on the lips against the sweetness of the icing incredibly irresistible.
Apart from the bacon, of course.
Chocolate bacon cupcakes with maple frosting
200g whole bacon rashers
125g butter softened
125g plain flour
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1-2 Tbsp thick greek yoghurt or buttermilk
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g pure icing sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Salt flakes to garnish (I used Murray River salt flakes)
Maple sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 170C or 150C if using fan-forced.
Pan-fry the bacon until crisp or use your microwave. To microwave bacon, line a plate with two sheets of paper towel. Place a single layer of bacon on top and then cover with two more sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high in one minute bursts until cooked - the bacon will go crunchy when it cools down. Mine took about three minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and eggs in a food processor and blitz until well combined. If you do not have a food processor, cream the butter and sugar first and then add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and eggs and beat until well combined.
Add one tablespoon of yoghurt. Add the second tablespoon if the mixture still looks a little thick.
Distribute the batter evenly across twelve patty pans in a muffin tin. I usually dollop out a generous tablespoon in each.
Chop the eye bacon into a rough dice. Cut or snap your super crisp streaky bacon into shards suitable for a garnish. Set aside 12 good pieces (perhaps a little more to be on the safe side).
Distribute the eye bacon and leftover streaky bacon across the cupcake batter. Use a spoon to push down and submerge the bacon in the batter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
When cool, decorate with icing and sprinkle with maple sugar and salt flakes. Garnish each cupcake with a shard of crunchy bacon. If the bacon has gone soft, re-crisp it between paper towels in the microwave on high for 15-30 seconds.
Using an electric mixer, cream the unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add about half the icing sugar, then the maple syrup, beating until well combined. Continue adding the icing sugar until you reach a pipeable consistency.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Cupcakes - Banana
Cupcakes - Black sesame in ice cream cones
Cupcakes - Chocolate
Cupcakes - Coca Cola
Cupcakes - Ginger with chai icing
Cupcakes - Mini
Cupcakes - Red velvet
Cupcakes - Vanilla by Nigella Lawson
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10/08/2009 12:59:00 a.m.