Monday, April 6, 2009

"B" is for BACON Cupcake

Ohhhhh....the BACON cupcake! How I love thee!

Who out there loves bacon???
Who out there loves chocolate???

Everyone, right!? So why not combine them together! Now I must admit that I do get quite a lot of funny faces when I mention the words 'bacon' and 'cupcake' in the same sentence and I have gotten a mixed bag of reactions to these cupcakes, but I still think they're great and I will defend them forever and ever.

It is safe to say that you either love 'em or hate 'em. My sister and her boyfriend hated them and thought they were the most disgusting thing they'd ever tasted (harsh...). Evan, the bacon lover himself, did not really enjoy them, or maybe it was just the frosting that threw him off. However, me, Sara and Dao loved them and thought they had a really unique, delicious flavour, they were the only cupcakes at Cupcake Camp to get a cheer from the crowd and they were mentioned on CKCU radio as the BEST cupcakes at Cupcake Camp. One of the bartenders at work proposed to me after eating one, the other bartender ran to the restaurant when he wasn't even working just to eat one, and I've been given the nickname "bacon cakes" by one of the cooks. So...I think it's a matter of personal taste and what you're willing to try!

The first time I made these I used a beautiful, luscious, swirly frosting on top, but it didn't really taste good, so the next time I tried a new recipe and it didn't LOOK as good. Now I just need to find something in between. I'm still working on it!

This recipe has 2 parts:
1. The Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcake
2. The Salted Caramel Frosting

Part 1: The Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcake
When I wanted to make a Bacon cupcake, I searched all over to find just the perfect combination of flavours. There were a lot of recipes to choose from as there is, apparently, a huge bacon-in-dessert following out there! My favorite that I found was on the Noone Puts Cupcake in a Corner blog. A perfect blend of salty and sweet!

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
Makes 24 Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup cold brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12-20 slices of bacon (gooooood smokey bacon)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Chop and then fry bacon until crispy, drain and cool. Or fry and then crumble, as I did. 3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and oil. Mix until smooth, batter will be thin. Gently mix in the the bacon.

4. Fill cupcake liners to half full.
5. Reduce oven to 350F degrees. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Part 2: The Salted Caramel Frosting
The Salted Caramel Frosting is the same as the frosting that I used for the Caramel Apple Crumble Cupcake, but I used salted butter instead of regular butter to make the caramel. The recipe can be found here.

Final Assembly
Pipe the Salted Caramel Frosting onto the Bacon cupcakes and sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar and Course Sea Salt.

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