Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bacon Cupcakes

What can I say? I had to try these. How could I not? It's bacon... in a cupcake!

Maple-Bacon Cupcakes
From C&C Cakery (slightly modified)
8 slices of bacon (maple bacon if possible)
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. bacon fat, solidified
5 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. high-quality maple syrup
1 large egg
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk

Maple-Bacon Frosting
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. bacon fat, solidified
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 c. icing sugar, sifted
turbinado sugar (optional)
coarse sea salt (optional)

1. Cook bacon until very crisp, reserving drippings. Crumble six of the slices and reserve the other two for garnishing the finished cupcakes.
2. Beat the butter with the bacon fat until combined then add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
3. Blend in the maple syrup and the egg.
4. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet mix a little at a time, alternating with the milk and ending with a dry addition.
5. Stir in the crumbled bacon.
6. Spoon into cupcake liners and bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes. (C&C says this should make a dozen cupcakes, but I must've made mine slightly larger than she made hers because I only got nine.)
7. Combine butter, bacon fat, and maple syrup and beat until well-blended.
8. Gradually sift in icing sugar and beat until frosting is smooth and delicious.
9. Once cupcakes are cool, decorate with frosting. Sprinkle on a little turbinado sugar and/or sea salt as desired. (My bacon was pretty salty, so I didn't feel the need to add any extra salt.) Top each cupcake with ~1/6 of a slice of bacon. Enjoy your bacon-y dessert!

The maple flavour in these cupcakes is pretty subtle. It's definitely detectable, but bacon is definitely the dominant flavour here. And it works! That said, I think it would be nice with a stronger maple presence as well. I might try using a slightly darker syrup next time and/or replacing 1 Tbsp. of the brown sugar with a Tbsp. of maple syrup to try to pump up the maple-y goodness.

Another interesting option might be to try injecting the cupcakes with a little bit of maple syrup. It would help keep them delicious and moist for longer and definitely increase the maple quotient. I'd just have to make sure not to overdo it and end up with a sickly sweet, sticky mess rather than a delicious confection. Maybe the answer is to leave out a Tbsp. or two of sugar from the batter and then inject each cupcake with 1-2mL of syrup once they come out of the oven... Hmmm... I think this requires additional testing. For science!

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