Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baking with Bacon

Recently for a friend’s big birthday, one of us helped plan a party in true GWG fashion. The theme was bacon because this particular friend loves it and really, what reasonable person doesn’t? We pulled together a basket of pork-inspired items including chocolate covered bacon, a growler of Fullsteam Hogwash, and other piggy presents.
Every birthday party needs a cake, and we decided to try one that fit right in with our theme—Dark Chocolate & Bacon Cupcakes. Taken from a Minneapolis couple’s food blog, this recipe combines the sweet, richness of chocolate with the salty satisfaction of bacon. We followed the recipe closely since this felt like a bit of a culinary experiment, and to our satisfaction the cupcakes turned out rather tasty. Maybe not something you wake up in the middle of the night craving, but definitely the perfect treat for our pork party.

We considered canned icing to save time, but with this recipe the icing pulls everything together adding a nice sweetness and moisture to the cake. A few tips if you make it from scratch: the icing calls for dark cocoa resulting in a deep, almost black coloring—it may look like a bowl of tar but it is still very edible and delicious. You should also allow plenty of time for the icing to cool (maybe an hour+) so it will set on top of the cupcakes—otherwise they may look like they took a mud bath (which actually worked in our favor).

If you are like GWG and think bacon goes with everything, these cupcakes are worth a try.

Dark Chocolate & Bacon Cupcake

8 slices thick-cut bacon
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
¾ cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 24 muffin tins.

Chop bacon into about ½ inch pieces. Cook over med-high heat in a skillet until bacon is brown & crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Pat any remaining oil off the bacon. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (it will be a little bit lumpy). Stir in bacon.

Fill muffin tins to about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. It’s a moist cake, so don’t worry if a few crumbs stick to your tester. Allow cupcakes to cool. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups frosting.

2 comments:

  1. OMG Bacon is the best...or as I say, Swine is Sweeeeet! Im actually on a bacon kick right n ow and am going to make bacon fat biscuits tonight to be topped by limp, spicy bacon and fresh scallion mayo and a simple salad on the side.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heidi, I hope you enjoyed your biscuits! They sound AMAZING!!

    ReplyDelete