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Chocolate Bacon CupcakesToday is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Besides the cocoa-dusted espresso balls waiting for consumption, how about some chocolate-covered bacon?

If you want to put chocolate-covered bacon on top of something, try these cupcakes. Though there’s NOTHING wrong with just making and eating the bacon. While the cupcakes only need about two slices, fry up the entire package and dip ’em in chocolate. You’ll eat them, no worries.

Use your favorite chocolate cake recipe; or cheat and use the doughboy in a box; I usually have a box or twelve of the sugar-free on hand (and doesn’t that help to offset the calories in bacon?). In either recipe, reduce the oil in either by ¼ cup and replace with 1/8 cup maple syrup and 1/8 cup honey.

If you don’t have a fav recipe and don’t want to use a box, I use an altered version of Ina Garten’s.

Cupcake

What you need:

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c good cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c EVII
  • 1/8 c maple syrup
  • 1/8 c honey
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 c freshly brewed hot coffee (I use espresso)
  • 2 pieces maple-cured bacon, cooked and finely chopped

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin pan with paper cups.
  • Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.
  • Mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the finely chopped bacon and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then place on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Maple Bacon Buttercream

With the exception of the maple, this is my base of all cream frostings. It combines the flavors that each of my family members like.

What you need:

  • 3/4 c butter
  • 3/4 c mascarpone (or light cream cheese)
  • ½ c Fluff
  • 1 ½ c powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ tsp. fleur de sel (or sea salt)
    ¼ c maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

What you do:

  • In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat butter, cheese, and Fluff  until light and fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, stirring constantly.
  • Add salt, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Whip until light and fluffy, about 5 min.
  • Fill a piping bag fitted with a star attachment.
  • Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes in a circular motion.

GARNISHES

Grated Chocolate

Grate your favorite chocolate bar over each cupcake. I used a Chocolate-Chipotle bar from World Market – to give it a little kick.

Chocolate-Covered Maple Bacon

What you need:

  • 12 pieces cooked maple bacon
  • ½ cup Ghirardelli chocolate

What you do:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cook bacon in pan until crispy.
  • Place on paper towels to remove excess fat.
  • Cut bacon into three pieces.
  • Melt chocolate as directed on package.
  • Using tongs, dip bacon into melted chocolate.
  • Shake gently to remove excess chocolate.
  • Place on prepared baking ban.
  • Cool.
  • Make sure you put two aside for the cupcakes.
  • Chop into rectangles.
  • Place on top of cupcake.
  • Consume the rest of the bacon before anyone else sees them.

Maple Glaze Reduction

In a pan, bring 1 cup of maple syrup to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce by half. Allow to cool slightly and using a spoon, drizzle over cupcakes.

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