Recipe Notes: There are two important ingredients for this cupcake. First being the bacon, of course. Don’t cheat yourself by using turkey bacon…or worse…pre-cooked bacon! Use good, quality bacon. Trust me, it is worth it. And also spend the money and buy the pure maple syrup. I promise you that Aunt Jemima just ain’t gonna cut it in this recipe!
Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
You will need:
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Remove from stand mixer and gently fold in bacon.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Frost as desired.
Salted Caramel Frosting
You will need:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup; plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon salt
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and pure maple syrup and combine well.
Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more maple syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.
Garnish with chopped bacon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup if you wish.
DARK CHOCOLATE AND BACON CUPCAKES
12 slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. Dust with additional cocoa powder.
(packed) brown sugar (170g), light or dark (you can use either)
2 ¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack. Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice. Bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.
To make the ice cream custard, melt the butter in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and half of the half-and-half. Pour the remaining half-and-half into a bowl set in an ice bath and set a mesh strainer over the top. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low to moderate heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon, if using. Refrigerate the mixture. Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.