better with bacon

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Remember the bacon chocolate bar? There's something about that salty-sweet combination that can only be described as downright magical. (Think of those chocolate-covered pretzels. Or caramel and sea salt. All works of genius. All absolutely necessary during times of PMS.)

And now I present to you: The dark chocolate bacon cupcake with dark chocolate frosting and fleur de sel.

This is by far The Best Cupcake I Have Ever Made in My Whole Life. (And I truly hope it will be The Best Cupcake Jenn Has Ever Eaten in Her Whole Life because I made it with her birthday in mind.)

Why bacon? Because it is the cult classic of foods. It's the one meat that tempts even the strictest of vegetarians. And people are becoming more and more creative with it -- there are bacon lattes, maple bacon doughnuts, even fancy-pants restaurants have come up with creative bacon desserts.

So I thought: Why not me?

After doing some research online (in which I discovered a number of other interesting bacon items, such as BLT cupcakes from a bakery in Chicago), I stumbled across a recipe from A Good Appetite. Here it is for you, with a few changes and notes from my baking experience:

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

8 slices good thick-cut bacon
1 c unsalted butter
1/2 c Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
3/4 c water
2 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c well-shaken buttermilk
2 T vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 24 muffin tins.

Cut bacon into 3-inch pieces. Cook over medium-high heat in a skillet until bacon is brown and crisp. (You'll want to make sure the bacon is more on the well-done side because you don't want to bite into your cupcake later and find a fatty, oily piece of meaty bacon. The goal is crisp and salty, not chewy.) Remove bacon and transfer to a paper towel to drain. Pat any remaining oil off the bacon. Chop cooked bacon into small pieces, similar in size to what you'd use to sprinkle on a salad. 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. (Note that the batter will be very, very dark, so it may be a little difficult to make sure everything is mixed in properly.)

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.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

1/2 c unsalted butter
2/3 c Hershey's Special Dark
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
1 t vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Sift in one cup of powdered sugar at a time and add the milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. (It's helpful to use an electric whisk and a spatula for the frosting -- keeps the mess to a minimum.)

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel right before serving.


Jennifer said...

I definitely give these cupcakes 5 stars. Or, instead of stars, how about 5 muffin tops? These are divine, and did not last more than 12 hours in my house!

kat said...

So glad you liked these!

Michaela said...

These were awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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