Friday, February 5, 2010
Bringing Home the Bacon
We first noticed the fridge was dying when the frozen meat began to bleed and the ice cream turned to soup. As in the life of all appliances, eventually wires get rusty, compressors give up, and lights blink out. As my fridge coughed up its last breaths of cold air, my boyfriend and I frantically made preparations.
What do I do with a fridge full of food about to spoil?
I turn the beef into meatloaf. I turn the chicken into meat pie. I turn the bacon in to meat…..cake.
Yes, as appliance death breathes down my neck, I embrace creativity and bring about new life. And thus the bacon cupcake is born. Sure, the combination of chocolate and bacon is not a new concept. In no way am I breaking new ground in the cupcake world. But it was – in the face of certain disaster – a fun and tasty way to curb certain spoilage.
To some, a bacon cupcake sounds as good as licking a slug. But I assure you it’s more than a pregnant woman’s late night craving, it is the sweet and salty treat you didn’t know you would fall in love with. Go ahead - try it out for yourself! I dare you!
HOW TO MAKE BACON CUPCAKES:
Start with any chocolate cake recipe. You may have a personal favorite, or use a box mix. Below is my mother’s Never Fail Chocolate Cake Recipe! It’s a heavier cake with rich texture and flavor.
You will also need one recipe of Ganache.
Preparing the Bacon:
Cook one package of bacon. You can do this the normal way in a fry pan, or you can make absolutely perfect bacon – the Alton Brown way:
The Alton Brown Secret to Perfect Bacon:
1) Get out a waffle iron and heat it up on medium.
2) Cut your bacon strips in half.
3) Place four to five half strips of bacon on the waffle iron. Close top and cook for 2 min, 30 seconds.
4) Open iron and move bacon around so another area will get cooked. Cook for another two and a half minutes.
5) Pull out your amazing strips of bacon and repeat! Not only will the bacon be flat (great for presentation) but it will be the perfect balance of crispy and fatty. Mmmmmmmmm Bacon!
Take half of your bacon and crumble it into bits for the batter. Save the other half to decorate the top of your cupcakes!
Mom’s Never Fail Chocolate Cake Recipe (with Bacon):
½ cup cocoa
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup sour milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
(Plus: your bacon bits and strips from above)
1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl (including bacon bit pieces).
2) To make sour milk – add a tbsp of vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes.
3) Dish out cupcakes into liners in a cupcake tray. I like to use an ice cream scoop for equal portions.
4) Bake for 20 – 30 min, checking cupcakes with a toothpick for done-ness.
5) Let cupcakes cool.
6) Make ganache recipe and dip cool cupcakes into the mixture.
7) While ganache is still liquid dip bacon strips into the ganache and garnish the tops of your cupcakes.
8) Eat left over bacon for breakfast tomorrow! Mmmmmm bacon!
Bacon cupcake photos provided by Russell Gearhart Photography.