26 July 2011
Cupcakes were all the rage a year or two ago, but I never really got in to them. Mostly because I found them all a bit.. Boring, a bit bland. Even the ones with exciting sounding names turned out not to have much flavour. That, and they are all so damn perfect - and that's something I really can't stand. I hate cakes, cookies, and food that looks like it was made by a robot which was built with the sole purpose of making the perfect version of whatever it makes - and every single cupcake I've come across looked as if it were made by just such a robot. Oh, and none of them had in bacon in them.
I do like the idea of cupcakes, though, I like the combination of flavours and textures that you can achieve with the basic concept, and so I decided to make a bacon version. Luckily my special lady friend has a cupcake cook book from which I stole three recipes; the base is a 'Devil's Food Cake', while the white stuff is a white chocolate and cream cheese topping, and the chocolate swirly thing on top is a basic chocolate ganache. The caramelised bacon is caramelised bacon
If I'm to be brutally honest, they would probably be just as nice (though no nicer) without the chocolate ganache - it doesn't really add that much apart from a feeling of complete and utter decadence, and cutesy prettiness - but the general combination of flavours worked really well. The white chocolate and cream cheese topping had a slight acidity to it which went really well with the chocolate base, and which was countered really nicely by the slight saltiness of the caramelised bacon.
If you'd like to try making these for yourself, here's the recipe. (Edit: Having just written the recipe out, it looks like a whole lot of effort due to all the different steps etc. In all honesty, it did take me a wee while (mainly because I'm incredibly disorganised) but it's a lot easier and quicker than you'd think from the below!)
Step 1 - Caramelised Bacon
I won't go into details on how to caramelise bacon here, as I've already posted up a short guide on that (click here for caramelised bacon recipe). You will need about 4-5 good-size rashers, and I would recommend popping them in the over before you start work on the cupcakes.
Step 2 - Devil's Food Cake
(Makes about 16-18)
- 50 grams of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 115 grams of Soft Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 115 grams of Plain White Flour
- 1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 25 grams of Cocoa Powder
- 125ml of Sour Cream
1) Preheat your oven to 180 (or, rather, lower the temperature somewhat once your bacon is ready)
2) Grab a large bowl and add to it your butter, sugar, eggs, flour, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder. Mix together using an electric whisk if you have one, and fork if you don't (I don't have one, and they turned out absolutely fine, though it did take a while to get a nice smooth batter).
3) Get your cupcake cases out and place a healthy tablespoon of batter in each of them - they should be about half ful.
4) Bake for about 20 minutes or until they have about doubled in size and are firm to the touch. Leave until cool (ideally on a cooling/wire rack).
Step 3 - White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Topping
- 200 grams of White Chocolate
- 150 grams Low Fat Cream Cheese
1) Grab a heat proof bowl, a saucepan and some water. Put the water in the saucepan and balance the bowl on top - ensure that it doesn't touch the water, though, and put over medium heat. Once the water is simmering, but not boiling, break your chocolate into the bowl and melt - stirring regularly.
2) Let the chocolate cool for a bit while measuring your cream cheese out into a separate bowl.
3) Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then fold in the (cool) white chocolate.
4) Spoon the topping onto the cupcakes, then put in the fridge for about an hour until it has set.
Step 4 - Chocolate Ganache and Final Decorations
- 100 grams of Plain Chocolate
- 100ml Double Cream
1) Follow step 1 from the white chocolate topping above, but put cream in the bowl along with your chocolate.
2) Once the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream (as a result of your dilligent stirring), pour it over into a new, cool, bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 5-10 minutes - or until smooth, cool, and glossy.
3) Pour into a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes to your heart's content.
4) Cut/break your bacon into whatever size and shape tickles your fancy and get a bit creative.
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