Why hello there! Remember us? No? Well then, let me refresh your senses:
Oh yes. That's it.
It's been a busy year since I last happened across this little blog. C&C went through a little hermit era when I suddenly found myself with my own classroom. Teaching is my first love, so it was a little jealous when it had to share the spotlight with baked goods. This did not mean we stopped baking here at C&C. Never would be do that. So let's catch up to what we've been up to all this time.
We'll start with a real monster.
Smell that? That's the smell that make most people running. The other half of C&C could live of this stuff - there is never a weekend when the smell of bacon doesn't permeate through our walls. Unfortunately, I'm a vegetarian. The taste of meat no longer inspires me. This did not stop me, however, to try and translate the breakfast of champions into cake form. It was my duty.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Makes a dozen cupcakes
6-8 Strips of Bacon
4 Tbsp of butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp of Bacon Drippings, chilled until solid
5 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp of high quality Maple Syrup
1 ¼ cup of Self-Rising Flour
1 tsp of Baking Soda
½ tsp of Baking Powder
A pinch of Kosher Salt
¼ cup Milk (plus and extra ¼ cup if needed)
1.) Cook all the bacon – we started with 6 strips, but we ended up using closer to 8 (I blame my better half's constant "sampling" of the product). You’ll want this bacon on the crispier side, with almost no fat left on it. Make sure to cook in batches and to drain your pan free from fat every once in a while. Save the drippings, they’ll come in handy later. After everything is cooked and dabbed with a paper towel, reserve two strips and mince the rest into small chocolate-chip size pieces.
2.) Beat the butter and solidified bacon fat together with a mixer, then add the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and mix (a note about the maple syrup –if you have the cheap stuff, bring it briefly to a simmer to reduce excess water. You won’t need long, around 5 minutes, and it’ll give you a deeper flavor.)
3.) Add the egg then beat some more.
4.) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a separate bowl then alternatively add the flour mixture and the milk into your batter, always ending with the dry. I added a tablespoon of yogurt and a fourth a cup of milk to make the batter more moist. You can adjust these ingredients to your taste. Stir everything until just combined (do not over stir!)
5.) Gently fold in your lovely crispy bacon. Scoop into pig-themed cupcake papers (or what-have-you ), and bake at 350F (177C) for 18-20 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean. Take out and let cool.
Maple Bacon Frosting
2 Tbsp of Butter
2 Tbsp of Congealed Bacon Drippings
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 cup of Powdered Sugar
Turbinado Sugar, optional, but recommended
Coarse Grain Sea Salt, optional, but recommended
1.) Combine the butter, drippings, and syrup and mix until combined. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, until the same consistency throughout. Spread onto cupcakes – note that the bacon fat has a lower melting temperature than regular butter, so it might drip down the sides if too warm. Decorate with a little piece of bacon, some turbinado sugar, and a pinch of sea salt.
These little jewels are best served warm, as no one likes to bite into a cold baked good full of pork products. And remember -
the exact amount of bacon fat used will be our tasty little secret