Bacon Cupcakes

Bacon, it seems to be in everything lately.  Bacon salt, bacon soap, bacon chocolate, bacon sundaes.  The world is on bacon overload right now and i’m fully aware of this.  This does not however make me think that bacon is overrated and just a passing fad.  Bacon is delicious!  I wanted to make a bacon cupcake and I was not thrilled with the recipes I had found.  I had to think about how to create my own bacon cupcake recipe.  This was my adventure!

I was in charge of creating a dinner fit for my BBQ team over the weekend.  I thought what better than to make a BBQ themed dessert with it.  I looked up bacon cupcake recipes and it seemed to me that all of them were very frosting-heavy, and the cupcake itself seemed too fluffy, like a normal cupcake would be.  When I think of adding something savory to something sweet I don’t think of fluffy.  In my mind I was picturing a dense, fudgy, chocolatey cake, sort of like how most gluten free cakes come out.  I quickly realized I was going to have to create this recipe on my own.  Which, from reading one of my previous posts you should know I HATE baking.  I don’t know the science behind it!  I thought of this recipe I had found in a cooking magazine around Christmas time.  It was the perfect batter for what I was picturing.  My main reason for loving this recipe is that the eggs are tempered in on a double boiler.  This allows me to cook the eggs out so that when I go to back the cupcakes I can sort of ”under bake” them which results in a gooey brownie batter texture – amazing!

I had my plan set, I was going to take that recipe and sort of tweak it to become a chocolate bacon cupcake.  I took two pounds of bacon and lined them up on a sheet pan and put them in the oven until perfectly crisp.  I needed to do this first because my brilliant idea was to take the bacon fat and use that instead of butter.  Brilliant, I know.  Once the bacon was ready to be taken out I added the bacon fat and unsweetened chocolate squares to a double boiler.  I got my eggs ready to temper in.  This is when disaster struck – or so I thought.  I was tempering in my eggs and everything seemed to be going great until the last egg.  My batter completely broke.  You know how when even the smallest of drop of water gets added to melted chocolate and it stiffens up into this weird mass?  That’s exactly what happened.  My friend and I stood staring at the pot wondering how the heck we were going to fix this.  We were so excited to see the final results of these cupcakes and this shattered our hopes and dreams (we don’t aim high..).  I had this weird baking epiphany, I need to add sugar still, and sugar melts.  If I melt the sugar, will it be enough liquid to make this happy again?  Who knows, to me the batter was already a fail it certainly couldn’t hurt.  I added my sugar and kept mixing while making a hopeful pouty face.  To my surprise, it worked!  The batter was gooey and melty again and I no longer felt like a baking failure.

Since I did use bacon fat instead of butter the batter did keep separating a bit.  I added some finely chopped bacon bits and flour.  Once I added the flour it came together pretty well.  I got them into mini baking cups as quickly as possible.  I only baked them for all of 8-10 minutes, because my favorite part of this batter is the gooey center I get when they aren’t fully cooked, which is okay because my eggs are cooked in the double boiler already.  I took the cupcakes out to cool and made  a hard ganache.  I dipped the tops of the cupcakes in and let those harden.  I then added a dollop of chocolate frosting (store bought, I had to cut a corner somwhere!) and then I topped each cupcake with a perfect square of crisp bacon.  I also couldn’t resist topping each cupcake with a few flakes of sea salt. These were one of the most incredible small-bite desserts I’ve ever had.  They were tiny two-biter cupcakes that had so many layers of flavor.  Chocolatey, smokey, salty, sweet.

It was perfection.

Look mom! I can bake 😀