Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

This is a recipe I've been drooling over for months, but I never have buttermilk around so I kept putting off making them. Then a friend's birthday rolled around and I offered to make cupcakes as his present, and luckily he was just as enthusiastic about these as I was.

I'd say about half the people I told about this were completely grossed out by the idea, but some of them tried the cupcakes anyway, and I have to say, it really doesn't have a strong bacon flavor. These are just dark, dark chocolate cupcakes with a hint of something salty, so if you like chocolate covered pretzels or salted caramel, these are worth a try.

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top.
I used a whipped ganache as my frosting, and since the recipe made so much I've just been going at it with a spoon these past couple days. According to Alton Brown's recipe, the ganache should whip up in 2-3 minutes, so I was definitely more than a little worried when it took much longer, but it whips eventually, and it's absolutely worth it.

Ganache Frosting
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) heavy cream

1. Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl of a food processor.

2. Heat the heavy cream in a quart-sized, microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Process by pulsing several times until chocolate mixture is smooth. Use as is for glazing. If you wish to make a lighter frosting, allow it to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Once at room temperature, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 to 3 minutes (or, like me, much longer).

Just after frosting...

Overall the cupcakes went over quite well, but if I made them again I'd either add more bacon or leave it out entirely for a simple chocolate cupcake.

Last minute glamor shot!

I've been saying this for awhile now...

So here goes nothing.

I bake a lot. It's usually not planned out, so my family has gotten used to popovers at 10pm and brownies at 2am, but every once in a while I actually think of something that sounds interesting enough to plan in advance.

I keep saying I'm going to start taking pictures of what I make and post them to a blog, if only to keep track of what I'm doing just for me. This shall be said blog. That's not to say that the posts will be more than a picture and a recipe, or a complaint about whipping ganache, but hey, it's a start.

On that note, welcome to Almost a Scone (but not quite).