I have been fascinated by what I would call inappropriate uses of bacon for awhile. I wrote about Bacon ice cream and a fried bacon appetizer last year, and I just seem to find more interesting bacon-thingys. Recently I was also introduced to bacon coffee by a friend who also shares an odd curiosity of things we can make with bacon. One popular odd use of bacon comes from the Portland doughnut shop Voodoo doughnut . They have an interesting treat on their menu. A maple bacon doughnut. Thanks to that doughnut I was intrigued enough to get my own baking wheels spinning. I have been talking about making a maple bacon cupcake for a few months now, never really following through for really obvious reasons to me. One, sounds like a maple bacon cupcake could be pretty gross. Two, the cupcake could be GREAT and then what? I doubt a sweet and savory combination would be popular at the next band bake sale. Lastly, do I really want to go down the road of sweets with bacon? Well, curiosity got the best of me today. I fried up a few pieces of the best apple-wood smoked bacon and got to the task of baking a few cupcakes. I used a simple batter and added cooled diced bacon just before baking. My goal for the bacon cupcakes was to make sure the cupcake did not have that greasy bacon aftertaste or texture. As my cupcakes were baking I made some maple frosting with egg yolks, syrup, and butter. What more do you need really?
My guinea pig for the maple bacon cupcake was Westley. He has anticipated the arrival of this potential gem since I mentioned making it. His well seasoned opinion was that he loved the mapley-bacony flavor, but wished there were more bacon in the cupcake. I liked the cupcake, but have to disagree with the big guy regarding the amount of bacon in the cake. Then again, his opinion is that, "there is NO SUCH THING as too much bacon!" Duly noted.
What takes this cupcake to great heights is the frosting. Not super sweet but bursting with maple flavor. Perfect. After frosting the cupcake sprinkle with bacon and a little sea salt. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
If you too are curious, I say knock yourself out and give a maple bacon cupcake a whirl.
3 egg yolks
1 cup good maple syrup
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
Place egg yolks in the bowl of a mixer. Beat for about 5 minutes or until the yolks are a light yellow and have thickened. Bring the maple syrup to a boil, reaching 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, which takes about 15 minutes. With the mixer on medium-high slowly add the maple syrup in a stream. Continue mixing until the bottom of your mixer cools, about 5 minutes. Add softened butter. Mix until combined. Start frosting your cupcakes!