The fabulous cupcake testers at my office have been ever so patient with my learning process over the past seven months. At this point, they request and they shall receive. Last week one of my co-workers “cupcake challenged” me to make- “chocolate cupcakes with crispy bacon bits, chocolate cream cheese frosting and a garnish of bacon cooked JUST right”. Being the girl that (very) mistakenly ordered ‘limp bacon’ once at a restaurant in college in front of many mature ladies and gentlemen, this was a cupcake challenge on several levels.
But I like challenges and I like to succeed at them so, “chocolate cupcake with crispy bacon bits, chocolate cream cheese frosting and a garnish of bacon cooked JUST right” it would be. I have since christened them my “mantry cupcakes” (man pantry) because the male audience was so receptive to these. I guess you can’t really go wrong with chocolate and bacon.
The first round had to be thrown out. Not enough flour, surprise surprise. I’m having a premonition that I missed out on huge success with souffles somewhere along this journey. The second round cooked beautifully and had an especially spongy top. I ran out of butter after the first batch so I substituted greek yogurt and sour cream for the second batch. HIGHLY recommend.
I used Dutch cocoa in the cupcakes but semi-sweet chocolate chips in the cream cheese frosting. I decided to only partially melt the chocolate chips for the frosting to give it some extra texture. Aesthically yes, I understand that this may have cause the frosting to resemble something of a cow patty, but it tastes really good :-). As far cooking bacon, JUST right, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I let it sizzle in full strips for about 20 minutes, flipping every few minutes.
Recipe (makes 24):
- 3/4 cups Dutch cocoa
- 3/4 cups hot water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1b bacon, cooked and crumbled (set aside about 1/3-1/2 c for topping)
- 8 oz whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 16 oz confectioners sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweeet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla
- bacon strips for garnish
Combine all cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Cook at 350 degrees for 22 minutes. Remove and cool. Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until preferred texture. Meanwhile, cook bacon on high until crisp. Cut into pieces and garnish frosted cupcakes.
Kramer Vineyards is one of my favorites in Oregon. They have great sparkling varietals as well as delicious Pinot Gris’ and fantastic Pinot Noirs. It’s located in Gaston, and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Good people, good wine and the most amazing view.
My dad gifted me my sparkling wine this week, the NV Kramer Vineyards Domaine Krieger Brut. When you have a cupcake that’s a little bitter, a little salty, and very rich, it’s tough to find a match that will complement all of the cupcake’s flavors. This Brut did just that. It’s 100% Chardonnay grape and the major flavors are apple and melon so there’s a little acidity, just enough to undercut the saltiness of the bacon. It has got a ton of bubbles, and is very refreshing. It almost makes you feel like you didn’t just take in your full day’s calories with this week’s post 🙂
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!