Please forgive me for this.
These are dark chocolate, vanilla porter, BACON cupcakes (adapted from a recipe of someone who knows a lot more about baking than I – thanks Delly).
I’m really not much of a baker. My need to improvise/tinker just doesn’t correlate with meticulous measurement and actual recipe following. Plus I am WAY too impatient to properly measure most of the time. But, I did follow this recipe to the T, just subbed out a few key ingredients, with what else? Beer.
I just kept thinking to myself, if bacon and chocolate are a good pair, why not beer too? A nice smoky vanilla porter?? Um, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
My suspicion was correct. These are sweet, salty, smoky, and all together crazy bananas good. For those of you who are leery of bacon + chocolate. I know. As I have mentioned, I can get a bit eccentric with my food, but really, these are worth the crazy.
Bacon Vanilla Porter Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
- 7 slices of bacon
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup vanilla porter (like Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, or a nice not too boozy stout will work too)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
Start by preheating your oven to 375.
Cook your bacon. I put mine on a broiling pan and chuck in the oven for about 25-30 minutes (depending on how crispy you like your bacon). Once your bacon is cooked, dab off some of the grease with a paper towel and tear 6 of the slices up into small pieces. Tear the 7th into 12 pieces to use as a garnish later. Lower your oven temp to 350.
Next, melt your butter and whisk in the cocoa over low heat. Add your beer, whisking well. I used our home-brewed vanilla porter. The Breckenridge Vanilla Porter would be dynamite for this recipe. In a separate bowl, add the egg and buttermilk to your sugar, creaming together. Pour just a bit of your still warm chocolate mixture into this and mix well. This will temper the eggs so they don’t get all scrambled like. Add the rest of your chocolate mixture and blend. Sift and whisk in your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then add your bacon. There’s no going back now.
Be smart and use paper liners, otherwise no matter how much butter you use to grease the cupcake pan, there will be some casualties. Learn from my mistakes. The batter will make exactly 12 medium sized cupcakes. Fill the tin evenly and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
For the frosting:
- 1/4 cup (half stick) of butter
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1.5 oz vanilla porter
Once again, melt your butter and stir in the cocoa powder. Add beer and powdered sugar in small bouts, mixing well each time. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost away, and top with your hunk-o-bacon.