Thursday, July 28, 2011

French Toast & Bacon Cupcakes

You’ve heard the expression, “everything is better with bacon” – well, who knew that this included cupcakes.  I don’t believe I have ever met a person who can resist the magical powers of bacon.  The scent, the flavor, just thinking about bacon makes my mouth water! This cupcake will be a favored addition to any breakfast/brunch or special gathering! 
Here's What You’ll Need:
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of cake flour, sifted (not regular flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½  teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • Maple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crisp Bacon
  • six cup jumbo muffin pan or 12 cup regular muffin pan
Directions:
1.) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
2.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
3.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
4.) Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
5.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
6.) Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.
7.) Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
8.) Remove the cupcakes  from the oven and cool completely.

and for the frosting....
Maple Buttercream Frosting
Yield: about 1 2/3 cups, enough for 6 large or 12 regular cupcakes
Here's What You’ll Need:
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon of maple extract
Directions:
1.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
2.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract.. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Crisp Bacon

Bacon works well for me baked in an oven at 425 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 12-15 minutes, drain grease, and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crisp.  You can do it in a pan as well.
Finally – Frost the cooled French Toast Cupcakes with the Maple Buttercream Frosting and top with a crisp piece of bacon... oh yea!!!
Recipe Courtesy of: lifewithcake.com

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