It’s game day! Whether you’re choosing to root for the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers in this year’s Super Bowl, you can bring everyone together with dark chocolate bacon cupcakes. Uh-huh…you read that correctly.
First, go to your butcher to get good bacon. Talk to him (or her). Explain what you’re going to make. Normally, for breakfast I’d get Applewood Smoked Bacon from our butchers at Bianchini’s Market in San Carlos, but I didn’t want the cakes to have that super-smoky flavor. When I told my butcher what I was making, he suggested the thick-cut, which had a milder flavor, and he also went in back to find me leaner cuts that would hold its weight within the cake and on top as garnish.
Not sure where to find a good butcher in San Mateo County? There’s a whole discussion on it on Chowhound, and my favorites include:
- Bianchini’s Market,810 Laurel St, San Carlos
- Draeger’s, 222 East 4th St., San Mateo
- Mollie Stone’s, 49 42nd St., San Mateo
Onto the recipe…
12 slices bacon (approx. 1 lb.)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
¾ cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold espresso
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
Cook bacon over medium-high heat until it is evenly browned on both sides. Lay flat on paper towels (a brown paper bag works well here, too) to absorb excess grease. Cut 3 slices into ½ inch strips and set aside for your garnish. With the remaining strips of bacon, crumble and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, the cocoa powder, the sugar, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt.
Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add the eggs, the coffee, the buttermilk, and then the oil.
Stir together by hand until all ingredients are blended.
Mix in the crumbled bacon that you set aside earlier.
Spoon the batter only halfway into the muffin cups, as these will rise and overflow, if too full.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. To check that they are done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready. (If it comes out with batter or crumbs attached, give it a couple more minutes and re-check for done-ness.)
Cool in the muffin tin set on top of a wire rack for 8 minutes. When cool, pop them out and decorate with buttercream frosting. Add your ½ inch strips of bacon for garnish.
NOTE: My favorite taste tester has said that these could count as breakfast, due to the bacon and coffee in the recipe. I say, “Enjoy them any time of the day.”