I love salty sweet things. One of my favorite sweets is dark chocolate, really don't waste my time with wimpy milk chocolates. One of my favorite salties is bacon, truly a food of the gods. I had my first taste of the two together is a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar which I frustratingly enough haven't been able to find since moving to Minneapolis. So, I decided why not blend those two things together myself into a cupcake.
I had run out of the Dutch Processed Cocoa I have been using & decided to try Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa which is a Dutch Processed blend. I was afraid it wouldn't have the flavor I was looking for but I was wrong. This cocoa gives a wonderful dark color & just the dark chocolate flavor I was looking for. Plus its about half the price & I can get it at Target.
Don't skimp on the bacon in this recipe because these cupcakes are best when you get a nice chunk of bacon in each bite. I sprinkle each cupcake with a little Fleur de Sel before serving for just that extra touch of saltiness.
Dark Chocolate & Bacon Cupcake
8 slices good thick-cut bacon
1 c unsalted butter
1/2 c Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
3/4 c water
2 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c well-shaken buttermilk
2 T vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 24 muffin tins.
Chop bacon into about 1/2-inch pieces. Cook over med-high heat in a skillet until bacon is brown & crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Pat any remaining oil off the bacon. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (it will be a little bit lumpy). Stir in bacon.
Fill muffin tins to about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. It's a moist cake, so don't worry if a few crumbs stick to your tester.
Allow cupcakes to cool.
Makes 24 cupcakes.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c unsalted butter
2/3 c Hershey's Special Dark
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
1 t vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
About 2 cups frosting.
This is Hershey's Frosting recipe & still the best one I've tried.
Frost the cupcakes & sprinkle with a little Fleur de Sel right before serving.