Written by ACP, Inc. Chef Sandy Gibilisco
The bacon trend has proven to be more than just a flash in a pan, and shows no sign of abating. In 2006, Iowa’s Bacon Board hosted the first Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival which sold out in minutes. In 2007, a trendy doughnut shop in Portland unveiled the maple bacon doughnut, while Wendy’s introduced the “Baconator.” In 2012, the National Pig Association of UK warned about an impending world shortage of bacon, sending bacon lovers into a panic, but it turned out to be a false alarm. In 2013, Ford unveiled a bacon wrapped Ford Fiesta car, customized with vinyl stickers of bacon strips, and the first International Bacon Film Festival was held in New York City.
Even in the midst of a growing health movement, some individuals aren’t as concerned about health and just want to eat food that tastes great. While this group of people tends to blend in with those who add real butter to their toast, bacon seems to be a symbol of freedom in the fight to eat what we want.
As the cost of beef soars, pork and bacon related products are in the mainstream of fast casual dining now more than ever. Globally inspired, creative pork entrees are appearing as daily or limited specials at chain and “Mom and Pop” restaurants.
The addition of chopped, cooked bacon to a dark chocolate cake mix perfectly complements the flavor of rich chocolate, and creates the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Below is a recipe for 54 chocolate bacon mini cupcakes with Nutella cream icing. These little cakes bake in just six minutes in the MXP22 oven, while the icing can be made ahead of time and added just before serving; which allows for a quick and easy treat.
CHOCOLATE BACON CUPCAKES WITH NUTELLA CREAM ICING
- 12 slices of bacon
- 1 Duncan Heinz chocolate cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 oz mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup nectar of the Gods (aka Nutella)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teas salt
- 2 teas cocoa chile blend spice
- Preheat MXP22 oven to 355 degrees. Line mini muffin pans with mini baking cups.
(Each pan should be 30 mini cups)
2. Cook the bacon:
Line sheet pan with parchment paper, place appropriate rack over parchment paper and place bacon strips on rack
3. Place in 375 CONVECTION oven for 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
NOTE: Pre-cooked, purchased bacon works well. Heat in microwave, with paper towel over bacon, until crisp. Crumble.
4. While the bacon is cooling, combine cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, oil, vanilla, salt, cocoa chile powder. Beat at medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
5. Fold in the bacon crumbles and mini chocolate chips. Spoon batter into baking cups. 1 heaping tablespoon per mini muffin.
6. Bake for 6 minutes at the following settings:
6 minutes 20 % MW 0 % FAN 100% IR
7. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack
8. While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the icing. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar on low for 1 minute. Add the vanilla.
9. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. It should appear very creamy.
10. Add the Nutella, heavy cream, and salt, then mix on medium to medium-high speed for about a minute.