When I made these cupcakes I placed them down in front of my friends and said with a flourish “I have made some vegetarian ones as well”. They looked a bit bewildered as lets face it generally cupcakes are vegetarian. These are cupcakes for meat lovers topped with a pecan nut and some bacon caramelised with maple syrup. Although it may sound like a strange combination at first, if you think about it the flavours do go together, especially if you are a fan of that classic American dish of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. I made these using a recipe I tore out from Metro a month or so ago by cup cake queen Lily Vanilli, I did vary the recipe slightly so I have added those variations here. Try them if you dare and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
1 handful of pecan nuts
170g unsalted butter
215g caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup butter
3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup double cream
4 tsp maple syrup
1 rasher of bacon
(1 cup = 250ml)
1. Preheat oven to 190C and toast the pecans for around 7 mins or until they start to brown.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Separate the eggs and and the egg yolks to the butter mixture (saving the whites) one at a time and mix until even.
4. Sift the flour and mix with the baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
5. Separately mix the milk with 1 tsp of the vanilla essence then add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the butter mix gradually making sure to start and finish with the dry ingredients.
6. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold them into the mixture into three parts.
7. Divide the batter into a muffin pan lined with muffin cases. Fill until 3/4 full and then bake for 15 mins or until just golden brown then set aside to cool.
8. Cut the bacon rasher into small squares, brush them with maple syrup and bake in the oven for 10 mins or until crispy.
9. Make the frosting by beating the butter until soft and then mixing with the icing sugar, the remaining tsp of vanilla essence, the cream and maple syrup until smooth and thick.
10. Top the cakes with the frosting and a toasted pecan and strip of crispy bacon.