So, I made a bacon cake last weekend. Yes, that's right.
Browsing through this month's Good Housekeeping, I had happened upon a section of recipes created by Katrina Markoff, of Vosges Haut-Chocolat. According to the article, her company "specializes in bringing global flavors to chocolate". (You will not find me arguing with that mission. And her website makes me swoon!) One of the recipes in the featured collection was a Bacon-Laced Chocolate Cake. My first reaction? "What the...?" My next reaction? "Well, hold on...I enjoy bacon...I enjoy chocolate cake...I am not above attempting a recipe that asks you to incorporate bacon drippings into a ganache-style frosting...hmmmm."
So I did what any completely secure person would do in this sort of decision-making process: I asked Facebook. Well, my Facebook friends, to be specific. I didn't call up Mark Zuckerberg. Although that would have made this post about 800% more interesting. Anyway, while some seemed unsure and others slightly horrified, there were enough people who expressed intrigue that I decided to try this one out. It was my week to bring dessert for small group anyway, so YAY!
In that status thread, my lovely friend Michelle asked me to blog the process. I promised I would, even though this post will show you in no uncertain terms that I lack the photography and artistic skills necessary to be real food blogger. But, here we go!
1. First, I baked a two-layer dark chocolate cake. (No picture, because I forgot to take one. See? This is why my actual food blog is so sad and neglected.)
2. Next, as one always does when one is ready to make some chocolate frosting, I fried up some bacon! (This is getting weird, right? Bear with me.)
This step left me with the requisite 1/3 cup crumbled bacon, and 1 Tablespoon bacon drippings. Observe them in their splendor.
3. Well, that's enough of that. Now, observe THIS in it's splendor. What we have here is about two cups worth of bittersweet chocolate mixed with semi-sweet. (I would have used all semi-sweet, but this is what I had. So I did throw in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to kick up the sweet a little bit.
4. Grab some liquid smoke. Because that's not at all strange.
5. Then pour two cups of just-boiling whipping cream over the lovely chopped chocolate, and add a few drops of the liquid smoke and the bacon drippings. Because what your arteries definitely need in addition to a whole bunch of heavy whipping cream is some bacon grease. It's so wrong...and yet a little bit right, don't you think? Whisk it all together until it's lovely like this.
6. You have to put the frosting in the freezer for about a half-hour, stirring frequently, so that it can reach a spreadable consistency. I didn't photograph this, because BORING.
But then you take about a 1/2 cup of the prepared frosting, and mix in that 1/3 cup crumbled bacon. This will be your filling. Mmmmm...
Odd on many levels.
7. Use the rest of the frosting to ice the sides and top of the cake. I always use the wax paper trick, because I am a messy frost-er.
And...tada! A piece of Bacon-Laced Chocolate Cake all ready for our first brave small group tester, Tim, to sample. When he didn't immediately die, the rest of us dove in.
It got pretty good reviews! Everyone agreed that the bacon essence was really subtle - although obviously the filling had it's moments of more obvious flavor-combo. It was really more of a sweet/salty/smoky thing that worked quite nicely. Definitely not as good the second day, though. It's one you should enjoy fresh!
Here's the actual recipe link, if you're brave! (My favorite part? The instruction to decorate it with rose petals. Because when I think of a rich dessert infused with a pork product, yes, rose petals are the obvious garnish partner.)
So, what do you think? Sound like something you'd like to whip up for your next gathering? Or just try a bite of if someone else went through the trouble? Or does this entire post make you shudder? I'd love to hear what you think!