Thursday, September 10, 2009
Bacon-infused Red Velvet Cake
This recipe was inspired by all the press that bacon in baking is getting these days. I was looking to try something new (my last attempt at low-altitude experimentation before we move to Boulder, CO next week!), and was intrigued by the write-up provided here.
I won't lie: there were many doubters and naysayers and people who were all-around grossed-out by this. But in the end, anyone who tasted it at least said that it was good. Some said amazing, some seemed slow to admit it, but I had no bad reviews (at least to my face).
The cake and icing recipes you can tweak, but I do think that red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting might be the perfect backdrop for the savory-sweet-salty bacon. (Although...I'm already contemplating my next move with bacon, and it might be into this.)
Favorite red velvet cake recipe (example)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini-morsels
Favorite cream cheese frosting (example1 example2)
~1 cup candied bacon pieces, divided + several larger chunks for garnish on top
1. Prepare red velvet cake batter as directed, stir in mini-morsels.
2. Stir in ~half of candied bacon pieces (recipe/technique below)
3. Bake as directed.
4. Let cool; cut cake halves in half horizontally (so you have 4 layers)
5. Divide frosting -- into 3/4 of it mix additional 1/3 - 1/2 cup candied bacon pieces
6. Use un-baconated frosting on top of cake; garnish with candied bacon slices if desired.
There are a lot of ways people have suggested doing this.
I actually used pre-cooked bacon from Whole Foods (about 8-10 large-ish slices), coated in brown sugar and a little (1/4 cup?) melted butter, and cooked in the oven on a parchment covered cookie sheet at ~400deg. Do this until you start to suspect burning (i.e., keep an eye on it; it won't take more than 10 min probably).
Let cool, and try not to eat the candied mass of of bacon...it is (surprisingly?) good. Keep the burnt edges out of the cake, reserve a few prettier chunks/pieces for garnish, and crumple up the rest of the candied bacon into sub-centimeter sized chunks. Actually, maybe sub-half-centimeter is better. You want the flavor in the cake and frosting, but not really the chunks of bacon.