I’m typing up this post an hour before I have to hop onto a ferry to get to diabetes camp. Don’t worry, it’s not for me personally! I’m volunteering there as a dietetic intern.
Whoa. I just realized the weight of that role. I probably should’ve slept instead of pulling an all-nighter writing this post eh? I find myself in this situation way too often. You know you’re obsessed with your food blog when you neglect your actual job that you actually went to school for and paid an actual bajillion (give or take a couple majillion) dollars for to get an actual degree.
I find myself in this sleepless situation way too often. Starting to wonder if I’m stupid or overly dedicated. Maybe they’re the same thing. I guess there has to be a component of stupidity in passion and faith in one’s dreams in order for them to come true.
If I wasn’t stuck in these circumstances, I would’ve PTFO’d at like 12am, but it is what it is. So what are the circumstances?
So yeah, not sure if you caught that but that’s what’s happening in my life right now! Been so busy preparing for my trips that I’ve been super backlogged with the blog. And that’s why I’m still awake, holding my eyeballs open with my fingers and trying to type up this post with one hand before I leave on vacay!
Don’t laugh at me, but uh, I was actually super afraid of going to South East Asia. I know, I know, it sounds so ignorant and city-slicker-princess-bitchy (I’m anything but that, trust me), but with what goes on in the news and stuff, you would be kinda scared too.
Check out this impressive list of scary things:
Random episodes of diarrhea
Not knowing where to go
Open sewage systems
Getting robbed by a motorcyclist whilst strolling peacefully through town
Running out of money because I spent it all on pho/pad thai/mango sticky rice
Legit concerns dude.
At the same time, it’s the number one place in the world that intrigues me to travel and explore its landscape, people and culture. So I rounded up a bunch of brave peeps from different walks of my life (including my sissi-ta!) and bought a plane ticket.
I NEED this getaway. I’m honestly so tired of North America and people using dumb sayings in regular conversation like “first world problems”, “eyebrows on fleek/point”, “can’t even” and so so much more (if you’re one of those people who uses those phrases, YOU NEED TO STOP. LIKE RIGHT NOW. PLEASE?) All it reminds me is that our culture is consumerism and our hobbies are spoiling ourselves. It’s annoying and I hate finding myself in that gross environment.
Can’t wait to tap into the rich culture of SE Asia, my soul needs some rejuvenating.
Alright, rambling is over. On to these bacon weave chocolate caramel cupcakes with bacon compote! Man, that was a mouthful. I couldn’t leave a word out of the name though, that would just be offensive to the cupcake.
So how did these come about? Well, I knew that I wanted to make something with bacon and maple (so Canadian of me) but I also wanted it to be original. Seen too many versions of this already!
Staying true to my inner-fatass, I decided that my “something original” would be making an over-the-top, artery-clogging, can’t-eat-for-the-next-day cupcake.
In comes bacon compote.
What is that Connie?! Well, lemme tell ya. It’s basically bacon that’s been cooked down and tenderized with brown sugar. I know, I’m disgusting.
Brought these into class and the moment I walked in, everyone clapped and cheered. It felt glorious. I honestly have the most supportive group of classmates. If any of you are reading this, THANK YOU YOU’RE AWESOME!
Want to feel glorious too? Make these and eat like 3 of them.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1¾ cups AP flour
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 tsp powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 125 ml heavy cream
- ¾ tsp flaked sea salt or regular table salt (increase as necessary)
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temp, cut into cubes
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- 16 strips bacon
- Brown Sugar
- 8 strips bacon
- Brown Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl
- Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin)
- Pour batter evenly into cupcake tin, about ¾ full
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Let cool to room temperature
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon
- Stir gently until sugar melts into an amber-colored liquid. Keep an eye on it, it can burn in seconds when close to doneness
- Add the butter when sugar is all melted, gently stir for 2-3 minutes
- Slowly drizzle in heavy cream while stirring
- Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute
- Stir in salt, take off heat and allow to cool down before using
- (I like to keep my caramel in mason jars in the fridge, lasts for a couple months!)
- Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer
- Place over simmering water (not IN simmer water)
- Whisk by hand until sugar is completely dissolved
- Transfer bowl to mixer and beat until you reach medium peak consistency
- Slowly add butter one piece at a time
- At some point, the buttercream will look curdled and gross, THIS IS NORMAL DON'T PANIC
- Keep adding butter and beating the buttercream until you reach a silky smooth texture
- Beat in caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- On a large baking sheet, basketweave the bacon
- Stack another baking sheet on top to keep the bacon flat when it cooks
- Bake for 10 minutes, just when it's starting to get crispy, take it out of the oven
- Drain the bacon fat, save it, use it for whatever makes your heart sing
- Sprinkle brown sugar liberally all over bacon weave
- Place back in oven and bake until just crispy or sturdy enough to hold its shape without drooping
- If you find that your bacon just won't cook up (like I did), take it out of the oven and cook it on the stovetop with a frying pan
- When bacon weave is cooled, cut into 4x4 pieces to get 16 total
- Fry bacon on stovetop pan until ALMOST crispy
- Remove from heat and dice bacon into small small pieces
- Place back onto stovetop and cook over low heat with brown sugar
- Cook until sugar is melted and bacon is tender
- Core the cupcakes using a knife or cupcake corer
- Fill with bacon compote
- Top with salted caramel swiss meringue
- Place a piece of bacon weave on top
- Drizzle with extra caramel sauce
Salted caramel recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Chocolate cake recipe from Hershey