Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maple Frosted French Toast Cupcakes

French Toast Cupcakes...Yum! Although I admit these are more like a muffin than a cupcake, they are a great after dinner treat. At first I was a little thrown off by the bacon sprinkled on top but I decided to be daring and give it a shot.

Cupcake Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs, separated

Now when I made these cupcakes I cut the above recipe in thirds and it made about 6 cupcakes. The original recipe also calls for cake flour and since cake flour is not something that I use on a regular basis I just used regular flour. This could of course be why the cupcakes were a bit dense, but I think it worked out quite well.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the butter and sugar untill well combined. In a small bowl wisk together your dry ingredients. In another bowl combine milk and vanilla, set aside. Take your egg yolks and add them one at a time to your butter and sugar mixture. Then, add your flour mixture and your milk/vanilla mixture alternately. Mix on medium speed untill smooth. Remove from mixing bowl and place in a large bowl.

Once your mixing bowl has been cleaned, whip the egg whites on a high speed with a wisk untill stiff peaks are made. Fold egg whites into the batter in three different portions untill just incorperated. Divide the batter into the cupcake pan and stick in the oven for 25-30 minutes, depending on how your oven cooks.

Now onto the frosting... The original recipe called for a butter cream frosting made with maple extract and heavy cream. First of all, finding maple extract seems to be one of the hardest things to do so I've found that a little bit of maple syrup works just as well. It's more commonly found in stores and it's something that is used more often than maple extract. Because let's face it, unless you're going to be making these cupcakes a lot, when else are you going to use that? As for the heavy cream, that's another ingredient that I don't often use so I decided to just skip the original recipe and make my own. To make the frosting is SUPER easy. Take a stick of butter and about a cup and a half of confectionary sugar. These measurements are an estimate because when I usually make frosting I just eyeball the consistancy. You don't want it to be too dry or too wet, so add what you think looks right. If it's too dry add more butter, too wet: more sugar. Since we'll be adding maple syrup to the mix I would make it a bit on the dry side. When I made these I made the frosting a little bit too wet and it didn't form as well on the cupcakes.

To add the maple syrup is an estimate too. (I really don't like measuring things in baking unless it's a vital ingredient. They say baking is an exact science, but I think if it tastes good than who cares!) I usually just add a tiny bit of syrup, mix it up and then do a taste test. If it needs more flavor add a bit more untill you get the flavor you want. Once you've mastered the maple flavor and the cupcakes have cooled you're all set to frost them!

Then there's the bacon. I've heard about bacon being used in desserts before, but I've never actually tried it. For these cupcakes I used the microwaveable bacon that Oscar Myer makes because it's quick and there is very little mess involved. I used 2-3 slices of bacon for my 6 cupcakes so for the whole recipe you may need the whole package. Cook bacon to the directions on the package and then break it up and stick into the icing.

Now honestly both my parents and I agree that the bacon doesn't really do anything for it. The maple frosting and cupcakes flavors overwhelm the flavor of the bacon and unless you have a large piece of bacon with every bit you take, there's a slim chance that you'll actually taste the bacon. Personally I think they would have been just as good without the bacon, but that's a taste test for another day.

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