Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and few things are more difficult than finding a romantic gift for the man in your life. Whether you’re still in the flirty stage, or madly in love, these Maple Whiskey & Bacon Cupcakes will make a delicious impression he won’t soon forget. Bold on flavor, super moist and absolutely decadent without being overly sweet, you’ll want to make these little cups of love for all the important men in your life!
Coming Soon: I have a collection of masculine-flavored cupcakes which will be included in an upcoming cookbook, “Cupcakes For Men.” If you would like to be notified when this book will be ready for sale, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “subscribe” in the subject line.
For purposes of this recipe, I used Jim Beam’s Maple Whiskey (and no, I’m not getting paid to endorse the product – it’s just yummy so I chose it). If you don’t have this particular type of maple-infused whiskey on hand, you could easily substitute any other type of plain whiskey or bourbon of your choosing. I would also recommend using a high quality, pure maple syrup.
A couple of tips when making this recipe:
~ Mis en place: It’s super important to gather up the ingredients before starting the mixing process. All cold ingredients – like eggs, butter, sour cream and buttermilk – need time to come to room temperature. Also, in order the get the beautiful air pockets to form, you’ll need the leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder) to work properly. Letting them sit too long in wet batter can cause them to react early and you won’t get an airy rise to the cake.
~ Speed matters: When initially beating the butter and sugars together, you’ll want to use HIGH speed to build air pockets. The butter should become very light in color when it has been whipped enough, which will ensure a lightness to your crumb.
Then, when alternating in the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture, you’ll want to reduce the speed to LOW and work quickly. If you overmix at this stage you’ll end up with dry, heavy cupcakes. You’ll also notice that the Whiskey is added with the buttermilk – by adding close to the end and reducing the mixing time you’ll keep more of the whiskey flavor alive in your cake.
~ Folding in the egg whites: You’ll want to hand-fold in the egg whites to the batter – don’t use the mixer or paddle. If you’re not sure how to properly “fold” in egg whites, here’s a helpful video tutorial that can help you. Also, if you are using a smaller mixing bowl or doubling the batch, you’ll want to transfer the batter to a large bowl before folding in the whites. It’s important to give the batter plenty of room so the egg whites aren’t crushed.
~ Making bacon two ways: You’ll see in this recipe that you’ll be rendering the fat from 4 to 5 pieces of bacon, then making the candied bacon with the remaining 6-7 pieces in a later step. The rendered fat will be used in the cake batter, while the candied bacon is used as a topping for the finished cupcake. I highly recommend that you follow both steps, as cooking the candied bacon will not provide a suitable rendered fat for the batter.
So let’s get started!
Here’s the recipe along with a printable version.
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