Saturday, June 7, 2014

Maple Cake and Candied Bacon

Triple-layer Maple Walnut Cake with Maple Buttercream with a Candied Bacon & Walnut Filling, tinted Vanilla Buttercream Frosting with a Candied Bacon & Walnut Crumble

This cake is reckless!  And delicious.  And not for the faint of heart.

Sweet and savory go great together... chocolate with nuts, caramel with salted pretzels, etc.  I used to love dredging bacon through the syrup on Pancake Sunday mornings, which leads us to this cake.

After studying the many Maple Cake recipes online, I pieced together my own recipe with a strong flavor profile towards maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla.

For my friends who don't eat chopped fresh dates, walnuts, and maple syrup sound good?

My first step was to work with the bacon.  It's critical to use thinly sliced bacon; I had to slice my own and it was thicker than I'd have preferred.  I developed the following recipe during the baking process and I look forward to making this again.  Hot tip: Let the bacon cook the full 30 minutes but don't let the sugar burn. 

The cake baked so wonderfully.  Everything needed to completely before I could construct the cake.

I'm giving myself a gold star for the evenness of these cake layers.
After the Maple Buttercream crumb coat, this construction was setting-up in the cake fridge.  It was a perfect opportunity to decorate a few of the cupcakes baked from the leftover batter from the triple-layer cake. 
This is a Maple Walnut Cupcake with Maple Buttercream garnished by a Candied Bacon and Walnut Bon Bon.

Sometimes I know exactly how I want to decorate a cake and am less certain about the baking process.  In other cases, the baking is too easy and the decorating is problematic.
For this cake, I just couldn't decide on a style or color... or even flavor.  If I prepared maple - would that be a flavor overload?  The vanilla wouldn't clash, but are too many flavors already present?  Tough questions.
So I tried this...

Oh... this wasn't going to work.  I didn't like the ombre thing I was attempting. Plus, I chose the wrong tip and these two rows required 80% of the prepared buttercream.  I did like the yellow...

Try again.

I liked this.  It was simple and clean and didn't require more than one batch of buttercream. 

This cake is amazing.  So is my life partner.  And our kids.  Life is good; let's have cake.

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