Twelfth Night marked the official end of Christmas. The superstition goes, that tree spirits take refuge in our homes over the festive season, living in our Christmas trees and greenery. On Twelfth Night, all Christmas trimmings must be taken down for the spirits to be set free into the wild. It is thought that if you do not do this, then they will cause havoc in your home, bringing forth bad luck, whilst outside the agriculture and greenery will suffer without them.
I’m not a fan of hardship and adversity, and I certainly don’t want any pesky tree-elves being a nuisance when I’m trying to watch Netflix, so it was with a heavy heart that I stripped the tree and packed all the decorations away. Thankfully, my girlfriends and I had arranged a get-together at our local Paint Lounge for a little brunch and a little art. A great opportunity for me to wear my singing Christmas jumper and gingerbread earrings one last time and ease my Christmas grief away from shock, into firm denial.
We all decided to bring something along to form our brunch picnic (or brunchnic). My contribution was these adorable Maple and Bacon Cupcakes. The bacon made it breakfasty and the cake made me happy, earning them a big thumbs up all round.
RECIPE: Maple Bacon Cupcakes
SOURCE: Baked by Rachel
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Fluffy. Buttery. Sweet and salty.
GOES GREAT WITH: A pot of rich, dark coffee and some friends to share them with.
MAKES: 8 standard cupcakes or 16 mini cupcakes.
- 5Og WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR
- 50g LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
- 50g BUTTER, room temperature
- 1 EGG, room temperature
- 15ml MAPLE SYRUP
- 1/2 VANILLA BEAN
- 90g PLAIN FLOUR
- 3/4 tsp BAKING POWDER
- 1/2 tsp CINNAMON
- 1/4 tsp SALT
- 80ml MILK
- 115g CREAM CHEESE
- 30g BUTTER, softened
- 10ml MAPLE SYRUP
- 240g ICING SUGAR
- 3 slices STREAKY BACON
- MAPLE SYRUP
- Preheat the oven to 200c. Lay the BACON on a foil-covered baking sheet and brush the top with a little MAPLE SYRUP. Put in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and flip them over. Brush with a little more SYRUP and bake for another 5 minutes (Watch the bacon like a hawk as it can burn in a second!).
- Put the bacon aside to cool and turn the oven down to 180c.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the BUTTER, WHITE SUGAR and BROWN SUGAR with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add the EGG and MAPLE SYRUP and whisk.
- Add the PLAIN FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, SALT and CINNAMON. Scrape the seeds out of the VANILLA BEAN and add them in.
- With the whisk running on low, gradually add the MILK until everything is combined.
- Divide the mixture into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes if making standard cupcakes (or 12 minutes if making mini-cupcakes). Leave aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the FROSTING: In a large mixing bowl, beat the CREAM CHEESE and BUTTER.
- Add the MAPLE SYRUP.
- With the whisk running, add the ICING SUGAR. Half first, then whisk, followed by the other half until it looks smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and onto the cooled cupcakes, pipe swirls (or whatever takes your fancy).
- By now, the bacon will be crispy having had time to cool. Crumble on top of the cupcakes adding as much or as little as you like.