Earlier this month, Bacon Boy celebrated his 21st birthday, and I wanted to invent a cake worthy of such an occasion. A while back, I had purchased a doughnut cake pan at Williams-Sonoma at an incredible markdown. Add chocolate, bacon, and the Chocolate Bacon Doughnut Cake was born!
I started by candying half a pound of bacon. I did this by cooking it in my cast-iron skillet with a seasoning made of brown sugar and a little chili powder for zing. I had to be very careful and watch the bacon closely so that I didn't burn it. As soon as I took each strip out of the pan, I laid it in a rack to dry and firm up. Usually I blot bacon with a paper towel, but this bacon was so sticky with the brown sugar, that wasn't an option.
Then I made the chocolate cake. I started by creaming together:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup bacon fat
I had the bacon fat from cooking the bacon--why not infuse the flavor from the very beginning? I whipped these together until fluffy--about five minutes.
Then I added:
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Then in another bowl I mixed together the dry ingredients:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- a dash of J&D's Bacon Salt
A side note here: If you haven't discovered Bacon Salt, it's one of my favorite ingredients! It is an artificially-flavored, low-sodium salt, that is vegetarian AND kosher. It is the perfect seasoning to sprinkle on top of home-made macaroni and cheese, and it adds bacony goodness to everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to chicken salad. I buy can but the Original and Hickory in the spice aisle at my Target, but there are other flavors: http://www.jdfoods.net/products/baconsalt. As it says on the label, "Everything should taste like bacon!" I use Bacon Salt almost every day. Back to the cake.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar with:
- 1 1/3 cups milk
Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beat well after each addition until the ingredients are just incorporated. Stop as necessary to scrape down the sides of the pan. I chopped the bacon up, and folded half of it into the batter. Then I poured the batter into my two doughnut pans and baked them for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. This amount of batter would easily fill two 9-inch cake pans.
After the cakes were baked, I let them cool in their pans for five minutes, and then turned them out onto racks to cool. Then I trimmed each half of the doughnut so that the two sides that went together were flat. The assembly directions didn't call for frosting between the two doughnut halves, but I glued them together with a quick frosting made of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and just enough milk to make a spreadable frosting.
Then I made the chocolate glaze for the doughnut. I melted together:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Then I put that mixture in a bowl and whisked in:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
- approximately 1/2 cup hot water
until the glaze was a consistency that would pour over the cake. I had assembled the doughnut on my cake stand, and put strips of waxed paper around it to catch the glaze overflow. As soon as the glaze was on the cake, I sprinkled on the rest of the bacon pieces.
Bacon Boy thought this cake was delicious. His girlfriend, not sure she would like the chocolate-bacon combination, ended up having two pieces. My husband thought the bacon flavor in the cake was subtle until I added the glaze with the extra bacon bits. He said those were the best bites. What we didn't finish, Bacon Boy took back to school him. The cake was very dark and dense--perfect with coffee.
Happy 21st Birthday, Bacon Boy!