This is a bacon laced chocolate cake I made for my daughter’s birthday yesterday. Notice the three candles…they were to designate “thirty something” her husband said. Here’s the recipe:
Bacon-Laced Chocolate Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 vanilla beans
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 slices bacon
1 Tbl. Bacon drippings
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup Ghiaradelli dark cocoa
lb. confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour three 8” round cake pans OR two 9” round cake pans. Set aside.
Place cocoa powder in large bowl; gradually add boiling water, whisking until thoroughly combined. I think makes the chocolate taste smoother and the cake moister.
2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla beans, and pure vanilla on medium-high until well combined. Beat in eggs, one by one, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides often. (I could not locate vanilla beans in the store here but I think it would be YUM to have had them. Definitely use them if you can find them.)
Add sifted dry ingredients in fourths, alternating with cocoa liquid.
Pour batter into prepared pans, filling pans about 2/3 full. Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is just barely set. Be careful not to over-bake. Cake should slightly resist pressure of your finger.
Let cake rest 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. This is a DARK chocolate cake! That means it’s good for you, right?
Now, here’s the story about the frosting: The recipe here is NOT the recipe I made for this birthday cake. I followed the frosting recipe (which was an expensive recipe calling for 12 oz. of 36% cacao chocolate and a pint of whipping cream) and it never thickened though I did everything it said.) Here is the recipe I will use next time. If you want to try the original frosting recipe, buy Sept., 2011 Better Homes and Gardens. That’s where I found this recipe.
Cook the five slices of bacon until crisply. Drain on plate with paper towels. Once cool, crumble bacon and set aside.
Melt 1/4 c. margarine or butter. Add 1-2 Tbl. Bacon drippings. Add 1/2 cup dark cocoa, 6 Tbl. Milk or buttermilk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar. Add more milk if necessary to make frosting spreadable.
Remove 1/2 cup frosting and add 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Spread this 1/2 cup frosting on top of first layer of cake.
Place the second layer on top and frost with remaining frosting.
Top with remaining bacon.
There are a few more steps than usual to a chocolate cake, but I think the first step difference is what makes this chocolate cake superior to any other chocolate cake. I hope you enjoy the cake and find a reason to make it soon.
I gave Sara the Fall table topper/wallhanging for a gift. She was surprised! I had made some travel pouches for her as well. I don’t know where the photos went! Sorry, but they were cute! One held a $15 gift certificate to iTunes from her Dad which she always loves. Lastly, and one of the reasons, besides the pouches, that I didn’t quilt this week was the gift her son, Jack, and I planned for her.
Several weeks ago when Jack went with us to Muster Field Farm (see earlier posts), we saw some needle-felted necklaces and decided then and there that this was something we could work on together to make for his mom’s birthday. We needle-felted about 30 balls that night and then I chose 9 of them that were of equal size to use for the necklace. At first, I strung all 30 on elastic thread but after giving Jack a choice between the full necklace of balls or a combination of balls and metal, I end up making this:
Yes, I did the metal work. I’m still a novice in that area but I think it came out pretty well for a first time.
Here’s a close up of the balls Jack made:
Sara even had a blouse on that went very nicely with her new necklace! Can you notice she also has earrings to match???
It was a fun evening and now I need to run off and do some catching up on my Civil War blocks. The electricity went off this afternoon for the entire afternoon so I’m definitely behind.