Friday 4 September 2015

Maple Bacon Cupcakes filled with Creamy Banana Custard - Gluten Free

This is my version of a breakfast cupcakes... everything i would want with pancakes. Pancakes or waffles are my favourite breakie, and which only goes better with crispy bacon, fried banana and lots of maple syrup! Has taken me about 6 months to finally get around to creating these master pieces. I knew what elements i needed to include but it was coming up with what and how that was the issue. Finally on Wednesday morning it came to me so i got creating. 
These cupcakes start off with a slightly cinnamon spiced fluffy vanilla cake. I then made a thick and creamy vanilla custard which i mashed over ripe banana into and filled the centre of the cakes. Then iced with a maple cream cheese and finally topped with the crispy maple bacon!
At first, i was unsure of how the bacon (savoury and salty) would work with the rest of the cupcake. Was very pleasantly surprised how well it worked on the palette, kind of like salted caramel, the flavours really balanced well. Next time i might use blueberries in the custard rather than banana and see how that works out. Enjoy the recipes xx

Vanilla and cinnamon spiced cupcakes:
1 cups Gluten Free Baking Flour*
1/2 cup Ground Almonds 
1 teaspoons Baking Powder **
100 g softened unsalted butter 
1/4 cup Castor Sugar 
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1/2 cup milk 
 * Can also use regular flour if not needing to be GF 
** Doubled check to make sure these products do not contain Gluten 
Method: Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers. (I made mini cupcakes so lined 2x 24 mini muffin tin cases with papers).
Beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth and light in colour. Add brown & caster sugar and beat until light and fluffy, add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
Add the flour, milk, ground almonds, baking powder and cinnamon, beat till just combined. Be careful not to over-mix as this will toughen the mixture and result in a heavy cupcakes.
Spoon or scoop mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. (if you are making mini cupcakes bake for 10-12 mins, so a little golden on top) Remove cupcakes from the trays after 5 mins and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.

Thick and Creamy Vanilla Custard + Banana:
2 cups milk 
2 egg yolks 
½ cup sugar 
1 tbsp flour (Can use gluten free all purpose flour or corn flour)
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 medium sized Banana, over ripe is best for taste
Method: Heat milk until small bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks with sugar and flour until smooth. Whisk in hot milk. Transfer to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce comes to a simmer. Cook 1 minute longer then remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Once custard has cooled, mash banana and fold through custard. This can be made a few hours or even a day in advance to ensure it is cooled in time to fill cupcakes.

Maple Cream Cheese icing:
150g Cream Cheese 
100g Butter 
3 1/2 cup Icing Sugar 
1 T Milk (may need more or less depending on desired consistency) 
2 tsp Vanilla Essence or Vanilla paste 
1 tsp Maple Flavour Oil (i use LorAnn Flavours)
Method: Beat cream cheese on high until light and whipped. Add the butter and continue to beat till light and fluffy. Add vanilla, maple oil and icing sugar (about 1 cup at a time) till icing has a fluffy and whipped constancy - this may require more or less milk than stated in the recipe. 

Candied Bacon:
6 rashers of Bacon (Depends on how much bacon you want to top the cupcakes - i used 6 rashers and wish i did more. Seems like a large amount but reduces in size when cooked)
1/4 cup Brown sugar 
2 tablespoon butter 
Method: Preheat oven to 200 degrees and prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
Chop bacon in small pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over a medium heat. Once melted, add half the brown sugar (can add more if you think it needs it later). Add half the bacon and cook for 5 mins or till cooked though. Turn it onto the prepared baking tray. Repeat these steps with the remaining bacon.
Grill bacon for 5-7mins or till crispy. Make sure the bacon is even spread and may need stirring around the tray to evenly grill. 
Leave to cool and your ready to go.

Assembling the cupcakes: 
You will need the: 1. Vanilla Cupcakes - recipe as above, 2. Banana Custard - recipe as above or this can be store bought and add the banana, 3. The Maple Cream Cheese icing all ready to go and 4. Candied Bacon.

Using a small knife, cut a small hole in the middle of the cupcakes and core the inside (this will not be used to feel free to eat it and taste test). Fill the cupcakes with the banana custard - easiest to pipe this but you can also spoon it in. Pipe the maple cream cheese icing over the top  of the cupcake - make sure this is a smooth constancy. Sprinkle the candied bacon over the top of icing - you may want to add sprinkles or flowers to the top also if you wish! Enoy xx

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