Introduction: Fake-Out Cupcakes
These are not cupcakes. They are not sweet. Instead, they are a savory herb and bacon flavor, like a tricked-out biscuit, but made to look like chocolate cupcakes. To create this effect, I colored the batter with a liberal amount of brown food coloring and topped them with cream cheese piped on to look like pastel-tinted "frosting." Green herbs can still show through the brown coloring so I infused the milk with herbs and strained them out of the milk before preparing the batter. This recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes.
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Step 1: Ingredients
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 teas salt
- 1 teas sugar
- 2 teas onion powder
- 1/2 teas garlic powder
- 1/2 teas dried rosemary
- 1/2 teas dried thyme
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup bacon bits
- 8oz whipped cream cheese
- brown food coloring
- red food coloring
- yellow food coloring
Step 2: Baking
Optional Step: Combine 1 cup milk with 1/2 teas rosemary and 1/2 teas thyme. Cover and place in refrigerator several hours before you are ready to make the batter. Then you can strain out the herbage, allowing you to have their flavor without seeing the pesky green herbs which can still show through the "chocolate cake."
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a dozen muffin tins with cupcake paper.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder. Make a well in the center.
If you have added herbs to the milk, strain the herbs at this time. Otherwise, add the herbs to the milk now. In a small container combine egg, oil, and milk. Add a liberal amount of brown food coloring to the liquids. I added about 2 teas. of gel. You may need more or less. Stir the liquids and coloring. Ajust the coloring until it is a few shades darker than the desired "chocolate" color.
Pour the liquids into the center of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the bacon bits.
Fill muffin tins to about half full and bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
Step 3: Final Touches
Allow the muffins to cool completely. Then frost with whipped cream cheese. To create the colored effect, allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature. (I'm afraid my frosting job was done hastily, with really cold cream cheese, so they aren't nearly as neat looking as they should be--don't use cold cream cheese.) Color half of the cream cheese yellow and the other half pink. Fill a pastry bag with both colors, half on each side, and add a star tip. As you pipe, the colors will swirl together.
Keep these refrigerated when not on display enticing unwitting sweet-tooths.
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