An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Bourbon and Maple-Glazed Bacon Cake

 It is recipe swap time again. Christianna of Burwell General Store located a new vintage cookbook called 'Nebraska Pionner Cookbook', featuring this month's recipe 'Pork Fruit Cake'. You read that correctly. If you need visual affirmation, please see below for details of handling the one pound pork.

But actually let's backtrack a second. One of my New Year's resolutions for the past few years has been to begin liking bourbon. This ongoing desire has been on of those nagging things in the back of the brain. I have consciously made myself like a lot of food items in the past few years. I used to have an aversion to eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and olives. It was so strong, that one might think I was a Mediterranean omelet in my past life. To top it all off, my aversion to seafood is even stronger. So much so, that I am quite sure I was a mermaid or pirate in my past life. That one is still going strong.

But over the past few years, I grabbed the fork, and started slowly but surely, exposing myself the above-mentioned items. And to my pleasant surprise, have come to love them. I now always have olives and eggs in my refrigerator. Tomatoes and mushrooms make a lesser appearance, but appearance nonetheless.

So recently, I drove myself to the grocery store and bought a bottle of bourbon. Maybe if I keep it in my house, I can try a sip here and there and learn to like it. The idea of sipping on a warm shot of bourbon is quite nice. And my bourbon-loving friend J came over last night, and helped me through the exercise.

So naturally, as I was coming up with an alternative recipe to the pork fruit cake, I thought, why not toss a little bourbon into the cake batter? It goes well with maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. I have recently learned of candied bacon, so this seemed like a natural addition to the recipe. Everyone in Seattle seems to have bacon admiration, so why not join my neighbors and cook it into a dish that doesn't normally have bacon. T and M came over for brunch this morning after the hardest yoga class I have ever experienced...108 sun salutes. So we came home, ate quiche, bacon cake, peach bread, berries, and champagne..and life was good.

The best part of post-party remnants, is the evidence of a fun time.

Bourbon and Maple-Glazed Bacon Cake
8 to 12 servings

4 thick slices bacon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or generously butter.

Pan-fry bacon slices in a skillet over medium heat until almost done, about 6 minutes per side. Pour in maple syrup and sprinkle with black pepper. Cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until bacon begins to crisp and maple syrup and bacon drippings start bubbling, about 5 more minutes. Remove bacon from pan; let cool on a plate until crisp. Crumble bacon when cooled.

Whisk maple syrup, molasses, eggs, bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda together in a bowl until evenly combined. Stir in flour; mix until smooth. Fold 3/4 of the crumbled bacon into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake until the edges of the cake begin to pull away from the sides and the center bounces back if you press it, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cake with brown sugar and remaining 1/4 bacon crumbles. Bake until brown sugar starts to bubble and bacon crisps, about 5 more minutes.

Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.


Lana said...

I did the same thing throughout the years: I learn how to LOVE avocados, cumin, cilantro, and mixing sweet with savory:) I just could not stand to miss out on so many different tastes that the rest of the world enjoyed:)
I am glad you made the cake that includes pork in it, as I could not see it in my head. But this looks wonderful, unlike the pictures I had in my mind of the original recipe:)
I am still to make candied bacon, so you might have inspired me with your post:)

Alex said...

you always do such a nice take on the swap Alli! great idea! sounds like a perfect addition to your brunch! where did you take this crazy yoga class?!

Pola M said...

I admire you for trying to like food you don't like! I am not sure I'd be able to do it!

Jacqueline said...

Congrats for actually mak a cake with pork in it! I was a little afraid to try :) And yay for learning how to like new foods, and 108 sun salutations!!

Monique said...

Bacon is so right for everything, good idea to bring it in here. And I too want to like Bourbon, but I'm more of a gin girl. While I do cook with Bourbon, you inspire me to keep trying it in a glass. Nice Swap.

Tv Food and Drink said...

Bourbon is good, but be careful. I had the same resolution one year. Now, I'm in a 12-step! ;) Gary

Rachel said...

hahahaha - training yourself to like bourbon, huh? That's a new year's resolution I've never heard before!
I bet this cake was absolutely wonderful, especially after 108 sun salutations!

Mary said...

Loving this recipe recipe and the story along with it. Your brunch sounds like a lot of fun!

Laura Rees said...

I'm pretty sure that "One of my New Year's resolutions for the past few years has been to begin liking bourbon." is one of my all time favorite quotes!