August 21, 2018

Bacon Cupcake Maple Syrup Ice Cream Cone | Ever After High

(Originally posted September 2015 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast episode 40: Ever After High.)
"That night, I didn't get a wink of sleep. My eyes ached as I dragged myself to the Castleteria and reflexively mumbled my breakfast order. '3 little candied bacon cupcakes with Maple Syrup-on a Time ice cream in a Wonderland waffle cone, please.'"

– "Ginger Breadhouse Takes the Cake", Ever After High story bookmark

          Oh, my fairy godmother! This food was just too specific and crazy to pass up! It obviously means something to Ginger–perhaps as a comfort food or favorite food–and sounded challenging in the first instant, and then completely doable the next when I considered it by its parts: sugar baked bacon, mini cupcakes, maple ice cream, and a decorated waffle cone. I made a paper cone wrapper to make it a little more Wonderland-iful, but that's totally optional. Here's the link to the template I made though, if you're interested.

* In the podcast episode I mention that the maple ice cream was soft, but if you let it sit in the freezer longer (as instructed in the first step below), it'll firm up nicely.


Ginger's Special Breakfast Ice Cream

Ingredients:
Maple Ice Cream
1 1/2 Quart Vanilla Ice Cream, softened
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (try to find one that's more viscous, not super runny)
Candied Bacon
6 Strips Center Cut Bacon, uncooked
1/3 Cup Sugar
Decorated Wafle Cone
Large Waffle Cone (as mentioned in the podcast, I bought a couple from Baskin Robins for $.99 a piece)
1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips/Morsels
1/4 Cup Light Blue Candy Melts (or other fun color)
E-Z Thin Candy Dipping Aid (optional)
Edible Gold Glitter Stars (I used Wilton, but there are other brands that are the same)
Edible Little Pearl Dragees/Sprinkles
Gingerbread Cupcakes
1/4 Cup Butter, room temperature/soft
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tbsp. Applesauce
1/4 Cup Water OR Coffee
1/4 Cup Molasses
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
3 Chocolate Pocky Sticks (or other thin/small biscuit stick. Pretzel sticks will work too)
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. Cream Cheese (not the Whipped kind), softened
1/4 Cup Butter, room temperature/soft
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 tsp. Maple Flavoring
Tiny Pinch of Salt

Directions:
Maple Ice Cream: With the ice cream still in its original container, stir in the maple syrup until it's well combined & then put the lid on & place the ice cream container in the freezer for at least 48 hours.

Candied Bacon: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking tray (with sides) with aluminum foil & place 1-2 wire cooling racks on top. Spread the sugar on a large plate or shallow bowl & lightly dredge each piece of bacon in it, both sides, & then lay the pieces across the wire rack(s). Slide the tray into the oven & bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked. Remove the pan from the oven & allow the bacon to cool for a minute or 2. Use a pair of tongs or other utensil to twirl/curl/spiral the bacon strips so that as it cools the sugar will harden & the bacon will keep its curly shape. Once spiraled & cooled completely, break into several little curls about 1 1/2" - 2" long. Pick out 3 of the prettiest ones & set them aside until needed.

Decorated Waffle Cone: Have an ice cream cone holder or other contraption (like a hole in a box) ready to sit the cone upright in. Laying the cone down on parchment paper is all right, but ideally you want the chocolate drips you'll be making to run down & harden vertically. Melt the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl or cup in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until it is fully melted & smooth. Adding in a little bit of the optional E-Z Thin shavings really helps with the smoothness & pourable-ness. Let the chocolate cool for a minute so it's not terribly hot & crazy runny.

Holding the waffle cone in one hand, use the other hand to spoon in & spread around a little bit of chocolate to coat the inside of the cone. Next, spoon/spread some chocolate around the outside of the cone, going down about 1" from the rim, letting the chocolate drip in several places. Gently blow on the chocolate t help it cool a little bit more & then sprinkle on some of the edible gold stars. Sit the cone upright in the holder & let the chocolate harden. To speed up this process place the holder with cone in the freezer for a minute or 2.

Melt the blue candy melts the same way you melted the dark chocolate & let it cool just a titch. Spoon the melt around the rim of the cone (not down the inside) & let the drips roll down over the chocolate–not covering the chocolate, only over lapping it as you can see in the photos. Blow on it a little & then place on many of the little pearl dragees (this makes it reminiscent of Maddie Hatter, my favorite EAH Wonderlandian!). Sit upright in the cone holder again & let harden (on the counter or in the freezer. Freezer is a good idea, just because you'll be putting ice cream in it).

Gingerbread Cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the applesauce, water (or coffee), & molasses until well combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & spices. Mixing on low speed, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture to combine & then mix on medium-low speed for a minute or so. Preheat your oven again to 350ºF & grease a mini muffin/cupcake pan. Fill the cups about 2/3 full, tap on the counter, & then slide the pan into the oven on the middle rack. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool & then remove the cupcakes from the pan & place on a cooling rack or plate.

Choose 3 pretty little cupcakes & use a skewer to poke a hole into each bottom, making sure you don't poke all the way through. Break (or bite) the pocky sticks so they end up being about 2 1/2"-3" long. Gently push 1 stick each into the bottom of the 3 cupcakes, & then lay them down on their sides until ready to use.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting: In a mixing bowl on medium speed beat together the cream cheese & butter. Add in the sifted powdered sugar & beat on low speed until fully incorporated, & then add in the flavoring & salt & return the speed to medium until thoroughly combined. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag or plastic baggie with a snipped corner. Place in a bowl or cup, opening pointing up so none of the frosting escapes, until needed.

Putting it all together:  Scoop a generous amount of maple ice cream into your beautiful Wonderland cone, enough so it makes a nice mound at the top, & then gently push the cupcakes, pocky side down, into the ice cream in a little cluster. Grab your frosting bag & pipe a thick, quick spiral onto each cupcake, & then place your 3 chosen bacon curls on, 1 for each cupcake. You can do all of this while holding the cone, or while it's sitting upright in it's holder. Now your spell-icious creation is complete! If you're not quite ready to serve it, or if you're making more than 1, go ahead & place it upright in the freezer until it's eating time. Party time. Anytime!

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