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Thursday 20 February 2014

Sluttishly Sweet: Bacon Basket Maple Muffins

We could fill an Encyclopedia with the number of lovingly written recipes featuring bacon here at Domestic Sluttery: we've made those famous romantic roses, put it in cookies, topped a whole meatloaf in it and even flavoured our cocktails with it. It is the building block of most of my favourite dishes, and I'm never happier than when it's twinned with its perfect life-partner, maple syrup. This springy maple muffin is divine when encased in its own little candied bacon basket. We've made a bacon lattice before and, while it may look complicated, it's a doddle and you'll have bacon-encased muffins in no time.

Bacon Basket Maple Muffins (makes 6 muffins)
You'll need:
  • 12 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 75g dark brown sugar (plus extra to coat the bacon lattices)
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp wheat flour or bran 
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 60ml milk
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • dash vanilla essence
Make it!
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 240C/475F/gas mark 9.
  2. For the bacon baskets, slicing your bacon rashers lengthways and then snipping them in half. 
  3. Lay four strips out vertically and then weave them together, one strip over, another under, one strip over, another under. Continue alternating until you have a four by four lattice.
  4. Repeat until you have 6 little bacon lattices. 
  5. Gently rub about 1 teaspoon of dark brown sugar into each lattice before grabbing your muffin tray and placing it upside down on a baking tray. (When using sugary bacon, a silicone tray is much easier to deal with than a metal one.) 
  6. Carefully lift each lattice and firmly shape it around each of the muffin tray mounds sugared-side up.
  7. Pop them in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges crisp up. The bacon will shrink and curl away from the mounds as it cooks, but it will still hold the bowl shape you need.
  8. For the muffins: combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  9. In a separate bowl, add the milk, maple syrup, oil, egg and vanilla essence and whisk. 
  10. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold them together.
  11. Remove your bacon cups from the oven and lower the temp to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Remove each of the bacon baskets and flip your muffin tray right side up and lining each of the muffin divots with a bacon basket. 
  12. Spoon the muffin mix into each basket and pop back into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  13. Once done carefully remove from the tray and place on a rack to cool. Alternatively, if you're like me, don't wait at all and shove a hot one straight into your face.

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