Manly cupcakes sound like a bit of an oxymoron. Well okay, maybe in our gourmet filled world it’s not really a stretch anymore. Yet I don’t think it was that long ago the only cupcakes we could buy were dainty; coming in vanilla or chocolate, and topped with just a few icing options. Now, now cupcakes are chic (I figured the balloon would have popped long ago), they come in every size you can imagine, and almost every flavour known to the world. So a manly cupcake might be pretty straight forward. Throw some peanut butter into the mix, and maybe some bacon on top, or better yet, use a dark beer in a base and voila. Bye bye pink fufu, hello boozy tutu.
Now this post is way behind schedule, no I should say, this post was non-existent until a few days back when I was reminded about this event. Here I was thinking that I’d put this post behind me, and to my surprise, I’d never even started. Shame on me; I know. So here goes. The Manly Cupcake Challenge, which was part of Movember celebrations here in Edmonton, was to be a fun and taste inspiring event. With all participants, including some local establishments, pitting their manly cupcakes against each other for…well, pride, testosterone…oh heck, for fun.
Knowing that the competition would be fierce inside the cake domain, I decided to pull a left hook and go for meat. That’s right…meat. What else is manlier than cupcakes made of meat. Throw away that sugar and chocolate, bring on the beef! Using a luxurious recipe, that included freshly grated parm, and finely chopped bacon, I formed these sticky meat goo chunks into a muffin pan. Thankfully for some foresight, I shaped the meat before baking. After all, this meat isn’t going to rise on its own.
The baking was maybe the most adventurous part, as the crammed cupcake tins started oozing juicy, fatty meat fluids faster than I could bail. Even with a jelly roll pan below, I had hot fat dripping all over the oven. And nothing says a good time like hot fat. Ouch! Once the mancakes were just about cooked, I carefully removed them from their holders, and placed them on a baking sheet to finished cooking. There shape held extremely well, but the colour wasn’t that appealing. So in hopes of turning on some taste buds, I gave each mancake a quick sear in a hot pan.
I trimmed the crust of some fresh bread and pressed a slice into each muffin tin. Into the over for a few minutes, and I now had a crispy bread liner. Who needs to peel back a paper liner, when you can be protected from your mancake with bread. For a finishing touch, I mashed some potatoes and added enough chevre to make it pliable. Working out better than expected, I could easily take a hung of potato, form a layer of icing and call it a cupcake. A last little bit of maple sugar glazed bacon went on top for the garnish. So there you have it. A meat cake for the masses.
Sunday Dinner ManCakes
1 cup whole milk
7 slices of bread (go old school soft, white)
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 pound of bacon (grind or chop it up)
4 large eggs, beaten
1 heaping cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine whole milk and bread. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up.
3. In a large bowl, toss the beef, bacon, bread, cheese, cajun, salt, pepper and parsley.
4. Pour in eggs. Get down and dirty with your hands and mix until combined.
5. Fill muffin tray with meat. Don’t forget to make mounds.
6. Bake until done and juices run clear.
7. Top with mashed potatoes.