Bacon and maple syrup tea cakes
Makes 12 | prep 40 mins | total time
- 180g plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ freshly grated nutmeg
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 215g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125ml whole milk
- 3 rashers smoked back bacon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, for brushing, plus extra for drizzling
- 12 whole pecans, toasted
For the frosting:
- 30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- 60ml double cream
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, around 7-10 minutes. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time until evenly incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
- Add one third of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, followed by a splash of milk. Repeat until all the dry ingredients and milk are added; mix evenly.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the cake mixture in two parts.
- Divide the batter evenly between the holes of a buttered 12-hole cupcake or muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes, or until just brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Turn the oven up to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 8. Lay the bacon rashers out on a baking tray lined with foil and brush with the maple syrup. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp. Cut the bacon into 12 small strips.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter for 2 minutes until soft, then add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and double cream, beating until smooth and creamy. Pipe the frosting on to the cooled cakes, then top with a toasted pecan, a strip of crispy bacon, a drizzle of maple syrup and a grinding of cracked black pepper.