Ever wanted to have an epic pork feast? Here’s a recipe for the most epic pork feast ever:
Take several massive roasted pork hocks.
Combine with a couple of kilos of Chinese roast pork belly.
Add in a generous amount of American style ribs.
And place into the mix several slices of slow roasted pork belly. It’s all looking very brown at this stage, but persevere.
Here’s a bit of greenery – include some green beans fried with curry paste. And pork, of course.
As well as Chinese broccoli stir fried with oyster sauce and pork (natch). Amateurs would probably stop at this point, but to become an expert at pork feasting, you need to keep going.
Try adding bacon and egg ice cream.
And finally, top it all off with maple syrup and bacon cupcakes.
Wait wait. I know you’re thinking I’m firmly in Craaaazytown at this point, but take a breath. Relax. This is the way to pork enlightenment. Ever heard the phrase “bacon makes everything better”? This is how you test it out. Plus it wouldn’t be a complete pork feast if I hadn’t worked bacon into a dessert.
To make the cupcakes, I crumbled crispy bacon into a cupcake batter that had also been flavoured with maple syrup. They were then topped with a Swiss meringue buttercream (my new favourite frosting) to which I had also added maple syrup. I didn’t get quite enough maple syrup flavour from the buttercream, so I also drizzled some maple syrup over the frosted cupcakes and garnished them with leftover crispy bacon.
And did they work? Well, I am biased because I made them, but I think so. I would suggest drizzling more maple syrup over the top to get them sweeter, to counteract the meaty salty bacon. But apart from that, they were the perfect end to our epic pork feast.
(PS: please use real maple syrup. Don’t even bother with the fake stuff.)
- 6 slices of bacon
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 95g caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (use the real stuff)
- 2 eggs
- 210g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- Fry up the bacon until it’s crispy. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with liners.
- In an electric mixer, cream the butter on high for a couple of minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the caster sugar a third at a time, beating for several minutes before the next addition. Add the maple syrup and mix to combine.
- When the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium for a minute after each one.
- Add the flour and milk alternately to the butter mixture in several batches and beat on low speed until just combined. Take half of the bacon and crumble it up. Add it to the batter and mix until just combined.
- Spoon mixture into the cupcake liners and bake for about 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the trays immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack before icing/frosting with Swiss meringue buttercream (or any buttercream of your choice) before topping with crispy bacon.
- Adapted from Martha Stewart
- 280g caster sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- 370g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Place the sugar and egg whites in the heat proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes up to 60°C on a thermometer. It should take 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture is completely cool and has formed stiff and glossy peaks. This will take about 10 minutes. (Side note: you have meringue at this stage – you can eat it or top cakes/cupcakes with it if desired.)
- Switch to the flat paddle beater. On low speed, add cubes of butter one at a time until it’s all incorporated. If it curdles, just keep beating – it should become smooth again. When all the butter is added, add the vanilla and maple syrup and beat until just combined.
- Pipe on top of cupcakes. Add a drizzle of additional maple syrup and decorate with the rest of the crispy bacon.
- (Once piped, it’s best eaten on the same day. Unpiped, the frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week – when ready to use, let it come up to room temperature and rewhip in mixer for 5 minutes. It can also be frozen for 6-8 weeks. Let it thaw completely, then rewhip for 5 minutes in the mixer before using.)