Makin' whoopie: Red velvet whoopie pies with Italian brown butter and bacon buttercream
Not part of the plan.
The whole point of making red velvet whoopie pies with Italian brown butter and bacon buttercream was to highlight how peeved I've become with the prominence of bacon-themed desserts. Cured pork belly's in everything, and it's got to stop.
Bacon brioche bread pudding? No thanks.
Simplified bacon chocolate crunch bar with gianduja, peanut butter, and feuilletine? Actually, that sounds pretty awesome.
Bacon-glazed donuts? Alright, my love for donuts compels me to try this, but I swear I'll resent myself just a little for it.
As Eric Vellend pointed out in the Toronto Star, bacon is a "food trend with the half-life of uranium."
I thought I could mock the fad by making the trendiest dessert I could think of, and let's be honest, like bacon, red velvet, whoopie pies, and brown butter have oversaturated the dessert scene of late. My only regret is that I didn't batter and fry each pie (or at least add balls of deep fried butter to them).
Like many of my plans, this one backfired. The first problem is that my red velvet whoopie pies look, well, brown and lumpen (the word 'turd' comes to mind). The second, and larger problem, at least for someone trying to mock a trend, is that Italian brown butter and bacon buttercream tastes pretty awesome.
The smokiness of bacon melds beautifully with the complex flavours of brown butter, while its crispness adds a snappy contrast to the silky texture of buttercream. It's not quite chocolate and peanut butter, but everyone that's tasted it agrees it's pretty damn good.
So these pies have me reevaluating: Why do I loathe all that bacon in my sweets?
Don't get me wrong, bacon is great. My favourite bacon in Toronto comes from The Healthy Butcher, though I made this dish with delectable oink from Cumbrae's. I use bacon frequently in savoury dishes, and I always have a ramekin of bacon fat sitting in my fridge to sauté pretty much anything.
But donuts and chocolate don't need bacon (though nothing can rescue a Bounty or Big Turk), especially while baconless brussels sprouts still stalk our planet.
And that's my problem: adding bacon to everything is too damn easy.
Bacon has become a shortcut. No, that's not far enough.
Bacon is a cult, and we need to be deprogrammed.