Bacon-Laced Chocolate Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 vanilla beans
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 slices bacon
12 ounces 62% to 65% dark chocolate bar, chopped
2 cups whipping cream
5 drops liquid smoke
Edible rose petals (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour two 8x2-inch round cake pans (if cake pans are 8x1 1/2-inch, make three layers or use two 9x1 1/2-inch layers); set aside. Place cocoa powder in a large bowl; gradually add boiling water, whisking until thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Finely chop whole vanilla beans (or process in food processor until fine).
2.In a large mixing bowl beat butter, sugar, vanilla beans, and pure vanilla on medium-high until well combined. Beat in eggs, one by one, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl often. Add the sifted dry ingredients in fourths, alternating with cocoa liquid. Stir slowly to prevent splatter. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat on low about 3 minutes or just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is just barely set. Be careful not to over-bake; cake should slightly resist the pressure of your finger. Let cakes rest for 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Completely cool cakes on a wire racks.
3.Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook bacon until crisp. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings to use in Chocolate Frosting, if desired. Drain bacon on paper towels. Finely chop enough bacon to equal 1/3 cup. Set aside.
4.For the Chocolate Frosting, chop chocolate and place in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of the whipping cream just to boiling; pour over chocolate then add bacon drippings and liquid smoke. Whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup cold cream; whisk to combine. Place in freezer for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally until spreadable. (Watch closely the last 10 minutes; frosting should remain glossy.) Stir the chopped cooked bacon into 1/2 cup of the frosting, if desired. Set aside.
5.Place one cake layer on a plate; spread with the 1/2 cup frosting with bacon. Layer with a second cake. Spread top and sides with remaining Chocolate Frosting. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, let cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Top with rose petals.
Recipe shared from: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chocolate-cakes/bacon-laced-chocolate-cake/