There is a coffee shop in Washington that is obsessive about the perfect espresso drink. Actually, there are many such places in Washington, shops where not only the coffee is deep, slightly bitter and so perfectly strong, but the baristas freak out if there is even a smudge of grounds on the love of their lives, their reason for living—their precious espresso machines. If you’re curious, you do very much want your cappuccino made by baristas who revere their espresso machines on the same level as children. Shiny, steamy Italian children.
It’s totally normal.
But there’s a catch. The absolute perfect cappuccino takes time and while the ten minutes it takes to prep the foam, brew the espresso and perfectly pour a wet foam top is absolutely worth it after the fact, let me tell you; waiting ten minutes for necessary caffeine is a trial. This may seem extreme, but it’s true. If there is a hell on Earth, it’s the ten minute purgatory that stretches out between ordering a cappuccino at Baked & Wired and clutching the eight oz. cup of perfection in your hand.
Always, always worth it at the end of the road. But in-between, I’m transformed into an un-caffeinated miniature gremlin.
Thank god then, on the other side of the room is a table stacked with the most delicious of baked goods. In the in-between, when the espresso bar is literally taunting you as the Baked and Wired baristas do their best to deliver espresso to the addicted masses, the baked bar on the other side of the shop is heaven. Cupcakes—or Cake Cups as they affectionately call them (oh so hip*)—coffee cakes, brownies locked and loaded with an array of toppings, stuffed cookies, marshmallow bars, handpies…
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Today, that light is the wonderful, ridiculous Elvis Cupcake, a riff on the Unporked Elvis at Baked and Wired. A moist, light banana cake filled with chocolate fudge filling and topped with a luscious, velvety peanut butter frosting. Chocolate drizzle and bacon optional.
Now, what do you say? BACON OPTIONAL? I know, I know absolute blasphemy. (Who knew this post would take such a theological air? Oops.)
Blame it on an unfortunate run-in with a dark chocolate, bacon pumpkin truffle last fall. But this Elvis Cupcake is so perfectly sweet and surprising with complementary banana, chocolate and peanut butter flavors, that I just couldn’t bring myself to add a bacon crumble. Against the King’s wishes, but trust me, it can stand on its own.
Recipe on the following page.