a 12-inch cast-iron skillet; a small disposable piping bag
For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally spray an 8-ounce coffee mug and 12-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare the cake mix in a large bowl according to the package instructions, then add the instant coffee or espresso.
Fill the prepared coffee mug halfway with the cake batter. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared skillet. Place in the oven and bake until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes for the mug cake and 25 to 30 minutes for the skillet cake. Let cool completely.
Remove the mug cake from the mug. Slice off the crowned top. Place the cake back into the mug cut-side down so that the flat bottom is now on the top. If the top of the skillet cake is crowned or domed, slice off the domed part to make a flat and even top.
For the mug cake icing and garnish: In a small bowl whisk together the caramel sauce and cream. Pour on top of the mug cake in the mug to give it a coffee-with-cream-like appearance.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Transfer the melted white chocolate to a small disposable piping bag. Cut off the tip to create an 1/8-inch opening. Pipe the white chocolate onto the lined sheet tray in three squiggly lines that are joined at the bottom to resemble steam. Repeat with the remaining white chocolate. (You will have extra "steam" garnish in case one breaks.) Place in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Use to garnish the coffee mug cake.
For the skillet cake icing: Add the cream to a medium pot. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk to blend everything together. Add the finely ground chocolate wafers to the chocolate mixture and stir until completely combined. Pour over the skillet cake and smooth with a spatula until it is a nice even layer. Place in the refrigerator to let the icing set for about 30 minutes.
For the eggs: Line a sheet tray with plastic wrap or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and 1 tablespoon water and mix to combine to bloom the gelatin.
In a small pot, combine the cream, milk, granulated sugar and salt. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Transfer to a measuring cup. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the mixture cools and starts to thicken. (You can place the measuring cup in a bowl of cold water to help it thicken quickly; you want it to be the consistency of thick pancake batter.) If the mixture gets too thick, place it in a bowl of warm water or microwave it for about 5 seconds.
Remove the chilled sheet tray from the freezer. Pour about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the prepared frozen sheet tray in an irregular circle to make an "egg white," making sure to leave room to make three more egg whites. Place one of the canned apricot halves "egg yolks" cut-side down into the center of an egg white. Repeat with the remaining cream mixture and apricot halves. Place in the refrigerator and chill until the whites are set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
To assemble: On one side of the skillet cake, place two "eggs" on top. Place three strips of candied bacon on the other side of the skillet cake. Serve the extra eggs and candied bacon on a plate on the side and with the coffee mug cake garnished with white chocolate steam.
Jeff Mauro's Pig Candy:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the brown sugar in a plate or sheet pan. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and spray with cooking spray.
Gently press the bacon into the brown sugar until mostly coated. Arrange the bacon on the rack. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the bacon is super crisp and golden, 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the thickness. Let cool on the rack.