Chocolate-covered bacon (redux)

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“Boyfriend Unit? We’re invited to D’s birthday party. What does he like?”

“Meat.”

“Surely he likes other things than meat. What is he interested in?”

“Meat.”

“You’re a lot of help in gift planning. OK; wanna make him chocolate bacon, a big box of it?”

“If we make that I want to EAT IT.”

“Well you can’t. It’s a gift. You’re cooking the bacon.”

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(Because dear reader, I don’t cook bacon. I don’t clean ovens either.)

“Wuah you didn’t clean the stove, I will have to photoshop it!!”

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“Look. perfectly tempered chocolate!”

“What time is his party starting?”

“Uh, 7pm? 7:30pm? Lemme check… SHIT.”

“What??”

“It started at 5.”

“We don’t have enough time to temper the white chocolate.”

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“Or the milk chocolate.”

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“That’s ok, I can totally temper chocolate on the fly, watch this.”

(later)

“Happy birthday D! Here!”

“EVERYBODY BACK UP, IT’S MINE.”

(later)

“I’d say that was a success, wouldn’t you?”

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Candied bacon

Are you trying to win an argument, or earn forgiveness? Perhaps somebody in your life had a bad day? Do you ever just look at a situation and think, “I wish people would just smile.”?  I have two suggestions for you.

Make candied bacon. All sorrows will be forgotten.

Make chocolate-covered bacon. You will be elevated from mere mortal to goddess.

Tonight I made brown sugar candied bacon, maple syrup candied bacon, and chocolate-covered bacon. I did this heinous thing because Boyfriend had a bad morning, and I wanted to put a smile on his face. Oh, did I ever!

Before I got to work on this, I consulted my bacon guru M, who introduced me to Epic Meal Time, and loves all thing bacon. (Actually M coached me through cooking my first tray of bacon.) After listening to his sage advice on the questionable art of candying bacon, I got started.

Time required: 1 hr

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $18.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • large cookie tray
  • tin foil
  • cooling rack
  • basting brush

Ingredients:

  • package of bacon
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 4-6 TBSP dark brown sugar
  • 1 square semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Line the baking sheet with tin foil, and place the cooling rack on top of the sheet.

2. Place the bacon onto the rack and don’t let the pieces touch.  Pictured above the tray are dishes of brown sugar, chocolate, and pure Nova Scotia maple syrup.

3. I used a large spoon to sprinkle sugar onto the first two strips, and pressed down with the spoon to get it flat.  The middle strip is plain, because it’s getting coated in chocolate later.  The two strips on the right have been basted on both sides with maple syrup, although you can’t tell.

4. I baked it in 6 stages:

  • 8 minutes, flip and reapply sugar and syrup
  • 8 minutes, flip and reapply
  • 5 minutes, flip and reapply
  • 5 minutes, just flip
  • 5 minutes, just flip
  • 5 minutes, just flip
  • after 36 minutes you’re done, remove from oven
  • blot both sides of the plain pieces (but not the others), and let all the pieces sit to cool

If you were thinking of skipping using tinfoil, don’t. By this point the caramelized sugar started smoking. I wasn’t positive that it had cooked long enough but after letting it sit for a few minutes it felt very crisp.

5. Once the bacon has cooled, melt the chocolate and use a spoon to coat one side of the plain strip. Let it sit for  awhile before picking it up by the edges to flip, and coat the other side. I re-heated the chocolate so it would be easy to work with.

My plan was to use milk chocolate, but it seized. Boyfriend requested bittersweet chocolate but we are out, so he got semi-sweet instead.

6. After coating the second side, let it firm up. Once it’s as hardened it’s ready.  I let it sit around 30 minutes so it was still a bit soft. If you want more of a candy bar feeling I imagine you’ll need to let it sit a lot longer.

Verdict: I made this for Boyfriend because his morning got off to a bad start and he was in a foul mood for most of the day – until he walked in the door. Once he saw what I was making, I had to beat him off with a spoon.

First we tasted the brown sugar pieces. Boyfriend said, “Hmm. It’s good… it’s pleasant…it’s nice. Not too crunchy, but not chewy. I don’t know if I can describe it.”

Next we tried the maple syrup pieces, which tasted just like regular bacon, albeit more maple flavoured.

We finished with the chocolate, which I thought was vile, but as soon as he took a bite, Boyfriend said, “Oh yeah! Oh yum! We have a winner!”

Once his raging taste buds calmed down, Boyfriend said , “I really liked the brown sugar but – actually no, I’m going to say the chocolate is my favourite.”

I thought the chocolate-covered bacon had a strange texture, and a smokey after taste, which was not present in the other pieces. Not being a bacon fan, I did find the brown sugar pieces tolerable, and kind of interesting to eat.

Playlist: Bambi – Little April Showers

Patty’s maple bacon brownies

Today, in a gesture of overwhelming self-sacrifice, I am making a dessert with bacon for Boyfriend. He doesn’t know it yet. I’m meeting him at a bar later to celebrate something, and I will be arriving with bacon brownies.

Why is this a gesture of self-sacrifice?

Well dear reader: I don’t like bacon.

Some people, when they find out, assume:

  1. I am allergic
  2. I have a religious restriction
  3. I am insane

But they are wrong. I just don’t like it. I love pulled pork and ham, but bacon does nothing for me. Boyfriend’s parents almost crashed the car when they found out.

“But how?” they gasped. “How can anybody dislike bacon?!”

Well, if you are curious why I don’t eat bacon you’ll have to make it to the end of this post.

Good to know before you start: I assume that regular bacon from the grocery store will work, but since we are celebrating a special occasion, I went to the butcher shop and got a pound of premium bacon.

I used Nova Scotia maple syrup from Maple Berry Farms in Fenwick. If you do not have real maple syrup, well…. I feel sorry for you. I picked up this bottle on my trip home in the spring.

Kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan 8″ x 8″
  • 2 cookie trays

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 TBSP real maple syrup
  • 1¼ C unsalted butter
  • 1¼ C granulated white sugar
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 2 TSP vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C flour

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Line cookie trays and baking pan with tinfoil, do not grease.

2. Place bacon on tray and baste with maple syrup. Cook until it is a) not raw, and b) not burnt.

When you decide it’s done, place it on plates lined with paper towel and blot it well, on both sides. Meanwhile…

3. In microwave on High, melt the butter. This will take around 2 min, stirring every 30 seconds.

4. Stir in sugar, cocoa and salt. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir. Let the mixture sit 5 min.

5. Add the eggs one at a time.

6. Add vanilla.

7. When everything is combined add flour.

8. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.

9. Layer in the bacon strips. I cut the bacon into small pieces so it will (hopefully) be easier to cut the brownies later.

10. Pour remaining batter on top. Bake 25 min.

11. Cool brownies completely in pan before slicing.

12. Enjoy?

Verdict: Yes, it must be love! I fully expect to be worshiped forever after making this. The flavour I can only describe as a brownie that tastes chocolatey yet smokey.

Boyfriend adored this. I did not.

Bacon, ugh. I just do not like it; it smells weird, it feels weird, it’s fatty and gross and just ugh – no thanks! That said, Boyfriend loves bacon with an intensity that borders on eroticism. I don’t understand.

Prior to making this I had no idea how to cook bacon. I figured this site would have a decent explanation, so I baked it in the oven. But 10 minutes wasn’t doing it, so I consulted my friend M and sent him pictures of the partially cooked bacon, and he guided me through to cooking it to completion. (Thanks buddy!)

I am guessing the size of this bacon was the problem? Oh well!

I brought the pan of brownies to the bar, and Boyfriend and K got to try them. They said it was great. J and E, however, almost vomited. It seems to be very taste-specific. I didn’t care for them.

I think it would have been different with small strips of bacon cooked to a crispy texture. I told Boyfriend if he would like to have this again, he can cook the bacon. I cooked 13 strips and only used 4.

Playlist: Cobra Starship – Good Girls Gone Bad