|January 20, 2010||Posted by Ellie under Adventurous Cooking, Baking, Desserts|
There are few foods I’ve ever presented to a group that have been met with initial disgust and borderline horror before giving way to enthusiastic lip smacking and almost compulsive reaching for another taste, just one more bite…
This seems to be the typical reaction to decadently indulgent bacon fudge. The silky texture of the fudge surrounding sweet-salty nibbles of bacon will cause naysayers to become friends for life. Bag up bite-size morsels to dole out as holiday treats or keep a stash in the fridge for late night cravings. When I made this recipe most recently for a dinner party I wanted to take a picture to share with you all but by the time I got to the platter… well, all that was left were a few fudgey fingerprints.
Although this treat is bound to be a hit, one word of caution: if there are any vegetarians in your group be sure word gets out there’s meat in that plate of chocolaty dessert being passed around the potluck or risk being responsible for some serious fudge trauma.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Similar to Ellie’s bacon treats, these “bacon candies” from Barriques were a hit at the Pork-Off. Another taste of bacon + chocolate is Mo’s Bacon Bar, above, or if you love toffee, try Christine’s Gourmet Toffee Bacon toffee, “made with Wisconsin butter and bacon.” It’s fabulous.)
- 12 oz good dark chocolate
- 2 oz butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 pkg sugar cured bacon, or bacon to taste (damn that feels good to type!)
- kosher salt
- cane sugar
- maple syrup
- double boiler or approximate homemade contraption
- paper towels
- frying pan
- 9×13 in pan or whichever mold you wish
- chopping knife
This recipe is really so straightforward that not only can you not really mess it up, there is also plenty of creative room to move. Be warned: it is also a slippery slope into the thought pattern: “bacon covered in chocolate? Why… YES! that does sound fantastic. What else can we cover in chocolate?” This question has infinite answers so the only thing to do is hike up your apron and get in there!
OK back to the fudge. Let’s start with your bacon. You can fry the bacon or you can bake the bacon. I prefer to bake the bacon at 350*F until the desired darkness is achieved because there seems to be more grease captured for later use. If baking, line a sheet tray that has a significant lip around the edge with tin foil. Lay your strips out in all their bacony glory and bake away! If you want to fry the bacon up in a pan, do it.
Personally, I like to have a variety of bacon textures in my fudge so I’m not very finicky about how evenly browned those strips of goodness are getting. That’s the thing about bacon, though, you don’t really have to help it be great. It’s great all on its own. There are a few variations I’ve found can increase the bliss brought on by your final product. Dredge your bacon in maple syrup and sprinkle it with kosher salt before baking it. I’ve also sprinkled bacon in the frypan with salt and any large grain, darker sugar like cane sugar or the like. Line your pan with paper towels and transfer your bacon. Put it somewhere out of reach to cool. Attention: the operative part of that last sentence is out of reach. Just sayin’. When your bacon has cooled chop it into smallish pieces.
Line your fudge pan with tin foil.
Assemble your double boiler. If you are without this exact piece of equipment simply place a sauce pan with about an inch of water over medium low heat and place a heat safe bowl on top. The bottom of the bowl should absolutely not touch the water in the pan so you may have to shop around in your cupboards for a bowl of the right girth but I tell you, if this seems high maintenance just think of the chocolate! You are going to add your chocolate and butter together in that bowl over the gentle steam heat from the pan until it melts into a luscious chocolaty puddle. Open your can of sweetened condensed milk. Admittedly this is where things can get a bit dodgy. The chocolate will look like it’s seizing up because of the temperature difference of the SCM (unfortunate acronym, that) as you combine them. I would recommend pouring your SCM over the melted chocolate and wait 30 seconds or so before stirring so it can catch up in temperature. Use a spatula to gently fold the SCM into the melted chocolate until completely incorporated and the mixture has returned to a silky, glossy texture.
Spatula half of the chocolate mixture into your foil lined pan. Sprinkle half to three-quarters of the bacon over this layer of chocolate then pour and spread the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon on top of the fudge. Let your fudge set at room temperature for the first 30 minutes, then move it to the fridge to set entirely. If you put the fudge in the fridge right away you’ll risk a bacon fat bloom (honestly, my dream garden may have bacon blooms in it, bacon fat blooms on the other hand…). After the fudge has cooled, flip it out of the pan, peel off the foil and cut. Careful you don’t take your eye off your bacon fudge at this point – it has a suspicious tendency to disappear.
This basic fudge recipe can be a platform for chocolate covered creativity. I’ve used salted nuts, cinnamon graham crackers and chili pepper flakes respectively in place of bacon for various occasions.