Perhaps I am weird (hubby would say definitely); I adore bacon as do most people (even the occasional dedicated vegetarian?) but I cannot stomach pork. The flesh just seems so dense and pink, and reminds me of a good chunk of my own arm or leg. And I just can't stop thinking of "long pig".
But aaah bacon! Who can resist its siren call? It is very popular lately in all sorts of sweet and savoury recipes, and of course sweet with savoury. I first tried this flavoursome combo when I made Lorraine's (from her Not Quite Nigella blog) bacon and maple syrup ice cream. There is something about bacon and maple syrup that those clever Americans have right! I remember we once had a most fabulous breakfast in Yosemite National Park; the restaurant of the Wawona lodge in which we stayed included lots of the above. This was especially welcome after having had no dinner the night before, as you had to wear evening dress to get in the one and only eating establishment, and we just happened to have forgotten the tux and ball gown!
I recently came across Nigella's choc/bacon brownie recipe on the Net and had planned to make them until I read a post from the blog Realfoodgirlunmodified. She was very scathing of this recipe, so I thought I would hunt around for something else. I found a recipe in my cookbook collection- from The Age Epicure chocolate book, which I used as a basis for my own recipe. So here is my version of this slightly chewy, sweet and savoury delight.
125g rindless, good quality bacon
2 tbs maple syrup
300g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar (I may try brown sugar next time as most brownie recipes call for that)
3 eggs beaten
1 cup plain flour
30g dark cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
100g white chocolate-chopped
100g nuts- try your fave- I used a mix of hazel, walnut and pecan
(Prepare your baking tray by lightly greasing and lining with baking paper. I used a foil, throwaway baking dish 30cm x 20cm.)
Place the bacon on a lined baking tray with the maple syrup. Put in a low to medium oven-around 170C-and bake for 10 minutes. Then throw on the syrup and place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Bring it out, turn over the bacon and bake for another 10 minutes. Let it cool, then cut up or snip up with kitchen scissors, into very small pieces.
Melt the dark chocolate, butter and sugar together- I did this in a Pyrex jug in the microwave for about 70-80 seconds (it depends on the wattage of your microwave)
Transfer this mixture into a large bowl, then stir in the eggs
Then sift over the flour, cocoa and bicarb and mix well
Add the white choc bits and nuts and mix it all till you get a shiny, lumpy bowlful of delicious batter
Bake this for 20 minutes- no more!- at 180C. You want it to still be a bit gooey in the middle.
Cool and cut into squares.
|love my cow butter dish!|
|bacon and syrup ready for the oven|
|bacon out of the oven-ready to be snipped up|
|all the ingredients ready to go!|
|chocolate butter and sugar melted together in the microwave|
|dry ingredients sifted over the bowl of wet ingredients|
|batter about to go in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes|
|mysteriously, unexpected visitors kept dropping in to try it out|
|who could resist that corner?|