Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Now I know what you're thinking. BACON and CHOCOLATE??? and I have to admit I too was a sceptic, but I also love being proven wrong. I have always loved the salt sweet combination, there is something about the two together that really works well, it seems to round the flavours together and bizarly the salt actually makes the sugar sweeter. I came up with this idea whilst watching a program on food network called "The best thing I ever ate". The topic being the best ways to eat bacon. Animal restaurant in Los Angeles serve the Bacon chocolate crunch bar, I was immediately intruiged and wanted to find a way to create an everyday recipe that I could incorporate bacon into, rather than a restaurant style dessert. I do consider myself the queen of the chocolate brownie and i'm always looking for new ways to jazz them up. So bacon brownies are born. I'm not saying I invented the idea, i'm sure that this has already been invented by our trans Altantic counterparts but this is a unique recipe to me, and quite frankly its perfect. Finally you can have a brownie for breakfast, after all in has both coffee and bacon in them. Dont be shy, give them a try.
you will need:
300g of standard dark chocolate
100g of 85% cocoa solid chocolate
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract(never EVER essence)
1 tsp of good salt such as Maldon sea salt
200g pack of smoked streaky bacon
25g of bacon fat (all is explained below)
1 tsp of baking powder
75g of plain flour
1 tsp of instant espresso powder
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c 160 if your oven is fan assisted
So first things first, cook the streaky bacon on a baking sheet until each rasher is browned and crispy (not burnt), immediately place the rashers onto kitchen paper allowing the bacon to remain crisp. This is the tricky part, there will be roughly 25g of bacon fat left in the pan, this will need to be reserved. Trust me this just makes the brownie even better.
In a bain Marie (a bowl over simmering water but not touching the bowl) melt the butter, bacon fat and chocolate together, when fully melted add the coffee, vanilla and salt and set aside to cool.
in a larger bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar before adding the cooled chocolate mixture. Sieve the flour and baking powder and add it into the batter, do not overwork the mixture as you want the end result to be light.
Lastly take the cripsy bacon rashers and cut into small pieces, roughly the size of a chocolate chip. Fold through the batter and pour into a silicone tray, I have used a 6 inch by 6 inch tray. If you do not have a silicone tray do not panic, just line your tray with foil.
place onto a solid baking tray and place into the oven for 25 minutes. Half way through the cooking take the brownies out of the oven and tap the tray on the work surface, this knocks any air bubbles out of the brownies resulting in a fudgey inner consistency.
When the brownies are cooked the surface will appear cracked and the centre wobbly. Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.
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