Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baking with Thea - Part II

Thea and I made Bacon Brownies.  I know you are all shaking your heads - what bacon in brownies - how bizarre.  Bacon in all sorts of foods - especially sweet ones is the new 'it' ingredient.  So of course, I had to try it out.

Bacon Brownies

Looking at the photo they look like ordinary chocolate brownies.  And that is the point.  There is a subtetly to the brownies that when you take your first bite you realize that there is something different about them and then it hits you - there is bacon in the brownie.

Bacon Brownies - Adapted from Chef a la Porte
Makes 20 brownies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp/ salt
5 strips bacon
2 tbsp. reserved bacon fat

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10x10 pan or line with parchment paper with paper extending over the sides. (this makes removing the brownies easy)

Cook the bacon in a skillet or frying pan until well done.  Drain on a paper towel and reserve 2 tbsp. of the bacon fat. (do not cook the bacon in the microwave as you will not have any fat left over)  Finally chopped the crisp bacon and set aside.

Melt both chocolates, butter and bacon fat over double boiler.  This stage can be done in the microwave but do it in 10 second increments stirring in between.

Add 1 cup sugar to the melted chocolate and mix well.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachement add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and 4 eggs.  Mix until just blended.

Put half of the sugar/egg mixture in a separate bowl and add the chocolate mixture one spoonful at a time so that you 'temper' the mixture and do not curdle the eggs.  After about 6 spoonfuls you can pour the rest of the chocolate mixture into the rest and mix well.

Beat the mixture in the stand mixture for at least 5 minutes until doubled in volume and a pale yellow.

Fold this mixture into the chocolate mixture. Add the chopped bacon.   Gently fold the vanilla, salt and flour into that mixture.

Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly dry.

Let cook for at least 30 minutes.  Remove from pan.

Cut into squares.  Instead of a knife I used a large pizza cutter with a sharp edge.  I found that this prevents the 'tearing' of the brownies that occurs with a knife.


Note from Smoores: The bacon taste is very subtle - if you think you would like a more prounced flavor add 3 tbsp. of bacon fat.

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