By Heidi von Tagen
Gorgeous Bits Blog
I’ve worked on the administrative and admissions side of culinary school now for the last 10 years and although I myself am not a professional cook, I definitely share a passion for creating delicious, satisfying and unique food with others. One of my most memorable students from many years ago whom I stay in touch on Face Book is a cool guy by the name of Michael. We try to impress each other with our knowledge of All Things Bacon and he’s been reminding me for the past several weeks that I’d promised to test out recipes for Bacon Brownies and get him the recipe. I’ve finally created an almost perfect batch…
This particular recipe is only ‘almost’ perfect because even though these smokey delectable bacon-y dark chocolate brownies have an ideal balance of gooey-chewiness and cake-ness, there were a few things I’d do differently to make them even better.
(don’t fret lovelies. I’ll add those notes as I describe the process.)
To begin with, I wanted to make sure the bacon itself was crispy and not rubbery or too under done. I researched a few recipes online and found that baking several strips of bacon on parchment on a shallow cookie sheet produced the results I was aiming for. I ripped off a stretch of baking parchment paper, (or you could use aluminum foil of course) and set out the bacon about a half inch apart on the sheet and put it into the cold oven, turning the temperature to 400 degrees after shutting the oven door. There were several methods posted online, but starting with a cold oven seemed a popular trick. I watched the bacon carefully and it was about done after 19 minutes. ( a few minutes more if you buy thick cut bacon) Once the bacon was perfectly crisp, I used tongs to remove the strips and let them cool on a brown paper bag before cutting into smaller bits. I drained the clear fat off the parchment through a fine metal mesh strainer into a jar to use in the brownie recipe to replace a bit of the butter too, which was an extra step that made a flavorful difference.
I scoured the internet for the best brownie recipes and came up with the winner which was the Alton Brown Cocoa version. I slightly altered it using half the amount of butter he recommends and replaced it with the lovely warm golden bacon fat. Honestly, I think it needed even more bacon flavor. So next time I plan on adding a couple more tablespoons of bacon fat for an extra smokey-baconish kick.
Another change I would make is I would mix the bacon bits right into the batter rather than sprinkling them on top before baking. I think they would stay more moist and flavorful. Since I put them on top when I baked the batch pictured above, it slightly over cooked the bits making them too dry and not as flavorful.
Still delicious. The next bacon/brownie experiment will be Dark Chocolate Stout Bacon Brownies for Father’s Day. I’m already daydreaming about adding in some Guinness and chunks of Moonstruck dark chocolate bits.
I doubt I’ll have any shortage of taste testers.
Dark Chocolate Bacon Brownies
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar, sifted
- 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
- 4 ounces melted butter
- 4 ounces salvaged bacon fat, (still melted)
- 1 1/4 cups high quality dutch process cocoa, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cake or all purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 strips oven baked bacon (chopped)
Grease 8″ square baking pan with soft butter and dust with flour. Tap off excess flour into the sink.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
- In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness (desired goo-to-cake-balance) with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean.