The origin of chocolate covered bacon, with recipe

 

Photograph of a platter covered with chocolate covered bacon

I created this recipe over 15 years ago.
Originally, I came up with it purely as a conceptual recipe – a joke.

I was at a brunch at a friend’s house, and another friend was helping out, cooking bacon. Unfortunately, that friend has some ADD issues, and had realized long ago that this issue meant that she would normally end up with incinerated bacon. So her solution was to cook bacon VERY slowly, such that it looked like she was going to manage to cook six strips of bacon per hour.

As I observed this, I was trying to imagine a recipe that would justify bacon this dear. Clearly, it needed to be something that you would not eat much of. And chocolate covered bacon popped into my head.

But, after I thought of it, as a joke, I realized I would have to actually make it. And that has worked out rather well.

Recipe

As with all recipes, using good ingredients makes a big difference.
This is especially true when the recipe has very few ingredients.

Ingredients:

Bacon              A good quality bacon

I have found that thick-cut works very well.
Various types have worked very well,
including peppered, applewood smoked, and others.

Chocolate        Mix of 50/50 bittersweet and semi-sweet works well.

Early experiments with very high cacao content dark chocolate
were too strong, and overpowered the bacon.

Optional seasonings
We have had great success adding dustings of seasonings to the outside, or adding them to the melting chocolate.
Some of these included:

Mexican spices – cinnamon and powdered Chile’s (these can be mixed in to the melted chocolate, and dusted onto the outside)

Smoked sea salt – dust the outside

Smoked paprika – dust the outside

Cooking:

Cut the full length bacon strips into thirds.
(So, if the strips are a foot long, cut them into 4 inch lengths.)

Cook them until they are firm, not floppy. You do not want to cook it to brittleness. The strips need to be firm enough to be able to push them into a pan of melted chocolate, but not so crisp that they break when you do this.

As you finish cooking the strips of bacon, transfer them to paper towels to drain.

Use a double boiler (or, for most people, improvise a double boiler -see note below) and melt the chocolate slowly. You want it melted, but smooth and even in color. If it gets too hot, and the oils get too hot and it burns.

I should suggest “tempering” the chocolate. The two links below give two approaches to doing this. However, I’ll admit that I have never set out to do this, as I tend to be very careful about NOT getting the melted chocolate too hot. Or, maybe I ended up adding enough extra chocolate near the end of the melting stage  (seeding it) that I unknowingly tempered it.

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-temper-chocolate-without-a-thermometer-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-196475

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-temper-chocolate

(Now, some folks are probably asking “Why didn’t you speed this up by melting the chocolate while the bacon was cooking?”. The delay is intentional. Pushing chocolate over that “too hot” temperature line is very easy. Turns out, pushing a hot strip of bacon that just came out of the pan will bring the layer of chocolate that covers it over the line and it can “break”, and you’ll have both bad adhesion, and bad solidification.)

Once the chocolate is melted, it is time to start dipping the strips of bacon into the chocolate.

While you could use a tool to do this, and completely coat the strips, I found that I much prefer to hold the strips by a corner, with my fingers, and push the strip into the chocolate. This leaves one corner uncoated, which both allows you to see the bacon, and allows you to pick up and eat the bacon without melting the chocolate onto your fingers.

As you remove each strip from the chocolate, let the excess chocolate (there’s an oxymoron for you!) drain back into the pan.
Then place the coated bacon strip onto a cookie sheet that has been covered with plastic wrap.

When all the strips are done (or the cookie sheet is full), pop the sheet of treats into a fridge or freezer for 10 to 20 minutes, for them to “set” into solid bars of chocolate, with bacon cores.

At that point they are ready for their close-up!

I recommend storing them in the fridge, but the reality is, I’ve never had any last long enough to store.

NOTE:

Most people do not have double boilers these days. I improvise one by placing a stainless steel mixing bowl atop a smaller saucepan containing some water that has been heated up on the stove.

This should raise the temperature in the bowl high enough to melt the chocolate, without burning it.

3 thoughts on “The origin of chocolate covered bacon, with recipe”

  1. Yes! By not over-heating the chocolate and just barely melting it, you’re actually achieving a kind of “cheater” temper of the chocolate. Actually tempering would ensure it doesn’t break and supposedly make it break sharp and crisp like a candy bar but the low temp melt does much of the same.

    I remember your chocolate bacon! I love it and have told many people about it. Maybe I am a bacon candy disciple…

    1. Bill, if memory serves, somewhere between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 was the ratio of bacon to chocolate. 5 to 2 would be just about right. (In two of the past binges of making this, we used 9 pounds of bacon and 3 or 4 pounds of chocolate, and 5 pounds of bacon and 2 pounds chocolate, with about a half a pound of chocolate left over. Much depends on how melted the chocolate is, and how thick a coating you let stay on the bacon during the dipping process.

      One bit of advise – try very hard to NOT have other folks around during the making of this item. If there are, you will find that many of the pieces never make it onto the plastic wrap and into the fridge.
      And, as good as it is all gooey and melted, it is SOOO much better as a bacon-cored chocolate strip.

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