Sorry for the silence this week, I started a different phase of my job and so had less time than previously so just a case of making some time!
Anyway, its August now and in theory summer is now officially here, yesterday in London was just divine – so lovely and hot and even the breeze was hot, made feel like I was on holiday! Sadly though, I was at work.
So this week and last weekend, I have made quite a few things, some successful, some not so much, still, we solider on don’t we?!
I made Bacon Brownies, now, this was an experience, admittedly I was suffering quite a bad hangover at the time (note to self, try to avoid baking when terribly hungover!) I tended to rush a few of the processes where I should have actually been more considered and patient and done the processes in stages. So to that effect, I may make the brownies again this weekend, but this time stick to the recipe properly and not try and do all the steps at once, it didn’t work!
The brownies involved making caramel, which I must confess, I have made once before and it wasn’t particularly successful and a touch burnt, this time as it was a dry caramel, well, needless to say, I managed to rescue some of it, but there was still an overriding taste of burnt which did kind of work in the actual brownie mix, but yes, not my best effort!
So, if you feel like trying out the recipe, here it is with my slight amendments – the original is here.
Top tip for making caramel, I wish I had read this before I actually started, but you live and you learn – read this article here. That article is from the amazing David Lebovitz, go check out his blog, there are some amazing recipes there.
One last top tip – if you burn the caramel and you have some stuck to your pan, then simply cover the caramel mixture which is stuck to the pan/pot with coco cola and leave to sit overnight. The next morning, there will be no trace of the caramel and you can simply just pour the coke in the pan down the sink and voilà you have a clean pan – just give it a rinse and you have a perfectly usable pan again. I must say, I was quite amazed as I really didn’t think it would work!
So now for the recipe.
Bacon Salted Caramel Brownies:
Recipe inspired by Annie my aunt, adapted from Rebecca’s recipe (link above) which in turn was adapted from David Lebovitz.
For the salted bacon caramel:
- 6 slices of streaky bacon (I find this crisps up better)
- 1/2 cup double cream
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 90g of salted butter
For the Brownies:
- 115g salted butter cut into pieces
- 180g of dark chocolate (I just broke it into pieces as I took it out the wrapper – try and use 70% or more coca solids)
- 1/4 cup coco powder – I used green and blacks but use whatever you have in your store cupboard.
- 3 larges eggs
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain flour.
- 1. In a shallow pan fry the 6 slices of bacon until crisp, I recommend cutting the bacon in pieces or as the other recipe suggests in half but you can do it whole!). Remove bacon once crisp and set aside. Leave bacon fat (grease) in the pan and then add the cream to the hot pan and let it cool. Once the bacon has cooled, crumble or chop finely. I was too impatient at this stage and had already started the caramel, I recommend that you do actually wait for the cream mixture to cool before making the caramel.
- In a larger pan (I used a pot – if its your first time making caramel make sure it is a pan you are not worried about possibly ruining!) heat the sugar over a high heat (watch it carefully though!) until the mixture is liquid and a deep amber colour – with this process you can stir the sugar (read above how to make caramel!) so that it doesn’t burn and stick!. Once it is a deep amber colour, add the butter and the cooled bacon cream all at once (now you see why so important to let it cool!) and stir until the butter is melted , you should hopefully get a nice toffee colour happening. At the chopped bacon and let cool thoroughly.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, I didn’t use fan, but if you do, then use it at 160 degrees I would imagine.
- Line a square baking tin with grease proof paper ensuring that it covers the bottom and side of the tin. Grease with butter or spray with low fat cooking spray which works really well.
- In a large microwavable bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave (start with 30 seconds and stir thoroughly , then microwave for 10 seconds at a time stirring each time (I found I only need two of these!) until the chocolate and butter is incorporated together. You can of course do this the traditional way by putting the bowl over a simmering pan of hot water on the stove – up to you!). Add the coca and whisk until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each time, then add the sugar, again, whisking it in, then the vanilla and finally the flour. Stir only until combined, so make sure that you use a fairly substantial size bowl.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared baking tin. Then dot around about a third of the bacon caramel mixture, evenly spaced over the whole area. it doesn’t need to cover the whole area just make sure there are nice splotches everywhere. Pour over the rest of the brownie mixture the drop spoonfuls over the top of the mixture and using a skewer swirl it all around so it gets slightly incorporated. Yum!
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until its slightly gooey in the middle but still firm. Mine looked slightly undercooked this was due to the caramel melting again, it was actually cooked, so make sure you don’t dry it out!
- Then cut into pieces once slightly cooled down and eat by itself or serve with bacon ice cream or any other ice-cream!
The bacon ice cream was made by my husband and was in my opinion delicious. You can find the recipe for that here.
Thats it from me – I will be back soon with another post, until then have a fabulous weekend.