Monday, November 19, 2012

Bacon Brownies

It's interesting to look at how much my food preferences have changed throughout the years. I like to think that they've matured in a lot of ways. When I was a teenager, I didn't eat a lot of vegetables such as carrots or tomatoes. Now I love them and I can't imagine what younger me was thinking. Just last year, I never would have imagined mixing sweet and savory would be all that good, but I love chicken and waffles. And I love bacon with chocolate.

This past spring, I went to a party that was themed around bacon, so we tried to make anything with bacon in it. We made bacon pancakes, which weren't bad, but the pancakes aren't that sweet so it was just like bacon in bread. We also made chocolate-covered bacon. I was a little hesitant to eat these at first, but I had to try it. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it also wasn't something I'd go crazy over. Then I made these bacon brownies.

Bacon Brownies

The brownie recipe is great. Fudgey and dark (as it uses dark chocolate and dark cocoa powder) and all sorts of wonderful. But really, it ended up being mostly brownies. Maybe it's because the dark chocolate along with the bit of coffee in the batter is pretty strong, but I can't really tell there's bacon in there. It could also be that there just isn't enough bacon. I didn't realize the batter was a 9x13 recipe (tells you how closely I read the recipe!) so I cooked only a few slices of bacon but next time I will add more. I think I had a piece that had no bacon pieces in it which was sad but at least it was still delicious.

Bacon Brownies

A note on bacon pancakes, by the way. I've tried to make it a couple different ways and have discovered that cooking the bacon first, cutting them in half, and then laying them on top of the pancake batter in the skillet is the best way to make them. I love a lot of syrup on my pancakes, but when I ran out one time, I used chocolate syrup and that was also tasty.

There are still foods that I will not eat and probably never will, but maybe my taste buds will mature or change again in a couple years or even in just a couple months so who knows. I eat a good variety of the different food groups so I'm happy with my taste buds for now.

Bacon Brownies 
From Lemonpi

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
311g dark chocolate (60 – 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 to 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water. Add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. If you want bacon pieces in your batter, mix in now. If not, sprinkle the crumbled pieces on top of the batter after pouring into the pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.

Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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