Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chocolate Covered Bacon Bites

Chocolate Covered Bacon Bites
(Mixed Nuts & Almond Flakes c/o Whitworth's)

I love a good sweet & savory combo and I'm a big fan of bacon! Everyone's favorite breakfast treat seems to be everywhere these days with products ranging from chocolate to vodka... Bacon's not just for breakfast anymore! I'm not complaining - I personally subscribe to the notion that there's no such thing as too much bacon. 

Rather than being overly sweet, this particular recipe is made with mostly dark chocolate. It kind of ends up tasting a bit like a Snickers Bar, with the nuts and the salty bacon. When making this, feel free to get creative. I've found, for example that pistachios work really well in place of or alongside the other nuts and their green color makes them a bit more festive looking. Also, I've never tried it, but I'd venture to say that a chili chocolate bar or other flavored dark chocolate could add a little something to this for a variety of flavor. However you choose to experiment with this recipe, it's unique, perfect for nibbling and it makes a great homemade gift!

Flaked Almonds & Chopped Toasted Nuts (c/o Whitworth's)

400g American style bacon (such as Oscar Mayer)
200g 70% best quality dark chocolate, chopped (such as Lindt)
100g best quality milk chocolate, chopped (such as Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy)
About 1/2 cup mixed chopped nuts (pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, mixed nuts or flaked almonds)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray or two if needed with baking parchment paper.

2. Cut the bacon into thirds and while it's still all stuck together, gently peel the pieces apart. This should yield lengths of bacon that are about 2 inches long or thereabouts. Place the pieces onto a baking tray - they can be quite crowded as they'll shrink as they cook.

3. Bake the bacon pieces for about 25 minutes or until crisp and fully cooked. Remove the trays from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

4. After the bacon has cooled a bit, remove it from the tray with tongs or a slotted spatula onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the grease as it cools further. 

5. While the bacon is cooling, melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate together in a heat-proof mixing bowl resting over a pan of water on low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Meanwhile, line another baking tray or two with wax paper or greaseproof paper.

6. When the chocolate is fully melted, use tongs to carefully dip the bacon pieces into the chocolate, covering all sides. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off before resting on the lined baking sheet and sprinkling with some of the nuts.

7. Allow the chocolate covered bacon bites to cool for 2-3 hours until the chocolate is fully set. Then place in an airtight container with greaseproof paper between each layer and refrigerate for another hour or so before serving. Keep in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days.


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