I'll start with this...bacon has become a much loved ingredient (yes ingredient) more frequently used in desserts and all things sweet than as a breakfast side dish these last few years. The first time I came into any contact with this "odd" combination was a few years back and in the form of a chocolate bar. Intrigued and a bit skeptical, my husband and I bought the upscale bar from an upscale candy store and shared a bite or two..unwillingly. You know that super cheesy saying "Love at first bite"? Yeah, it was definitely that.
Now, to be honest, my palate is far from normal. In culinary school I was the one always trying to mix the most unfamiliar ingredients together to form some "delicious" dessert. Meyer Lemon Basil Sorbet anyone? How about a slice of Fleur de Sel Cayenne Sacher Torte? (Those were actually pretty good to be honest!) So although I was definitely skeptical, I was also incredibly interested in this unconventional chocolate bar. It was absolutely delicious. It hit all the right spots on your taste bud covered tongue: Sweet, salty, creamy, chocolaty, bitter, hints of smokiness...mmmmMMmmm... I've been wanting to create something of my own using this unusual but definitely delicious combination for a while!
I was able to create a surprisingly light brownie with a very dense flavor. The texture is that of a flour-less chocolate cake (kind of... I'm really trying hard to compare it to something we all know) but the flavor is brownie all the way. Each bite almost melted in our mouths! Now, add in little pieces of smoky (and my absolute favorite) apple wood smoked bacon, the bacon drippings, a touch more flake sea salt, and a sprinkling of bacon pieces baked right on top and you've got yourself an absolute match made in heaven! These brownies are super moist (they better be after all that delicious bacon fat! Remember kids, fat= flavor...and pork fat rules!), surprisingly light and fluffy, but completely filled with a symphony of flavors. If you love bacon, if you love chocolate, and if you love that sweet and salty combination- you'll totally want to make these.
Now for the honesty part! These were not the easiest things to make! As you all know, I make all of my own recipes up...and sometimes make a recipe 4, 5, 6 times before it's right where I want it to be! (Don't get me started on creating and perfecting my very own vinegar-free red velvet cake recipe!) I have never used bacon (or any meat product for that matter) in any of my sweets so I was a little unsure of what to do, quantity to be used, etc. Batch one....was a failure. The brownies tasted awesome...but many couldn't find the bacon in them! "Oh these need a lot more bacon!" said one guinea pig...I agreed with that common opinion. But, after some trial and error (I told you from day one, I'd also share my failures!) I've got them right where I want them! Now, I am fully aware that these might not be for everyone- and that's ok!! But if you're a flavor fanatic like me- always searching for the next unusually yummy combination- this is for you. As Martha Stewart would say if she tried these, "Bacon Truffle Brownies....they're a good thing."