Those who know me will know that recently I discovered a new recipe which, despite some thinking it’s ridiculous, has become a favourite among friends. I can’t take credit for the recipe, that goes to Elissa from 17 and Baking. Nor can I take credit for finding it, that goes to my good friend Amy, a fellow baking enthusiast who tweeted it some time ago. But I can take credit for being the one who dared try it, with great success – Bacon Brownies!
When I first knew of the recipe, I didn’t intend to make them. It was later after getting a strange request from Ben asking if I knew of a recipe for “bacon cake” when I gave it a go. Apparently a colleague at work was leaving, who loves bacon, and Ben wanted to combine it with cake. So I tried it, making quite a few, for Ben and his colleagues at Microsoft to try. There was mixed reaction, I think they’re like marmite; you either love them or hate them.
Since then, I’ve made them for a number of occasions, parties and social occasions so my friends have been able to try them, and other times for Ben to take into work. This week was another of those, with a special request via Ben from Steve Beswick, the Director of Education for Microsoft UK, a big fan, who wanted a large batch for Microsoft’s Fun Free Friday for Schools. This was a day for Microsoft to show off it’s wide range of free and fun software available for schools and education, accompanied by freebies, including my bacon brownies!
For those who want to try it (avoiding the American ‘Cup’ measurement), here’s the recipe:
- 4oz/120g Dark Chocolate
- 4oz/120g Unsalted Butter
- 12oz/360g Caster Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Large Eggs
- 5oz/150g Flour
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 4-6 Strips of Bacon (Smoked Streaky works best!)
Start off frying the bacon until it is extra crispy. It’s alright for some to be chewy, but it works better if it is crispy. Put this aside on top of some paper towels to cool down and to drain some of the fat. Melt the butter and chocolate together, either in a glass bowl sat in a saucepan of hot water, or if careful, in the microwave.
Let this chocolate mixture cool slightly, and whisk in the sugar, salt and vanilla (you may need to do this in a bigger bowl). Then add the eggs one by one, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Sift in the flour and cocoa gradually, mixing thoroughly each time before adding more. I find 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder helps the texture and make them nice and chewy.
Now break the bacon up into small pieces, the size is up to you, but around the size of a penny or smaller works best. It should break up easily if it is crispy. Mix these pieces into the mixture. Grease up a 9″ x 9″ baking tin and pour the mixture in, spreading it evenly.
Bake at about 170°c (maybe lower for a fan-assisted oven) for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, keep checking the brownies by inserting a cocktail stick or something similar. If it comes out clean, they’re done, if there’s still any uncooked mix on them, leave them for a few more minutes. As always, experiment, change a few things, try a different type of sugar, or different chocolate, and see what results you get!