As you may have seen from my post last June (Bacon + Chocolate = …?), I attempted a recipe which some of you wouldn’t dare go near. That was of course the now infamous ‘Bacon Brownies’. Even at that point I had made them for a number of occasions, some by special request. I took some to Ian Nunney’s (http://ian.nunney.me.uk/) annual summer Barbecue last year, and they went down a treat. So much so, that I was asked this year to make some more.
Now I believe that cooking should be about experimentation. Yes you may need a recipe as a starting point, but you don’t need to stick to it 100%. Try to vary some ingredients, add something different, or swap for alternatives. You don’t have to stray to far to end up with something just as good, if not better. Clearly I was going to try that here, to ‘spice things up’.
I made 4 batches this time round, each based off the original recipe yet each different. For each batch I used different combinations of Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar, Light Brown Muscavado Sugar, and Caster Sugar. Don’t ask me to tell you how much of each, because I can’t. I just made sure each batch had 12oz/360g of sugar in total. I changed the chocolate around a bit, using dark/plain chocolate for 2 batches, and milk chocolate for the other two. I also used more bacon, with around 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon in each.
Now came the good part. Having cooked with mixed spice before, I knew it would work well. So to one batch of milk chocolate, I added two teaspoons of mixed spice. Taking my cue from a ‘chocolate chilli cake’ I once ate, to a batch of the dark/plain chocolate I added something much stronger. One teaspoon of Cayenne Chilli Pepper. Now while not to everyones taste, I liked how this turned out, as did others at the party. It gave a deep warm spiciness followed by a kick of chilli. Next time I may use less or milder Chilli Pepper, but the idea was good.
As expected, the brownies were once again well received, in all their forms. The mixed spice ones became a new favourite, perhaps because it masks the bacon slightly for those who are unsure but still want to try them. I did get one piece of advice though, from Skalligrim Ericsson and Fenris Sais Saionnai, Vikings of the Bifrost Guard (http://www.bifrostguard.co.uk) :-
“This needs more Bacon”!