Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spicy Dark Chocolate Bacon with Roasted Almonds


YES, chocolate bacon has been around for a few years...BUT if you haven't tried it...

YOU MUST PARTAKE IN THE PHENOMENAL FLAVOR COMBINATION AND SHARE WITH YOUR BACON LOVIN' FRIENDS !

if you have tried it and weren't too impressed, i guarantee this is far better than the pathetic scrap you paid big $$$ for at the local fair.  besides...you will amaze your friends with your chocolate making abilities.  there are still loads of people out there who haven't tried it and are in shock and awe with their new found love of the sweet savory chocolate covered pork belly bits.  when tempered correctly, it makes a fabulous gift and or party treat for any occasion.

the 3 main tricks to fabulous chocolate covered bacon are...
GOOD CHOCOLATE
TEMPERED CHOCOLATE
CRISPY BACON


A FEW TIPS AND TRICKS I HAVE FOUND HELPFUL FOR TEMPERED CHOCOLATES...

#1...buy GOOD "coverture"chocolate.  pay the extra $$$
#2...the room should be cold.  wear a sweater, but don't turn the heat or the oven on.
#3...mise en place!  get everything out you will need.
#4...chocolate is a messy job.  cover your work area.
#5...use microwave tempering method...no chance of water being introduced to your expensive chocolate.
#6...use a hair dryer to keep chocolate at working temperature.  again, no water is involved.
#7...use a larger bowl lined with a dish towel to place chocolate bowl in while working...the snuggle effect helps keep it warm.
#9...only put dipped chocolates in the fridge to set if necessary for about 10-20 minutes.  then remove.  you don't want condensation.
#10...have extra dipping stuff on hand because there is always that extra bit left that you don't want to waste.  pretzels, cookies, potato chips, fruit...your finger!
#11...keep finished items airtight in the coolest room of the house..even in the garage if necessary

FINAL TIP...websites i found VERY informative...
ALSO...i must add...i am NOT a professional Chocolatier 

SPICY DARK CHOCOLATE BACON with ROASTED ALMONDS

1 12oz package bacon, cooked crispy
1 pound good coverture Dark Chocolate, in discs or chopped
roasted salted almonds, chopped
red pepper flakes
smoked finishing salt
ground cumin and chipotle powder for cooking the bacon.

first get everything ready...put almonds, red pepper flakes, and salt in separate bowls for sprinkling on wet chocolate..  prepare a few cookie sheets with parchment to place dipped bacon.  get a hair dryer out and introduce it to the kitchen... you will use it to rewarm the chocolate if necessary.
think the process through so you are ready when the chocolate is ready.

cook bacon in the oven.  one layer on an aluminum lined cookie sheet.  start in a cold oven at 380 F approx. 25-30 minutes ( i use convection), turning once or twice.  drain off excess fat half way through and sprinkle with chipotle powder and cumin.  then flip all pieces over and proceed to cook until crispy.  drain fat again if necessary.  BACON MUST BE CRISP.  set the slices on paper towels and dab off excess bacon fat.  let cool completely.


EASY MICROWAVE TEMPERING...(dark chocolate)
adapted from Alton Brown's Microwave Tempering Method found HERE.  he uses "pure cocoa butter".  i find seeding with 1/4 of your chocolate quantity works well.

put 12 oz. of the DARK chocolate in a glass bowl.  set 4 oz aside.
microwave chocolate for 30 seconds.  STIR.  microwave again for 30 seconds...STIR.  one more time 30 seconds...STIR.  now microwave for 15 second intervals (should be 2-4 times) stirring between each run until it reaches 100 F.  STIR.  microwave for 10 second intervals (maybe 2-3 times) until it reaches 115 F for dark chocolate.
stir in the other 4 oz. of chocolate.  stir well with spatula, cleaning the sides of the bowl and incorporating the chocolate.  the fresh chocolate will soon melt and will bring the temperature down.  this process is called "seeding" i read that a lot of stirring helps bring back the sheen...so i stir well.  you are looking for 90 F degrees.  at this point your chocolate is dip-worthy.
at 90 F  place the chocolate bowl in another bowl lined with a dishtowel...this is to help keep your chocolate warm and snugly while working.  STIR chocolate periodically.  if it is getting too thick, take the temp.  give it a shot with the blow dryer and STIR to keep from getting hot spots.  do not reheat the chocolate too fast or too high.  it will lose it's temper.

start dipping.  let excess chocolate drip off and place slices on prepared parchment.  sprinkle with red pepper flakes and almonds while the chocolate is still wet....then a little finishing salt.  do about 4-5 slices at a time so you can get your toppings on before the chocolate sets.  stick in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes if necessary.  then let come to room temp before putting them in an air tight container.  do not close them up with condensation on them.


2 comments:

Heather Thompson said...

Hey Jules. I just found your blog this morning, and I am already a fan. You have a spot on my bookmarks tab! I'm having trouble finding couverture chocolate, and I was wondering where you get yours from. I live in NJ, all the way on the other side of the country, but do you know of any chain stores that may carry it? I tried Whole Foods, and even their fancy French baking chocolate has lecithin in it, which I've heard will screw up your temper. Thanks for your help, and I look forward to trying this recipe!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Heather !...thanks so much for the great comment. i use Guittard chocolate discs that come in a 1 pound box. do you have a Sur la Table near you? or maybe William Sanoma? Valrhona is also a very good one along with Scharffenberger. i saw the word "coverture" on the box of Guittard and snatched it up. it melts into delicious liquid. i hope that helps...i swear it will change your chocolate abilities when you temper. i'm addicted.

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