Sunday, December 5, 2010

I may be late to the party

but last night I joined the scores of foodies who jumped on the "everything's better with bacon" bandwagon.  To set the scene, we were invited to celebrate our friend's birthday.  Our friend, who is a HUGE fan of the movie, "A Christmas Story" ("You'll shoot your eye out!").  We were told that the party would have a "meatloaf and fudge" theme, and to bring either.  I originally thought about doing some kind of fudge-that-looks-like-meatloaf thing, but thought better of it after picturing lumps of it sitting on a plate.

So since I wasn't up to creating fudge that resembled meat, I opted for the next best thing.  Fudge WITH meat!  And really, what meat could you add to chocolate and still create something edible?  A proper nod goes here to Nigella Lawson for introducing me to the combination of chocolate and bacon.  And to bloggers before me, whose creations gave me the inspiration I needed to create my own version of this taste sensation.

14 oz sweetened condensed milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
8 slices of good smoky bacon, cooked and cut into bits
Kosher or sea salt, to taste

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil.

In a non-stick saucepan, combine the condensed milk, chocolate and vanilla over medium low heat.  Stir until the chocolate is just melted.

Pour half of the chocolate into the pan and quickly sprinkle with the walnuts and most of the bacon.  Top with the remaining chocolate.  Sprinkle with the rest of the bacon and the salt.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until fudge is completely set.

With a sharp knife or a bench scraper, slice fudge into 1-inch squares. Store leftover fudge uncovered in the fridge (if you cover it the condensation can melt the salt crystals).

I'd consider adding a pinch of smoked paprika, or chipotle powder the next time, just to bump up the smokiness (and give it some kick).  But overall it's a really good confection.  Just make sure your bacon is crispy before you start.  Softly cooked bacon won't work as well.

And the verdict?  Well,  half the platter was devoured, and our hosts kept the rest.  Definitely a do again recipe.

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