Don’t worry, lions have not started lying down with lambs, the seas are not boiling and the end of times is not here (sorry Mayans). Although Bacon and Brownies might seem like a combo worthy of the apocalypse, it’s actually delicious and not that weird.
After all, chefs have been pairing savoury and sweet for decades (pork with apple sauce, peanut butter and jelly, those amazing yoghurt-covered nuts…I could go on but this game makes me hungry and it’s still hours ’til lunch).
Bacon and chocolate is one of the best pairings since Simon looked at Garfunkel and said: “Wanna maybe make some music?”
Now I’m not the sort of cook to shy away from culinary oddities so whenever I saw these bacon brownies from Nigella Lawson, I was intrigued.
More than intrigued, I was hooked.
As soon as bacon and chocolate appeared in my fridge at the same time, it was ON.
(Fun fact: I didn’t have to wait long)
The challenge was in making a grain-free, gluten-free, low-sugar, belly-friendly version but that proved to be no challenge at all with the inclusion of coconut flour and maple syrup.
Don’t be alarmed, the taste isn’t at all meaty. I’m an ex-vegetarian who can stiff out a roast dinner ten houses away so believe me, if I say it doesn’t taste of meat, it really doesn’t taste of meat.
And with a big bar of dark chocolate, cocoa powder and maple syrup in the mix it is sweet enough to satisfy the most dessert addicted among us.
With all that going on the slightly smoky taste of the streaky bacon is subtle enough to slip in under the radar.
Your tastebuds will be all “what in all creation was THAT?!” while your belly grumbles contentedly.
Bacon Brownies (makes approx 24)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 6 eggs
- 4 tbsps maple syrup
- 156g dark chocolate (I used 87% stuff)
- 4 rashers streaky bacon (I used the hickory smoked ‘Sunday’ bacon from Applegate – hormone free!)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk (I used almond, normal or other substitute is fine)
- Cut the bacon very finely so it is almost shredded. You don’t want lumps of meat in your brownies. Gently fry it for 7 minutes, adding in a tbsp of maple syrup for the final minute. Drain off the fat and set aside.
- Break up the chocolate into chunks and place in a double boiler (put a glass dish over a small saucepan of boiling water). Cut in the butter and the rest of the maple syrup. Melt until it is a thick goo. Set aside to cool.
- Sieve together your dry ingredients (coconut flour, cocoa powder and baking powder) in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat the eggs together with the milk.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in the beaten eggs and milk then gradually pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until it is a thick batter (careful not to over stir, the coconut flour tends to suck up moisture like a dehydrated elephant and you’ll be left with a hard lump). Fold in the bacon bits.
- Pour into a well greased 7in x 11in brownie tin and bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing or, alternatively, eat warm with a scoop of liver ice-cream (joking, joking…now that would be gross).