27 October 2015

Taste Your Way - Part III

Sometimes you want something sweet and sometimes you want something savory. Today’s stop on the home cook’s tour of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival delivers on both counts with a dish whose bark is truly worth the bite! We also ventured off of the beaten path for the featured recipe. This dessert didn’t come from a Marketplace kiosk of old or new, but instead from the festival’s gala event known as the Party for the Senses.

As we have been trying to do all season long, we’ve pulled this recipe because of its simplicity. A few ingredients, a couple of steps, and viola; a dish your family or guests would swear took you hours or that you purchased from a culinary expert. Today we’re kicking our chocolate up a notch as we dive headfirst into the Ghirardelli Chocolate Bacon Bark. I had some of you at chocolate and some of you at bacon, didn’t I?



7 Bacon Slices
2 Cups Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pieces
3/4 Cup Almonds (Sliced or Chopped)
2 Tablespoons Butter (Melted)
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla or Maple Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon


Cover a 13 x 9 baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and set aside.
Line a second baking sheet with foil, arrange bacon on foil.
Stir together melted butter and vanilla, brush on bacon.
Stir together cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle on back.
Place baking sheet with bacon on center rack of a cold oven. Turn oven to 400°F and roast bacon for 17 to 25 minutes, or until preferred crispness.
Remove from oven, chop into small pieces, and set aside.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or in a glass bowl over a simmering saucepan of water over low heat.
Remove chocolate from heat and pour onto parchment or silpat prepared baking sheet, leveling with a spatula or butter knife into a thin layer.
Sprinkle almonds and bacon onto chocolate, patting gently to adhere to chocolate.
Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes or freeze for 20 to 25 minutes.
Break into pieces.

In or preparation, we opted for the vanilla instead of the maple syrup to give the bacon a different flavor. We also chose the option to refrigerated instead of freeze as we felt it would give the chocolate more time to set naturally. I would also recommend allowing the bacon to cool for a few minutes between roasting and chopping, but that was a personal preference. Last note on the cooking, watch your timer on the bacon. With the sugar added to it, the bacon can go from perfect to burnt in almost no time.

As good as you think chocolate and bacon are together? That’s precisely how good this is going to taste once you get it in your mouth! The chocolate will melt in your mouth immediately, the almonds give you some crunch, and then you have the bacon hitting all the right notes. You’ll definitely have to hide this entire tray from yourself. Oh, and that chocolate, it will melt in your hand just as fast as it melts in your mouth so, as Henry the host of the Country Bear Jamboree is known for saying, “You gotta be quick!”

Not that that will be a problem with this sweet and salty dessert…

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