Bacon Brittle, Enough Said
If you’re a regular here you know that my posts often have little to do with the foods pictured. When, and if, I get around to talking about the food or the recipe, it’s usually at the end of a story about me, about Greg, about lots of things, and sometimes about food. But how do you put the likes of bacon brittle out there and prattle on about something else as if anything else really matters? If I told you about my new business venture it would be like listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher talk. Greg recently tried an egg with a runny yolk. A runny yolk! I was so moved I cried. See? You missed it, right? Because what we’re really talking about here is bacon.
So let’s just get right to it and leave the storytelling for another day.
At the risk of heresy, I must first disclose that I’m a little tired of bacon. It’s everywhere–chocolate bars, vodka, doughnuts, and even macarons. How about a bacon macaron with a bacon port wine filling? No, thank you.
I like bacon. Heck, I love bacon, but not in a freakish, obsessive, “everything is better with bacon” kind of way. I’m a sucker for that salty meets sweet somethin’, somethin’, but I’ve resisted the urge to add bacon to my truffles and chocolate cakes. And not because everyone else is doing it, which they are. And not because it didn’t tickle my fancy, which it does. As it turns out I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my bacon. I love it lounging next to my buttered whole grain toast and drenched in bright orange egg yolk. The crunchy, salty surprise on a salad? Yup, that too. In a creamy pasta? You bet. Quiche? Uh, huh. Wrapped around a big, fat Medjool date? Oh baby, I like me a little Devil on horseback every now and again, yes I do. But bacon in my brittle, the very same brittle that I’m wont to fill with almonds or toasty pepitas? Hmmm.
Do you ever catch yourself getting comfortable? Too comfortable? That’s where I was at when I reached the crossroads of bacon meets brittle. Life had become a bit stagnant. I craved a few ripples in my pool–not a major drama, just a change of pace. So an otherwise ordinary day started with this bacon brittle.
THIS BACON BRITTLE.
This crunchy sweet goodness is intoxicating. Smoky, then sweet. Oh wait, what’s that? Ahh, a delicate smack of maple. Don’t be hasty about stowing it all away in that airtight container. Have a piece and then another. Admittedly, adding bacon to my brittle isn’t the stuff astronauts are made of, but this playfully delicious treat was indeed the spark I needed. With my teeth still full of caramel, I raced to the phone and scheduled the reiki session that I’d been considering for months. There, another ripple in my pool.
Later that night Greg declared the bacon brittle a hit by sneaking a third helping from the jar in the cupboard. And I went to bed with breakfast already on my mind–a perfectly poached egg, a slice of toast squishy with butter, and a side of crispy bacon, hold the brittle.
8 ounces bacon, cooked your favorite way until crisp (I used a smoked maple bacon.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup or golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
coarse sea salt (I used Maldon.)
- Chop the bacon into small bits about a 1/4-inch in size.
- Butter a rimmed baking sheet or line it with a Silpat.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter, and syrup. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, then the bacon bits. Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Use a large spoon (If it sticks, oil it lightly.) to quickly spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Allow the brittle to cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3/4 pound.