It sure seems like bacon is the ingredient of the year. I’ve seen tons of recipes for bacon sweets like this bacon bourbon brownie recipe or these bacon caramels. Oh and let’s not forget Bacon Camp. But then I read this article and learned bacon was the ingredient of the year last year. That’s me, always a year behind. Or 2 or 3. . .
I’m not one to celebrate gluttony. I enjoy baking sweets and will indeed go over the top once in a while but maybe there is a legit reason for putting something as high in fat as bacon in something ultra sugary. Brownies already have the butter so why add more fat but what if we substitute butter with bacon fat? What would happen then? Awesome flavor? A big mess?Hmmmm. . .
I baked up a brownie-like recipe and subbed 1/4 cup butter with 1/4 cup bacon lard and I gotta tell ya the texture turned out pretty darn good. The taste however. . . I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. So I took them to school and gave my students an assignment. Give me an an adjective after eating the brownie (I warned anybody who might be vegetarian but otherwise did not mention the ingredient). The responses were this:
“Bland”, “Bland”, “Good”, “Delicious”, “Plain”, “Blam” and “Cinnamony” (Interesting because there was no cinnamon in them but I think the appearance of it on top gave that impression) But nobody could guess the “secret ingredient”! Then I told them there was bacon in the mix and asked them to use one adjective to describe what they thought:
“Awesome”, “Bacon wow still not bad”, “Blam!”, “Plain”, “Delicious”. One poor guy did have to spit it out and go get a drink. I don’t blame him, I sorta had to do the same the night before.
But my findings tell me bacon lard can easily substitute for butter in any recipe, even for sweets, and the receiver won’t even notice. Not a bad option for the frugal baker.
I do want to work up the courage to try those bacon caramels but an interesting conversation we had today in class included the use of syrup on pancakes and sausage/bacon. Some people like it, some don’t. I personally do not care for that so I’m not sure if I would like the caramels. The next pie I make though- that will most likely have a crust made with frozen bacon lard!