Bacon might make you think of breakfast, but there’s been a pork belly-based renaissance in the food world as of late. Talented chefs and bakers have been showing that bacon is the most delicious ingredient around, which seems to hold no matter what it’s in: Savory or sweet, pie or pot-pie. Today I’ll walk you through the basics of baking with bacon – it’s a crazy, smoky, salty world out there, and hopefully this post will clear things up a bit (until you smudge it up again with bacon grease).
Where do I put my bacon?
You can’t talk about bacon baking without noticing that most people simply throw bacon on top of something where it might not fit. Bacon cake? Throw some bacon on it! Bacon poster? Glue some bacon to paper! Bacon car? Crunch up some of that pork and mix with automotive paint. Seriously though, some of these combinations are not appropriate, and here’s a good way to tell:
Does the dish usually have a salty and savory component? If you’re thinking of adding bacon just for some extra pizzazz, hold off: it might not make it taste better.
That brings us to my first suggestion: put bacon in icing! Bacon-iced donuts are a great example of a wonderful bacon pairing. They’re totally greasy and doughy, which tends to work as well with bacon as pancakes do. (This is also known as the pancake test). Cupcakes can also pull off bacon icing, and if you don’t think so, then just chomp on this bad boy:Picture via BS’ In The Kitchen
There are yet more creative ways of baconating your baking, too. David Lebovitz (my hero) has candied bacon in his ice cream, but why stop at ice cream? A candied bacon pie could be just what your old pecan pie never had: salty, fatty goodness. And then there’s the possibility of chocolate-covered bacon. Here’s a cake that’s literally built on the stuff.