Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bacon Chocolate Truffles from Chef Liz Thompson

Today is Bacon Day! Yes, there's a day devoted to Bacon. Not a big surprise!

Chef Liz Thompson offers a great recipe for Bacon Chocolate Truffles. Chef Liz Thompson is a culinary instructor at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. She has been in the restaurant business for more than 20 years. Her background includes restaurant ownership and years of food marketing as well. She has an MBA in marketing in addition to a culinary degree, and launched a highly successful restaurant named The Pig, which was voted “Best BBQ in L.A.” by Los Angeles Magazine in 2002.

No time to make these truffles? Grab a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar.

Bacon is considered one of the most versatile foods on the planet, with Americans eating an average of 18 pounds of bacon a year. That’s about 5,608,654,506 lbs for the entire U.S., which is equal to the height of almost 8 Empire State buildings and the reason why there is National Bacon Day. Bacon. For those of us who love it, it can do no wrong. It is also not a passing fad. We have accepted bacon as a “flavor”, like root beer, peppermint or cherry. 

Bacon has moved beyond the plate as a mere side to a new platform. Once Burger King introduced their Bacon Ice Cream Sundae to the entire country, it was realized that “ baconnites” are not a small part of the population. In 2012, Jack in the Box sold a Bacon Milkshake that was on their “secret” menu using a bacon syrup. The craze may have started with chocolate covered bacon at the county fairs, then started moving into chocolate starting with Vosage’s Bacon Chocolate Bar and now there is bacon popcorn, bacon brittle, bacon cakes. And how about a website called “Bacon Freaks” and a “Swine and Dine” club featuring monthly shipments of bacon products along with a matching wine with a “Snouts Honor” label? There is Baconnaise Bacon Mayonnaise, and believe it or not, Bacon Chocolate Covered Oreos and Bacon Milk Chocolate Covered Twinkies sold by a company called Bacon Addicts and sold through Amazon. And Urban Outfitters sells Bacon Candy Canes. 

And the question surfaces, how to do bake/cook with bacon? The easiest way is to cook it either in the oven or in a pan, drain it and crumble for use in basically anything the way you might add nuts to. If you are using bacon to flavor a custard like crème brulee or ice cream, the bacon must be infused into the milk or heavy cream. The bacon, once again, is cooked and drained and broken up into pieces and put into the dairy and heated to a boil and then left off the stove for twenty minutes, allowing the flavor to seep in, and is then strained.

I really like this recipe because it is subtle. The cream is infused with bacon rather than having bacon bits in the truffles. Here's Chef Liz Thompson's recipe.

Bacon Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
2 ¾ pounds of Dark Chocolate Chips
2 ¾ cups Heavy Cream
8 oz. Bacon Strips, Cooked and Drained

Directions
1. Place chocolate chips in large bowl and set aside.
2. Put heavy cream in a high sided pot on to avoid boiling over and place on stove. Place  bacon, broken up into medium sized pieces, into heavy cream and bring to boil. Turn off heat and leave on stove.
3. Let sit for 20 minutes to infuse the heavy cream with bacon flavor; strain out bacon pieces.
4. Bring heavy cream to boil again, and then pour on top of chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes until chocolate starts to melt and then begin whisking until the mixture is completely blended.
5. Place mixture into container and refrigerate once cooled down to set.
6. Once the mixture is set, it can be scooped out individually with large side of melon baller. Dip melon baller into hot water each time to easily scoop out bacon flavored truffle filling and place on wax paper and refrigerate again until firm.
7. Using chocolate dipping fork or regular fork, dip chocolate into either melted Candy Melts, already tempered, or temper your own chocolate if you are brave. Let set; it is not necessary to refrigerate again.

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