Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chocolate and Bacon: Two Recipes I Think You Should Try

Incidentally, the chocolate and bacon are unrelated (this time); they just happen to be the key ingredients in two recipes that I'm currently enjoying.

First, Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to melt chocolate chips into milk for hot chocolate? I used to. But I don't have to wonder anymore. I first tried these when I needed to use up some cream; now I will buy cream specifically to make them. In essence, you melt together 1 c. cream and 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, with a pinch of salt (and I added a dash of vanilla to the last batch). Then you let the ganache (because that's what it is) cool, form it into balls (the bigger the ball, the stronger hot chocolate flavor you get; I use ping pong-sized balls), wrap the balls in saran wrap and store them in the freezer. When you're ready for a cup of decadent hot chocolate, drop one of the balls into a mug, pour milk over it (leave room at the top for some sloshing when you stir it), and microwave in spurts of 30 seconds until the milk is hot and you can stir the chocolate in.

Since I'm nursing and need extra calcium, I try to have at least one cup of this hot chocolate per day, and HH is now getting in on the action ... sympathy calcium intake :)

Secondly, I present to you Bacon Jam. I don't know where I first saw mention of this recipe online, but I was immediately taken with the idea. It was right before I had Titus, though, so it's taken a while to make it happen. In fact, it was SO "right before" that I bought the Martha Stewart magazine in which the recipe appeared (because at that time I couldn't find the original recipe online) several hours before we checked into the hospital. ( I also bought The Cookbook Collector, which I'd read was a sort of modern take on Sense and Sensibility. It was okay, certainly interesting and creative, but I felt like she added some unnecessarily gratuitous scenes, like most modern storytelling that involves even a modicum of romance.)

Anyway, bacon jam. I made it the other day using a nice hickory-smoked bacon, and the whole house smelled delicious. We ate it that night (after sampling it on crackers) on a panini that included the jam, smoked gouda (lots of it) and chicken. With spinach salad on the side. It was really, really good -- so good that HH took pictures with the idea of food-blogging my cooking on his blog! We're looking forward to playing around with the jam the rest of the week, maybe putting some on hamburgers, maybe breakfast burritos, and definitely more on crackers with slices of gouda.

And maybe making another batch when this one runs out :)

Where would you eat bacon jam, Sam-I-Am?


Julie said...

Molly - how strong is the coffee flavor in the bacon jam? I'm not a coffee fan...never drink the would I be repulsed?

To answer your question, though, I'd bet this is good on a toasted asiago bagel!

Molly said...

Julie, you can't taste the coffee at all, actually -- I think it just deepens/intensifies the savory flavors to offset the sweetness of the sugar and maple syrup.

Mmmm, I bet you're right about the bagel combo!

Ashley said...
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