man candy [Recipes]

2011 Dec 4
Yeah, man candy. I just made some to take to work and the guys are gonna just eat this stuff up.

First, I took a package of thick-sliced bacon from Loblaws and cooked it in the oven at 300F for about 45 minutes, on a rack over a large baking sheet. That got a lot of the fat out and made it crispy throughout. Next time I'll try to get some nicer bacon, but this works just fine for the guys at work. I rested it on some paper towel to cool/congeal.

Then, I melted some semi-sweet baking chocolate with a touch of my new brandy vanilla in it in a double-boiler. When the chocolate was melted, I picked up a piece and held it upright in the bowl while I painted it with chocolate using a silicone pastry brush. I left about an inch uncoated to act as a meaty handle.

The last step was to sprinkle some smoked salt on top. I put it into the fridge to cool and will be taking it to work with me tomorrow to make a few new friends.

I've learned that you need to use a fairly thick bacon or it doesn't have enough bacon flavour, or strength. Cooking it at 300F instead of 350F allows it to cook all the way through. There is no point in using really good chocolate for this. Just regular baking chocolate or melted chocolate chips is fine. Taste the chocolate before applying. The first batch I made was no good at all because I had mistakenly used unsweetened chocolate and it was way too bitter. I tried to add some sugar to it, but it got away from me and I figured it was easier to just start over.

Now, I have one problem: the chocolate melts all over you as soon as you touch it. How would I keep that from happening? I just want a light dressing of chocolate, a chocolate robe if you will, not a thick layer of frosting or something like that.

Also called: pig candy.

2011 Dec 5
I think adding any flavoring or alcohol to the chocolate makes it melty.
I buy chocolate dipped cookies from swiss pastries and I think they add oil/butter/something as the chocolate is very melty on their items.

But when I make chocolate or butterscotch dipped pretzels I just use the chocolate plain or else use flavored chocolate chips and the chocolate stays hard and crunchy!

Bulk barn has some flavored chocolate chips, but I really like nuts online better.
maybe put the vanilla on the bacon first??

I have bacon here made w maple syrup, it is really good and organic...not good for the wallet though.

2011 Dec 5
I agree with prettytasty. Chocolate without flavorings will harden to be solid at room temp. I dip dried fruits and nougat candies from a middle eastern market in melted chocolate and let them harden, and it works quite well. I often flavor bacon by cooking it in the oven as you prescribed, but about 10 mins before it's finished I glaze it with something. I've used cinnamon and honey, melted marmalade, maple syrup. It's all good. Maybe you could concoct a glaze with vanilla and do it the same way?

2011 Dec 5
Ah. A bit of research tells me that the Bulk Barn 'chips' or 'wafers' are what is called coating chocolate and replaces some of the cocoa butter with different fats so it melts at a higher temperature. However, taste is impacted somewhat.

Alternately, I should figure out how to temper the chocolate properly.

More experimentation is needed! Let's see now ... bacon, chocolate, helpers? I'm expecting FoodGypsy to dive right into this one.

;)

2011 Dec 5
regarding the bitterness - might go well with the bacon actually. I just finished off a bar of dark chocolate bacon from some fancy purveyor (sorry for the lack of details). It was quite tasty although the bacon in this one was not overly prevalent, almost more of salty crunch rather than pure bacon flavour. Anyway went nice with the dark chocolate that was bitter sweet.

2011 Dec 5
I have also finished off oven-cooked bacon by glazing with maple syrup and soya sauce in the last 10 minutes.

2011 Dec 5
sourdough, was the bar from Vosges? They're the only one I know who do that bacon chocolate bar.

Rizak, tempering chocolate is not easy. It needs a minimum (but not much over) initial temperature, then must be cooled carefully down below (but not much below) another temp, and carefully brought back up to (exactly) a third temp, lower than the first, which will cristallise the chocolate and harden it at room temp. I have followed a few simple courses in this and still have trouble. (Room temp must not be too warm or too cold, for example.)

Getting the chips that harden easily may be the best bet, despite the impacted taste.

2011 Dec 5
Rizak you have my tastebuds! Bacon, Chocolate. THe only way this could be better is if there was beer involved.

Wait a second.....what would happen if you marinated bacon in beer before cooking it? If my roomate wasn't a vegetarian, I know what I'd be trying this weekend.

2011 Dec 5
All this bacon talk has got my mouth watering. I have some "Pork of Yore" bacon in the pan right now from yesterday's Landsdowne Market. I haven't decided whether or not I'll "candy" it. I may just leave it unadulterated so we can taste its own flavour which right now, is smelling oh so fabulous!

2011 Dec 6
They do make some vegetarian bacon and you can also buy soy bacon bits at the grocery store- I think those are crunchy!
so maybe try that?
I have never attempted that but sounds like it would work.

I use a lot of flavored chocolate at home for mousse and dipping stuff, just because I get a lot of extra chocolate bars from a store I shop at (they send me random "out of date" items w my order,lol).

You can also buy flavorings for candy making, bulk barn actually sells some.

2011 Dec 6
Niall - you are correct, the bar was from Vosges. Yummy treat if you can't get your hands on Rizak's pig candy.

2011 Dec 6
So, yeah ... it was a bit melty. It was fine getting there and was even okay on the desk, but as soon as you touched the chocolate it became a sticky mess.

Imagine a bunch of grown men with chocolate covered beards all moaning in pleasure. Okay, on second thought ...

2011 Dec 7
Oooooooh, photos pleeeeease next time.