I recently had the brilliant idea to make some bacon chocolate bark. The original intention was to use it as part of another recipe, post to follow, but I kind of went overboard as I am wont to do, so I had a lot left over, and my coworkers got a bit of a treat as well. (Disclaimer – made this at night, so the pictures look all wonky.)
This bark has 2 ingredients – chocolate and bacon. I found this recipe from about.com when I was looking for proportions. It’s super easy to follow, and besides baking the bacon (which I recommend), it takes virtually no time to assemble.
I made a bit more than double the recipe above, so that’s what I’m posting below, but feel free to refer to the link above for a smaller batch.
BACON CHOCOLATE BARK
- 1- 14.4oz Belgian milk chocolate bar (got mine at Fresh & Easy, they only had one size)
- 1- 14.4oz Belgian dark chocolate bar
- 10 pieces crunchy cooked bacon (if I could have fit more onto my baking sheet, I would have put a couple/few more strips in)
First things first – cook your bacon. If you have a tried and true way to get yours extra crispy, do your thing! If you’re looking for a way to get that crunch with minimal cleanup and effort, I recommend baking it in the oven. A friend taught me this technique, and it’s way easier, and more consistent, than frying it in a pan.
Don’t preheat, you’ll do that once you put the bacon in. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I’ve discovered that rather than simply overlapping two sheets, where grease can leak through, it’s less messy at the end when I fold the aluminum strips together to make a seam in the middle.
I’ll try to describe it in a more helpful way – Cut two strips of aluminum foil – making sure to leave room for overhang as you’ll wrap it around your baking sheet. Lay one of the aluminum sheets on top of the other. Make an accordion fold on whichever end will be your middle (long or short way, doesn’t matter, just depends how you’ll end up laying them on the sheet – examples below).
Make the accordion fold about an inch from the edge of the sheets. Then, starting halfway between your crease and the end of the sheet – the short, just-folded part – make the second fold back in the other direction. Like if you folded both edges to the right before, fold this little section back to the left. Now you don’t have any gap between the foil.
Okay, the hard part is over. Place your bacon strips on the sheet so they’re not touching or overlapping. (Very important that they don’t touch or overlap.) I fit 10 on. Don’t be a hero.
Pop the sheet into the oven and set it to 375ºF. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Here’s a link to a post from The Kitchn where she actually took pictures during the baking process. Her directions are a bit different than those of my genius friend who taught me, but feel free to follow whatever’s easier for you. She smartly warns that you don’t want your bacon to get extra crunchy in the oven, because it will still firm up a bit once you take it out. Leaving it in an extra few minutes will yield crispier bacon, so it’s a matter of taste. But watch your oven after the initial 20 minutes if you’re leaving it in!
Regardless, make sure to drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, and let it cool a bit. Once the aluminum foil is cool enough, you can just fold it up and throw it away, and you should be left with a clean baking sheet.
Now, break your giant candy bars into pieces into a large bowl in order to melt it. Feel free to melt the candy however’s easiest for you, but I opted for a microwave rather than a double boiler. I did it a minute at time, stirring between zaps, and it only took 2 minutes to fully melt for me.
Line a new baking sheet with aluminum foil. One strip the long way will be plenty for this part. You’re going to be pouring the chocolate over it to set.
Now that your bacon is cooled and crispy, chop it up into itty, bitty pieces. I made sure to take out any pieces that were inexplicably still chewy, and only keep the extra crunchy bits in. When you’re done, reserve about 1/3 of the bacon bits. You’ll use those in a minute. Take the 2/3 of your bacon, and pour it into the melted chocolate. Stir so that it’s evenly mixed in. Then, pour the chocolate into your lined pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula.
Now, take the remainder of the bacon bits, and sprinkle them on top of the melted chocolate. Knowing what I know now, I would have a) made more bacon and b) used that bacon on top of the bar. One comments I received was that while it was delicious, you couldn’t really taste the bacon mixed inside the chocolate. Hence, I will put more on top next time. (Of course there will be a next time.)
Anyway, pop your bacon bark into the fridge to set for about half an hour. (I left mine overnight because it was late. So now you know what my Friday nights look like.) Once set, it will easily peel away from the aluminum foil. Then, just break it into chunks by hand. I used some of it to chop into chocolate chunks… find out where they went in my next post.
I hope you get the chance to enjoy this bark, and share it with people you care about, so they can call you a bastard and other such terms of endearment at work. You know, in a loving, complimentary way. Just happened. Can’t make this stuff up.