Bacon? Beer? Nuts? Candy? Hell Yeah!

 

To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble.So, are you one of those people who saves those food videos that show up on Facebook and then forgets about them until they show up the next year, and the next year, and the next in your daily memories?

I am.

And I scraping up a few for my #365daysofbaking challenge.

I think you might be lying if you’ve said you’ve never done that. Especially if you’re female and over 30. Some demographics have specific habits.

And this choice recipe for Bacon Brittle showed up today, and I thought, “You’re shitting me, right?” Bacon? Nuts? Beer? Candy?”

Done.

Besides, I actually had a few pieces of bacon left over from my Cheddar Bacon Scones that I bagged up and threw in the fridge. Waste not. And for the love of all that is good and kind, IT’S BACON!

Don’t shoot me in this commentary, but I don’t really like beer. Eh, it’s OK, but a Norm from Cheers kinda guy, I am not.

I’ve never heard of Innis & Gunn, but this recipe made me go find it and buy it – go recipe marketing. Hooray for my local Case and Keg store. The guy on the phone must think I’m a complete dipshit after our phone conversation because neither of us were really understanding the other, and I started spelling out the beer’s name, then he would repeat it, and I’d hear it wrong, he’d repeat it…and so it went. Then I show up to some über hipster 20-something selling beer to this 40-something mom. He did have to do a double take with my ID, though.

Small wins.

“Smooth Scottish beer with hints of toffee, vanilla, and oak.”

I did try said beer since the recipe doesn’t call for much, and since I am not a beer connoisseur, I failed to pick up hints of toffee and vanilla, but I actually noted the oak. Having said this, I thought it was a decent beer; I actually drank about 1/3 of the bottle, and for a non-beer drinker, I’d say that’s a big success. I’d probably really enjoy it, if I actually liked beer. Most beers don’t make it past my nose. I like that the person who crafted this recipe used the hints of vanilla and toffee towards this brittle recipe. Kudos to them for their, well, craftiness.

And, I am pretty sure whoever made up this recipe just might:

  1. Like beer a whole lot;
  2. Be gettin’ a kickback – aka free beer – from Innis & Gunn
    1. Maybe not. I have been wrong a few times.
  3. Be a fucking genius.

Thank you Cassandra! Maybe you’re the recipe goddess. But thank you 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company for making this recipe!

Here is the recipe:

 

My Thoughts After Making:

  1. I will say this up front, I halfed the recipe cause I only had 4 pieces of fried pig. Ok, 5. I ate one. While halfing a recipe rarely works in actual baking, it kinda worked here.
  2. Lemme do the temperature conversion for you. Some girls aspire to greatness in science. Me? I failed at basic conversions like the whole 9/5ths or 5/9ths – or whatever in hell it was – from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back again. My hypothesis in that experiment was that I didn’t understand it. Guess what. I was right. Still don’t understand it, either.
    1. 120 C = 248 F
    2. 160 C = 320 F
    3. You’re welcome.
  3. I actually had mise en place, and swore I took a picture of it to prove it… clearly, I didn’t. So much for trying to be chi-chi like other foodie blogs that take really good foodie pics. You’ll just have to take my word that I was actually fully prepared in making this recipe.
  4. I did, however, take this picture…fried pig, pee-cans, and salt. It was difficult not to eat this by the spoonful.IMG_7212
  5. BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU MAKE THIS! Let’s start with Step 5… “Bring mixture to 120 C (248 F) and try not to stir.” Hah. OK. See that angry mixture below? I shoulda taken video… it was an angry mixture, desperately trying to pop my eyeball out with one of those bubbles. Fraught with fear for my skin, I held my instant read thermometer as steady as I could, but it was all over the place given the crazy bubbling nature of this beast. Closest temp reading I got was 244 F, but it was bouncing up to 250 F and down to 240 F  – and I didn’t think I was moving the thermometer. IMG_7213
  6. After I added the butter, the angry mixture subsided. This is where you must constantly stir while bringing the mixture up to 320 F. This took about 4-5 minutes. Then shit got real.
  7. Have you ever done the vinegar and baking soda experiment in school? Watch this video… once you add the baking soda, the whole mixture begins to bubble up like this…

7. So, three things need to happen almost simultaneously:

  1. Remove the pan from the heat
  2. Add the baking soda
  3. Stir in the bacon, nut, and salt mixture

8. I did this as fast as I could, and it wasn’t fast enough. Truth be told, I think I stirred too long and cooled it off quicker by doing so much stirring. Once that puppy is off direct heat, everything starts to coagulate pretty damned fast, and by the time my mixture hit the buttered pan, I was trying to press it flat because it just wanted to stay in one heaping mass.

I suppose success or failure is all in perspective:

See the pictures below: On the left is the official picture from the FB post where I got this recipe. On the right is my finished product.

 

I don’t have those uniform pieces like their FB post picture… What did come out of my pot, however, was crack candy from the bacon gods. While my pieces weren’t uniformly thick like theirs (perhaps a failure), the result was salty, buttery, crunchy brittle, riddled with bits of chewy bacon sticking out, crunchy toasted nuts, and just a whole lot of fatty fried pig and Georgia pecan love (definite success).

I can see big ole’ hunks of fried pig in my brittle on the right. And BOO on them…peanuts? It’s Georgia pecans or nada, baby. Who needs uniformity?

Maybe I ate a good 2 ounces. Maybe I need to make a whole batch next time.

I leave you with another video on the baking soda and vinegar experiment. Just watch the whole thing and make sure you have the volume up for his commentary.

God love these boys wherever they are down South.

Innis & Gunn picture

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