Roger Bacon Alchemy Brittle
Here is another great recipe involving that versatile and most delectable meat…bacon and an historical figure’s name being used in vain as a play on words. Franciscan friar Roger Bacon in his infinite wisdom would likely have been appalled or maybe if I may be delusional for just a moment longer overjoyed to know that I have borrowed his illustrious name and attached it to a recipe but, despite the weirdness he may also have understood my reasoning in this. Candy making, like cooking is not only an art but, a science. Recipes are fundamentally scientific equations with the elements (ingredients) being measured and mixed for optimal results. So perhaps…Bacon would see there is a philosophical and scientific side to my madness.
Roger Bacon was a friar living in 13th century England who, hundreds of years after his death became popularly known as a powerful sorcerer. He is most widely known among scholars as being one of the first people to use experimental methods in alchemy – the root of modern chemistry – and is also known for his application of geometry to the science of lenses, and early experiments in gunpowder.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
8 slices bacon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3/ cup corn syrup or maple syrup for that uniquely Canadian flavour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Roughly chop 8 slices of uncooked bacon and place into a skillet cooking over medium to medium high heat,until evenly browned and crispy. Drain bacon pieces in a fine mesh sieve and place bacon bits onto paper towel to absorb any remaining fat.
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and corn/maple syrup. Clip on a candy thermometer and cook to 300 F. Stir constantly. When sugar reaches 300 F remove from heat and remove candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer you may test the sugar by dropping a small amount from the end of a teaspoon into a bowl of ice water. If sugar drops to the bottom of the bowl and forms a hard ball it is then ready to be removed from heat. Stir in baking soda and bacon pieces using a spatula lightly coated with a neutral cooking oil (prevents sticking) and stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined. Sugar will start to cool almost immediately so you must be very quick. Pour mixture onto a well greased baking sheet or line with nonstick foil. Allow candy to rest and cool. Break candy into pieces by placing into a double layer large freezer bag and giving it a few whacks with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
Store candy in a single layer in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Yield 8 servings
FOOTNOTE: There are dozens of bacon brittle recipes out there. I have tried a few different ones over the years and I think my experiments with them have created a bonafied winner with the simplest of intentions…a good result and tasty end product. Remember the more you add to the mix, the more the results will differ. Trial and error is fine in the kitchen as long as you don’t poison anyone, burn the place down and are willing to cleanup the mess. Now my little alchemists of evol go out there and cook up some results.