Second Course – “BCC” aka Bacon Chocolate Cheese
I’m in with those that believe bacon can pretty much make anything better. Chocolate is no exception.
I took some inspiration for this second amuse from Vosges Chocolat. They make a bacon chocolate truffle and bar which are both quite yummy. They also have a Taleggio truffle which, admittedly, I have not yet tried, but I’m sure it is yummy as well.
I wanted the bacon to act as a spoon of sorts with one good bite of chocolate, bacon, and cheese. When you take a piece of bacon out of the frying pan, it is malleable, as it cools, it hardens. So, I got this idea that I could shape it. I was able to get the bacon into a kind of dramatic-y wave. Not exactly what I had imagined it was going to look like, but for some reason this is the shape I just started making, so I went with it.
We had one turn out kind of like a scorpion tail, it even got a little accidental dip of chocolate on the tip of the “tail”. That was my favorite one.
4 or so pieces of Double Smoked Bacon
3-4 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate (70%) I used Callebaut chocolate
A chunk of Taleggio Cheese
Fennel Fronds for garnish
Fry up the bacon. I went with a double smoked bacon from Whole Foods because I thought the extra smoky quality would offset the sweetness of the chocolate and lend a slight bit more emphasis to the savory side of things.
Next came the shaping. Shaping the bacon on its side is about the only way to accomplish this without using a mold of sorts. Establish the bottom which is to be dipped in the chocolate. Try to flatten it out. You want to have a stable base for it to stand up on. With the arch, you want the top to curve just a bit over the base which should help distribute the weight evenly to both the front and back.
(Once set, I tried to stand them up to prove to the naysayers that they would indeed stand…and they just fell over. I, thinking quickly on my feet, pointed out that once dipped in chocolate the extra weight at the base would allow them to be free standing. Which, of course, had totally been calculated into the entire design. Luckily, they did stand with the chocolate in place.)
Now that the bacon is firm and holding its shape, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or a metal bowl over a small pot of gently simmering water.
Dip the base end of the bacon into the chocolate, coating top and bottom. Like me, you may need to enlist the help of a spoon. Stand these upright to dry on wax paper.
Slice the cheese into smallish rectangles and place onto the dry chocolate. Garnish with a fennel frond. The fennel adds the right burst of color and slight anise aromatic, subtly connecting to the Truffles course.
One more frond to go.