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docsconz

Bacon Based Dessert

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I had another wonderful meal last night at The Inn at Erlowest, one of my favorite restaurants. When the new dessert was described, I had to try it. It was called "The Bacon Experience." It consisted of a plate that on one side had three crisp circular bacon strips standing upright. On the bottom of each circle of bacon was a small quenelle of ice cream. The first was a bacon ice cream, the second spinach and the third orange. Interspersed around the plate were leaves of bacon-dusted "candied" spinach and there was a triangle of orange gelee over a shallot custard and finely chopped pecans. On top of that was backfat crisps.

This topic presents an interesting, but limited discussion on using bacon in the context of desserts, but this was the first dessert I have experienced or seen in which bacon was the centerpiece component and the overriding theme of the dessert. The bacon ice cream was astounding and worked beautifully with the crispy bacon circle. It was a stunning introduction to the dessert. It was a fine lead-in to the spinach ice cream and then the orange ice cream eaten last. The other components of the plate also 'worked". The candied spinach would probably open up many new avenues for spinach consumption for spinach-phobic children.

This dish brought my culinary day full circle as my day started with bacon and eggs for breakfast. It proved an extremely fun and enjoyable dessert. Though it won't displace chocolate from the pinnacle of my dessert/pastry experience, nor would I want to have it regularly(I would certainly have it again), it was a welcome surprise that added considerably to my overall experience of the meal (which was already quite wonderful). To me this is what creative cookery is all about. It doesn't have to be something I would necessarily want to eat all the time. It should be something that fits into a particular context and fulfills its intended purpose, i.e. tastes great, looks great and is fun. This is not mutually exclusive to more traditional fare. I believe each has its place.

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Fascinating, John. Can you say more about the sweetness? (Having had breakfast at a local diner, I had lots of recent examples of syrup-dripping bacon floating around my head as I read that.) I can't tell if it was a play on an English-style savoury ending, or a sweet, or both (bacon 'n' syrup).

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Chris, this was clearly a dessert and as such was sweet, but not overly so. This was balanced by the richness of the fat and saltiness of the bacon. It was this balance that really made it work as a dessert. Most of the sweet elements seemed to come from sugar or orange. In retrospect I'm surprised that there wasn't a maple component to the dish, although it didn't need one.

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Makes sense. I'm trying to figure out the bacon/orange thing, which seems jumbled in me head; I can't figure how to make that work in my mouth. I wish I had a decent orange around here....

I agree: I think that it is precisely these sorts of fascinating combinations that make for remarkable dining. Or for spectacular bombs (not bombes). Thanks for sharing!

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Makes sense. I'm trying to figure out the bacon/orange thing, which seems jumbled in me head; I can't figure how to make that work in my mouth. I wish I had a decent orange around here....

I agree: I think that it is precisely these sorts of fascinating combinations that make for remarkable dining. Or for spectacular bombs (not bombes). Thanks for sharing!

The combination is actually fairly intuitive. Have some orange juice the next time you have a slice of bacon.

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I used to do a 'candied' bacon that was a component of a canteloupe sorbet plate at Magnolia Grill in Durham, NC. Also have you checked out the latest issue of Saveur?

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Other than for an article by our own JJ Goode, no. What is in it?

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Heston Blumenthal's (the Fat Duck) smoked bacon and egg ice cream served with French toast and tomato jam, come to mind immediately.

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The Fat Duck is high on my list of restaurants to get to, but alas not yet. What did you think of that dish?

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Other than for an article by our own JJ Goode, no. What is in it?

The latest Saveur has a mouthwatering article on bacon, including peanut butter bacon chocolate truffles (salted peanuts, peanut butter and bacon inside, then covered in dark chocolate). Also bacon baked until crispy with brown sugar. I'm dying to try both of these.

We need a drooling smilie :biggrin:

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Other than for an article by our own JJ Goode, no. What is in it?

The latest Saveur has a mouthwatering article on bacon, including peanut butter bacon chocolate truffles (salted peanuts, peanut butter and bacon inside, then covered in dark chocolate). Also bacon baked until crispy with brown sugar. I'm dying to try both of these.

We need a drooling smilie :biggrin:

These do sound good. Is the sugar crisped bacon intended as a dessert item?

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Sounds like it was a great experience! (drooling and tummy growling) :cool:

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What do the tasting menus run at the Inn?

I sometimes drive to Montreal and this would be an interesting stop on a return trip perhaps.

-MJR

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great dessert component for some time

first published version i have is from albert adria 98 bacon nougatine

I have used bacon and pork products in many ways

probably most original and tasty was bacon fat financier

smoked bacon routinely used to flavor truffles

flavor of salt and smoke and fat natural component to dessert

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What struck me about this dessert was not that bacon was a component of it - that would have been pretty cool in its own right but not necessarily novel - but it was the centerpiece. It was the star of the show and it worked as a dessert. Obviously, due to the work of pastry chefs such as our own Michael Laiskonis and Will Goldfarb (aka akwa) as well as others, the boundaries of savory components as part or complete desserts have been greatly extended. I think this is much more difficult than extending the realm of the sweet into the savory courses and that much more satisfying when successful..

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We're talking about the bacon crocant/ pinon ice cream Adria dessert, correct, akwa?

From 'Los Postres...'

Just want to make sure I didn't miss something :biggrin:

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Sara Perry has book out called 'Everything Tastes Better with Bacon" and she has desserts in there too, it's good!

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Sara Perry has  book out called 'Everything Tastes Better with Bacon" and she has desserts in there too, it's good!

Any idea what the desserts are like?

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call me crazy but i always go out for dessert after scooping ice cream

from which i am retired

but i had

chinese style pork belly

braised with sugar and caramelized to high hell

for me this is sweet and savory end points to experience

calling it dessert is just my foolishness

by the way, sounds great,

orange and spinach and bacon, oh my

maybe with yogurt and orange flower water? and pedro ximenez

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orange and spinach and bacon, oh my

maybe with yogurt and orange flower water? and pedro ximenez

Sounds like a good combo to me.

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I mentioned this in the office this morning and one of the "girls" described a "dessert" she had at a restaurant in Santa Barbara last summer. Unfortunately she can't remember the name of the restaurant, only that it was on or near Stearns Wharf.

It was strawberries and crisp crumbled bacon rolled into a crepe with something that sounds like lemon curd.

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I thought it sounded good. Mickie is not a cook and not much of a foodie so she isn't able to describe things the way we would. She said there was a sort of lemony cream stuff sort of like lemon pie filling, sliced strawberries and the crumbled bacon.

It was part of a brunch buffet service so she didn't order if off the menu and has no idea what it was called.

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The bacon and egg icecream at the Fat Duck is excellent, but is part of the wider dish Bux mentions - tomato jam, french toast - you're supposed to put a bit of everything in your mouth simultaneously. I really loved it.

Although you start with the texture of ice cream, the flavours of smoked bacon and scrambled eggs come through so clearly, you almost feel as if you have the texture of those items as well. Same for his sardines on buttered toast sorbet.

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Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, NC had a banana bacon cake on their menu a few months ago. It was quite tasty, with bits of bacon cooked into a cake that was basically a layered, fluffy banana bread. It was served with a heap of whipped cream, as all good desserts should be. The bacon was subtle but very good with the banana, and it gave the dessert an overall smoky, savory flavor. I was told by the waiter that it was an old recipe from New Orleans.

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