Black Forrest Bacon, Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ice Cream
Bacon in your ice cream? You bet! It may sound strange, but hear me out on this one. Do you like salted caramel? Ever munched out on potato chips and chocolate? Then you, my friend, are going to go nuts (hey add nuts if you like!) for this sweet and salty combo.
With International Bacon day on September 3, I wanted to highlight the savoury virtues of bacon in a not so common way. No bacon wrapped this or that here…boring! If you are like me and are one of the 90 per cent of Canadians* who loves bacon, sometimes you need to switch it up and try it in something new.
In addition to being salty and sweet, I’ve used duBreton’s Certified Humane organic Black Forest bacon, which on top of having all the must-have bacon-y-vibes, is a nice thick cut with natural smoke flavour. It imbues the ice cream with not only a salty flavour but also an umami essence that is balanced by the brown sugar and bourbon.
When making this dish, I was really tempted to call it ‘The Bro’s Breakup’ because what is a more iconic breakup food than ice cream? I was hopeful that the addition to bacon and some good ol’ Kentucky bourbon would let dudes in on the breakup tradition of gabbing with your friends over a tub of ice cream while watching sad movies and having a good cry. But hey, this ice cream isn’t just for bros – it’s for you, and for me, and is a rich and decadent treat for any occasion!
The inclusion of bourbon (or any alcohol for that matter) in frozen desserts can be tricky, as alcohol will not freeze at conventional freezer temperatures. Add too much alcohol to your ice cream, and it will not set, and be overpowered by a purely booze flavour. Luckily, with aged bourbon, only a little is needed. Because alcohol doesn’t freeze, it will be one of the first flavour notes tasted in the ice cream as it evaporates first when warmed by the heat of your mouth, again necessitating only a small amount to get the flavour profile across.
In this ice cream I used brown sugar for its more natural taste, as well as the beautiful, subtly amber hue it gives to the finished product. The combination of smoked Black Forest bacon, aged bourbon and brown sugar give the ice cream depth and a taste of age, as each product was made with care, diligence and quality in mind.
It came as a surprise to me that only eight per cent of Canadians liked bacon in a dessert, as its umami and salt components work so well to balance with ingredients like sugar, honey and caramel, which to me, seems a natural fit. Check out this infographic for more stats on our Canadian love of bacon.
Of course, there are many ways to cook your bacon, and everyone has their go-to. My preferred way is to oven bake it at 400F. It comes out perfectly cooked every time, it requires little to no maintenance and clean up is super easy.
A couple of tips for oven baking your bacon:
- Take your bacon out of the refrigerator five minutes before you plan on cooking it, to allow it to warm slightly, which will help the fat to render evenly.
- Arrange the bacon in a single layer, don’t overlap it!
- Put the bacon into the oven while it is preheating, to allow to bacon to come to temperature at an even pace, thereby rendering the fat properly, resulting in perfectly cooked bacon.
For this post I have partnered with duBreton, North America’s number one producer of Certified Humane raised and handled pork to create this #duBretonDelicious recipe. Their priority is the welfare of their pigs, which are raised without antibiotics, with a vegetarian diet in a cage free environment with plenty of space to run around and be pigs! DuBreton is committed to raising 300,000 cage-free pigs by 2018.
Want to get in on the Bacon Day celebrations? Follow duBreton on Facebook an be sure to switch your Facebook picture to one of Bacon on September 3 to show your #BaconNation solidarity! But really, the best way to celebrate Bacon Day is by eating bacon! Foodoo Kitchen wants to give one lucky reader a bacon-lovers gift pack valued at $100!
Want to enter? Comment below telling us your favourite way to eat bacon! Is it with breakfast, on a burger, or just straight out of the pan with your fingers?
Be sure to follow Foodoo Kitchen, and duBreton on Facebook and Twitter to find out the winner and use the hashtag #duBretonDelicious to see all of the bacon day-themed posts!
*Contest ends September 20, 2016 and is open only to Canadian entrants
Black Forest Bacon, Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ice Cream
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours (minimum)
(Ps. Take about 5 slices for the ice cream and use rest of package as garnish for ice cream, or anything else that would go well with yummy bacon!)
2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream
1 cup (250 mL) whole milk
3/4 cup (180 mL) brown sugar for ice cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 (60 mL) cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon (15 mL) bourbon
5 slices duBreton Rustic Farm Pork Black Forest Smoked Bacon
2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar, divided, for bacon
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped almonds for garnish (optional)
Set a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat and add cream, milk and brown sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer.
In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Temper the eggs with half of the warmed cream mixture. To temper eggs, slowly dribble the cream mixture in, whisking constantly. The goal is to slowly bring up the temperature of the egg without cooking them. If you add the mixture too quickly, you will end up with scrambled eggs.
Return the cream and egg mixture to the saucepan and set to low heat. Stir until the mixture is thickened, velvety in appearance and resembles custard.
Remove the custard from the heat and strain into a clean container or bowl. Stir the maple syrup and bourbon into the mixture and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Place strips of bacon on a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment. Cover the strips of bacon with half of the brown sugar.
Cook the bacon for 6 minutes, flip over and cover with the remaining brown sugar and bake for an additional 6 minutes.
Remove bacon from oven, allow to cool and chop into small pieces (approximately ½ cm).
Using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's specifications (usually 20 minutes) and add chopped bacon during the last five minutes of churning.
Transfer remaining ice cream to a freezer-safe dish and chill for a minimum of four hours.
Served garnished with chopped almonds.
This post was sponsored by duBreton. All opinions, images, and content are my own.
* The survey was commissioned by duBreton through MARU/VCR+C from June 15 to June 16, 2016 as an online survey among 1,503 randomly selected Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/-2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples are representative of the Canadian adult population. The survey terminated responses from Canadians that indicated they don’t eat bacon (1.a.) or only eat vegetarian or poultry-based bacon (1.b.).