Saturday, August 27

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Truffles

Dood. Really?
Alright folks, here it is! The main attraction. Because what else is there to do in a hurricane, but eat copious amounts of chocolate? And bacon.

Yes, really.
As I write this, Irene is creeping her way up the east coast. It's pouring outside. I'm getting cabin fever and it's only been about 6 hours. (It's not really confirmed, but my ADD might apply elsewhere, not just seasons.) If I turn on the TV, the hurricane is all anyone is talking about. I'm pretty sure that all of our local news channels are having a contest to see who can come up with the most innovative, hi-tech map to detail Irene's path. I wonder what the prize is? Or how it's being judged? All I know, is that I WISH this was a snow storm. Le sigh.

There's not enough alcohol in the world to deal with this nonsense. So, let's move on to chocolate. Or better yet, both!

Really, really.
Let me just preface this by saying: Nothing, I repeat, nothing about this post is healthy. Except maybe that I used dark chocolate. But that's a stretch. Hey, at least I'm honest and upfront about it. Unlike Coca Cola in the case of Vitamin Water. Or Salads from Taco Bell. 

These little gems contain bacon fat. Yes, you heard me. Bacon. Fat. Which sounds gross, but is really just akin to butter or Crisco (ew ::shudder::) in terms of just being another solid fat, if you think about it. For a dessert made with a healthier fat, try this "Slime Time" (avocado frosted) cake. You'll feel better about it in the morning. If a hurricane's got you in the mood for more of a "sometime" food, keep reading. (Keep reading anyway, please humor me!)

Making truffles at home is time consuming in that ganache needs to rest a few hours after being formed, before you can shape it. Oh great, more waiting around, just what we were looking for. But if you're home all day anyway, might as well do something productive. Like cover bacon in chocolate.

Soundtrack: Give this a try!
  Belispeak by PURITY RING
Lofticries by PURITY RING
Ungirthed by PURITY RING

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Truffles
Yield about 30 truffles

3 pieces crispy pork bacon, pan fried and chopped finely (make sure to reserve fat!)
12 oz dark chocolate chips, divided (try these, they're my favorite!)
1/8 c. peanut butter (or 2 tbsp if you don't have a 1/8 c measure)
1 1/2 tbsp bacon fat, cooled, but in liquid state (you can get this from pan frying 7-8 pieces of bacon, you'll only use 3 for the truffles, but have fun snacking on the extras! Don't worry about any sediment floating in the fat, it'll add more flavor)
1/2 c heavy cream
red sugar sprinkles (optional, but fun!)

First, in a small bowl, stir the bacon fat into the peanut butter until mixed through. The result will look like runny peanut butter. Set aside.

Place 6 oz of chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk or hand whisk ready. Place the cream in small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until the cream begins to boil (watch for bubbles at the edge of the pan). Quickly pour cream over chocolate and beat quickly with whisk. The cream will melt the chocolate to form a ganache, which will be smooth, shiny and thick. Check here for tips on how to fix the ganache if it doesn't emulsify properly.

Stir the peanut butter mixture and the bacon pieces into the ganache, using a spatula.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or plastic wrap). Spread ganache out into a thin layer using the spatula. Allow ganache to sit for 3-4 hours, until it is the consistency of toothpaste. (And then go brush your teeth. Just kidding.)

Using a spatula, scoop ganache into a gallon ziploc bag (or pastry bag) and cut the tip. Line the cookie sheet with a new sheet of parchment (or plastic wrap) and squirt about 1/2 tbsp of ganache out of the bag onto the cookie sheet. Repeat forming lines. Once all ganache has been divided, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Just like this little turd
Remove ganache from refrigerator and use clean hands to shape into balls. This gets messy and is best done with cold hands (you can run your hands under cold water before touching the ganache, but make sure to dry!). Keep in mind, they don't have to be perfectly round. Once all the ganache has been smoothed into balls, place back in the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes.

After 15-20 minutes, use a double-boiler (or make your own by placing a metal bowl in a pan of shallow boiling water. Use a hot mitt to hold the bowl!!) to melt the remaining 6 oz of chocolate, stirring frequently with a spatula. Once chocolate is melted, immediately remove from heat. Bring the chocolate back to room temperature by stirring it around. (It is essential you cool the chocolate back down or you will melt your ganache.)

Dip the ganache balls in the tempered chocolate one at a time, using a fork to roll the around, then drip off excess chocolate. Place coated truffles back on parchment. If you are going to decorate them with sugared sprinkles, make sure to do this before the chocolate hardens. You can dip about 5 truffles, sprinkle, dip 5 more, etc.

Once all truffles are coated in chocolate, refrigerate again until hardened (about 20 minutes). Enjoy!

Start with 2 of my favorite things...
Joy of Cooking and Ghiradelli dark choc chips

I'm sorry. The bacon fat/ peanut butter thing DOESN'T look good.

Greedy. Just greedy.

I'm getting really good at these action shots!

Wet, bacony ganache.

Looks delicious doesn't it?

Little chocolate turds. All in a row.
My g-het-toe double boiler
Greedy. Again.

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