Bacon, Caramel, and Chocolate: Born To Be Together?
Chocolate and caramel make a classic pairing, but with bacon -- how can this be? Is it an affront to nature and good sense? Chefs, who long to get creative with unexpected combinations, say it works if done correctly.
Why would anyone want to do such a thing as mix chocolate with bacon and caramel when they are so good the way you usually eat them (that is, separately)? Actually, it is a short leap to make. Maple bacon is already familiar. Salted caramel hot chocolate is a popular cold-weather drink. Bacon is salty. The rest is open to the imaginative chef.
For instance, Maple Bacon Monkey Bread contains two out of three: bacon and caramel. The latter is created using butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar. This simple recipe also uses Pillsbury refrigerator rolls and red pepper. Where is the chocolate, you ask? In this case, you have to add it yourself. I recommend chocolate sauce, but only after trying the bread in its original form first.
Popcorn is a fun snack food anyone can make. As above, caramel contains sugar and butter: in this case brown sugar and corn syrup. Melt them all together with salt while popcorn is popping. Add baking soda and vanilla when they come off of the pan and watch the chemical reaction. Dump your popcorn into a roasting pan, pour the sauce over it, and stir the whole mess up. It will be gooey and sticky, but baking it will take care of that.
For your adaptation, sprinkle in crumbled bacon and chocolate chips. Bake the whole thing for an hour at 250, stirring regularly, and let the whole thing cool. Once it is cool, you can break the combination into sweet and salty pieces. Make sure you have a load of napkins nearby because that chocolate will be messy. Take time to enjoy the blend of sweet and savory flavors.