Dark chocolate, bacon pecan ice cream. For the non believer, it’s a must try. You will be pleasantly surprised. The dark chocolate base is rich and not to sweet. The pecans give a nice texture while the bacon taste comes through at the end, just enough. In a world where bacon has become almost a fad, it was about time it made it’s way into ice cream, right?
Let’s back up a couple decades… bacon ice cream was actually first tried in and around 1992, or so we know of, at Aldrich’s Beef and Ice Cream Parlour in Fredonia, New York. He gave it away free to any patrons willing to try it. Despite it’s unusual nature, he received positive reviews.
Putting bacon in ice cream doesn’t make it savoury per se, but it does add that savoury element. There is a whole world of savoury ice creams to be discovered, and a whole world of ice cream snobbery to submerge yourself in if you are so inclined.
Or you could just eat it.
I’m just going to eat it.
Everyone from my 4 year old to his grandpa enjoyed this ice cream. My dad was hesitant, but once he tried it and realized the bacon flavour doesn’t reach out and smack you in the face, he practically licked the bowl clean and asked for more.
So did my 4 year old.
Dark chocolate is roughly considered anything over 35% cacao. I say roughly because there are other factors which I don’t care to go into. This isn’t a chocolate lesson after all and I’m not a chocolate connoisseur. I just know what I like! I used 50% cacao Chipits from Hershey’s and they were just what I was looking for. If you want to use darker chocolate, say 70% or higher, you may need to increase the sugar by another 1/4 cup or so, unless you like the bitterness of dark chocolate (I do!).
Candying the bacon really adds to the overall taste of the finished product. The bacon is coated with brown sugar and baked in the oven until browned and fairly crisp, then chopped it into very small pieces. You don’t want to be biting into big chewy chunks of bacon, so a small dice is key.
- 4 oz dark chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 5 strips of bacon
- 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler, over hot, not boiling, water. Whisk in milk a bit at a time, add in cocoa powder. Heat and whisk until smooth then remove from heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar a bit at a time and blend for an addition minute. Add heavy cream, vanilla and salt until blended.
- Add chocolate mixture to cream mixture a ladle full at a time and combine well
- Refrigerate covered until well chilled, 2-3 hours.
- In the meantime, place bacon strips on a pan lined with foil and lightly greased, or onto a well seasoned stone baking sheet. Coat the bacon with half the brown sugar using the back of a spoon. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 minutes, remove and flip the bacon, coat with remaining brown sugar and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes or until well done. Transfer to wire rack to cool and drain. Chop into finely diced pieces. Chill in refrigerator alongside ice cream.
- Churn ice cream according to your machine's instructions. Add the nuts and bacon during the last minute of churning. Transfer to covered container and freeze until firm. 2-3 hours.
I served it in basic sugar cones which I dipped in melted chocolate (leftover Chipits), then in leftover chopped pecans and set upside down on a wire rack to set. Hey, if you’re going to do it, do it up good!
PS, Omit the bacon and pecans if you’re craving a straight up chocolate. It’s fantastic all by itself too.