This recipe (including photos) was recently published on my blog www.52scoops.com.
It is inspired by the recent surge of bacon spiked dishes on the culinary scene. I'm seeing everything from bacon topped doughnuts to bacon banana bread. One of my favourite local restaurants has even launched an entire bacon themed menu for the summer! I’m jumping on the bacon bandwagon by churning a batch of maple chocolate bacon ice cream.
Quality ingredients are absolutely key for this recipe:
1) Use REAL maple syrup. Try to find Grade B maple syrup, which has a darker, richer maple taste compared to Grade A varieties.
2) Use quality bacon from your local deli counter.
3) Use premium dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content. —52scoops
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs until thick and pale.
Pour the maple syrup into a heavy saucepan and heat until gently simmering. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until it is slightly reduced in volume.
Very slowly, whisk two cups of the half-and-half into the syrup. Heat until gently steaming.
Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the warmed half-and-half mixture into the eggs, while whisking the eggs constantly.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, add the salt, and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half cream to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
Chill overnight in the fridge.
Chocolate Covered Bacon Bits
Chop the bacon into small pieces. Fry over medium heat until all the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Let cool completely. (Save the bacon fat to use in other dishes!)
Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Let cool completely and pour into a wax paper cone (cornet) or a small Ziploc bag — you’ll be using this to drizzle the chocolate over the bacon.
Place the bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, minimizing the amount of space between each bacon bit. If you’re using a Ziploc bag to drizzle the chocolate, snip a tiny corner off the bag. Using the cornet or the Ziploc, drizzle half the chocolate over the bacon bits. Let the chocolate covered bacon chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
When the chocolate hardens, you should have a solid sheet of chocolate covered bacon. Flip it over and drizzle the other side with the remaining chocolate. Let chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Now the fun part: place your sheet of chocolate covered bacon in a clean Ziploc bag, seal it up, and smash it around to break it up into individual chocolate-covered bacon bits.
To finish the ice cream, pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the final minutes of churning, add the chocolate covered bacon bits. Churn to distribute evenly and thoroughly in the ice cream.