Thank you Nigella. Only you could come up with something so naughty, so indulgent, so greedy and gluttonous! And boy, how does something that sounds so bizarre work so well?
I came across this Nigella recipe at the beginning of Lent, when I had just decided to abstain from chocolate for 40 days until Easter Sunday. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it, so I patiently bookmarked the recipe and waited... and waited... and waited! I was so eager to try this recipe that I made the decision that this was going to be the first thing I made on Easter Sunday - and so I made sure I had all the ingredients in advance, and sure enough, 10am on Easter Sunday morning saw me in the kitchen conjuring up this magic.
First of all, for all the people out there who think baking is too hard, or hate melting chocolate (i.e. me!) or are lovers of a salty-sweet balance, you MUST try this. It isn't difficult at all - it is a very simple recipe that uses cocoa instead of melting chocolate, and the most difficult part is probably frying up the bacon... and everyone can do that! As I was making this, I was worried that it would turn out too sweet and too indulgent, but eating it I was pleasantly surprised that it was perfectly balanced by the saltiness of the bacon - and probably also because I used salted butter instead of unsalted... a little adaption to Nigella's original recipe, just as I wanted a more pronounced salt flavour.
So how was it? Call me a glutton, it was fabulous. It was delicious and even my husband, a non-chocolate eater, thought it was a stand out. Super easy, and with ingredients I normally have loitering about my pantry and refrigerator, this will be my special recipe to whip out to impress!
2 thin streaky rashers of bacon, finely sliced and chopped
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
150g butter (I used salted, but you can use unsalted if you'd prefer)
250g light brown sugar
75g cocoa powder
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100g dark chocolate chips / bits
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius, and grease a 25cm square cake tin.
2. Fry the bacon over high heat until it begins to get crispy. Add the golden syrup, stir and let it sizzle for a minute before turning off the heat. Transfer to a plate.
3. Melt the butter over low heat on the stove top. When melted, add the brown sugar and stir until completely combined. Remove from the heat.
4. Add the cocoa, flour and bicarb to the butter and brown sugar mix (you can use the saucepan to reduce cleaning up) and stir to combine thoroughly.
5. Add the eggs and bacon and dark chocolate bits, fold through until the egg is completely incorporated.
6. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. It will be very thick and sticky thanks to the golden syrup, but worry not, it will be delicious in short order!
7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes for a very fudgy brownie. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack (but still in the tin!).
8. After about 30 minutes, when it is cooled but not completely cold, cut the brownie into 16 perfect squares and try to keep yourself from devouring them all!
The brownie, without the bacon, is a fantastic texture - soft, fudge-like and not at all like a cake... the way that brownies are meant to be. With the bacon, you have these gorgeous little nubbins of salty bacon goodies - I made sure to chop mine so finely so that you didn't get slivers or chunks of bacon in the brownie. It is so unnoticeable in size, that it could be a surprise for whoever is lucky enough to get a square. And there were plenty of people that were lucky enough to get some brownies - as soon as they were cooled, I packed them up to give away so that I wouldn't eat them all!
A brilliant recipe - so easy, so delicious and always original. I will definitely be making these over and over again!