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Thursday, February 11, 2016

♡ How to: Bacon caramel Valentine's Day chocolates ♡



Happy Valentine's Day guys!

Or well ... almost Valentine's. This year I decided to get a kick start on the holiday by making my bf something from scratch! Now in most recent times, I've been playing quite the housewife I must say. I stay home and cook dinner almost every night, hell, I even make my own breads and dough now. Wtf? I know.

... but overall, I don't mind it.

I've always been a fan of cooking shows and TBH there's nothing more satisfying than seeing a person you care about eat and enjoy something you've made with your own two hands.

With this sort of mentality, I really thought that the idea of making my own chocolate for Sean would be that little bit of "umph" in terms of gift giving. Plus it's cheap inexpensive!

The recipe itself is quite easy ... just time consuming. More so than I anticipated. I had to drive to the grocer, hobby store, and I ruined one pan (I think?). Yes. There were cookware casualties, but all in all I think it all turned out quite well!

Read after the jump for the full recipe ♡




♡ Bacon and caramel chocolates ♡

Ingredients:

♡ Caramel Sauce (this is optional, you can either make it from scratch or buy a ready-made caramel sauce):
 - 2/3 cups granulated sugar
 - 1/4 cup water
 - 1/2-2/3 cup cream

♡ Candied Bacon:
 - 2-4 Bacon strips (this really depends on the thickness of your bacon strips)
 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a golden brown, but any brown sugar should be fine)

♡ Chocolate:
 - Silicon mold (I used a Hello Kitty one but you can use any type of silicon mold. You can find these at your local baking store or at most hobby stores like Michael's or Hobby Lobby)
 - 1 bag dark chocolate wafers (Here you can use any type of chocolate really, you just need to melt it. I prefer using the wafers from the baking store because they melt more easily)

1) Preheat your oven to 380F
2) In an oven safe pan, line the pan with aluminum foil and lay your bacon on top, making sure there is enough space between the strips so they don't stick together while cooking.When the bacon strips are arranged, sprinkle half of your brown sugar (1/4 cup) on to the bacon on the side facing up. Don't worry about the other side, we'll get to that later. Now place it in the oven for 5-7 minutes, checking intermittently that the bacon isn't burning.
3) Once the first side is done cooking, remove the pan from the oven, flip the bacon slices over, and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on the strips. Return to the over for another 5-7 minutes.
4) At this point the bacon should be done, remove it from the oven and place the strips on a wire rack to cool.

5) To start the caramel, take a small pot and place it on the burner at a medium-low temperate. Then, fill the pot with the water and sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once this is done, turn the burner to a medium high heat and let the mixture sit without stirring until your candy thermometer reaches about 320F and the sauce is a nice golden brown color.
6) Remove pot from heat, and gently stir in the cream. For me the amount varies as to how liquidy you want your sauce to be. Just sort of eyeball it and stir in little by little making sure not to break the sauce. Once the sauce reaches a consistency you like, set it aside to cool.
7) Once the sauce is cooled, mince the bacon (I used two strips but you can use more if you want) and then gently fold it into the caramel and set it aside.

8) Take a glass bowl and pour 3/4 of the bag of chocolate wafers into the bowl (about 250 grams).
9) To melt the chocolate you can either place it over a double boiler or microwave it. For me, I chose to microwave it. In order to do this, microwave the bowl in 30 second increments, checking and stirring in between until you get a smooth consistency.
10) Once the chocolate is melted, use a brush or spoon to place the melted chocolate in the mold along the bottom and sides so it forms a sort of "cup" to hold the filling. When done, put it in the freezer for 1-2 minutes to set the chocolate.
11) With the chocolate set, fill the molds 3/4 with the caramel filling and set it in the freezer for 1-2 once more to set the filling.
12) When the filling and chocolate is hard to the touch, take more melted chocolate and fill the rest of the molds, encapsulating the caramel so it doesn't leak. Freeze or put in the fridge.

With the chocolate completely set, just pop them out of the molds and ta-dah!! You're done!


Now just wrap up those suckers and try not to eat them all before giving them away.

Easy right?! Yea ... well anyhow it was quite an adventure for me since it was my first time but overall I think they turned out quite nice. Hello Kitty giving the finger ... ahh, what a perfect mascot for Valentine's Day!

Anyways, that's all for this post. Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Single, taken, other ... doesn't matter. Eat some chocolate and enjoy all the cute hearts and pink decor! 

Til next time my loves,

Mai

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