Sunday 15 April 2012

Nigella Lawson's bacon brownies

When I learnt that the letter for this month's Alphabakes was B, I was really excited as I was looking for an excuse to try out a new Nigella Lawson recipe - for bacon brownies. She recently guest edited an issue of Stylist maagzine and wrote an article extolling the virtues of sweet and savoury combinations - and gave what I think was a totally new recipe, for bacon brownies. I was very intrigued and as I love chocolate brownies - and my boyfriend loves both brownies and bacon-I couldn't wait to give these a try.

 You can find the full recipe here on Nigella's website.

To start, you need 125g of streaky bacon; use scissors to cut it up very small and fry at a high heat until it goes crispy.

Add 2 tsp golden syrup. The recipe says then take it off the heat and spoon the bacon onto a plate or piece of foil to cool. Unfortunately when I needed the bacon later in the recipe, the golden syrup had hardened and I couldn't get the bacon bits off the plate! I had to put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it enough that I could scrape it off the plate!

Melt butter and add brown sugar (see recipe link for quantities)

Add cocoa powder

Add flour and baking powder and mix well. At this stage the mixture is very stuff.

Beat 4 eggs and add to the mixture then add chocolate chips and finally the bacon bits. I should also say in the interest of fairness that I used milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate chips as they are the only ones I had - I'm wondering now if they made a difference to the flavour.

Bake in the oven... looks yummy! Question is, how did it taste?

Just come out of the oven.. can't wait for the sweet and savoury taste explosion!

It was quite easy to slice into squares while it was still warm

And so for the final verdict....?

Sorry Nigella, but I really didn't like these!! I was hopeful on the basis that I love salted caramel, and in America pancakes are often served with maple syrup and crispy bacon, but I just wasn't a big fan of these. I wouldn't dissuade anyone else from trying the recipe - even though my boyfriend's verdict was that they were "wrong. Just wrong" and something else I probably shouldn't say here in case I get accused of libel. While I may not have had quite such an aversion to them I found them pretty salty, which was fine but just didn't work quite as well as salted caramel, and the occasional bite where there must have been more bacon just tasted not unpleasant exactly, but not something I would choose to eat again.

Update: A few of my workmates have been brave enough to try them (but were literally saying to each other "I'll eat it if you will"; "No, you go first!" - and decided that they're really not bad. The general consensus was that they wouldn't have known there was bacon in them if I hadn't told them, but that they were a bit too salty and they would all prefer a 'normal' brownie given the choice. One guy said the aftertaste is more bacon-y and his brain isn't sure what he's just eaten - but he was smiling as he said it, so I guess that's not such a bad thing!

I'm really glad I got the chance to try the recipe and I think it probably is a question of taste as to whether you like them or not but it was a source of much hilarity over dinner this evening and has certainly given me an interesting blog post. And despite the results, I am entering them in this month's Alphabakes, hosted by my co-host Baking Addict.


  1. I've been seeing those bacon baking things all over the net and wondered what it would be like. I think I'll give it a miss now! Thanks for being the brave one to try it out.

  2. I had such high hopes! And I still refuse to believe any recipe of Nigella's can be bad... it just wasn't to my taste.

  3. This was very brave of you - I don't think it's something I'll be trying.

  4. I will give you my honest opinion after trying it tomorrow. I've had bacon chocolate in Bruges and thought it was delicious. However I had tried them again at the chocolate festival and they weren't as good - they looked and tasted completely different. A great bake for AlphaBakes though - thanks!

  5. Well done for doing this. I've done a few bacon recipes (blue cheese muffins) which while baked, are on the savoury side. I must admit though there is something offputting about the idea of it in a brownie. Don't think this is one for me, but I do admire your adventurousness! :D

  6. I want to be in the cool gang and say 'come on, give em a try.. It's a chemical thing' but no. They sound not so good... nice double use of the letter b though!

  7. I had come across this recipe in one of Nigella's books (kitchen?) and I thought "one must be very adventurous to try them out" :D. Bravo to you dear! You deserve a standing ovation for doing this!and thanx for sharing this experience with us. now we know what not to put in our brownies :D.

  8. I keep feeling like I need to defend this recipe and say surely it's down to personal taste - I'm hoping someone else will try making it and tell me they like it!

  9. I should also say in the interest of fairness that I used milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate chips as they are the only ones I had - I'm wondering now if they made a difference to the flavour. As I said, I really would encourage other people to make this to see what they think, just because I didn't like it doesn't mean anyone else won't!

  10. Sounds like something that would be fun to try. I can see that a bit of saltiness would work well. But as a vegetarian I'll just have to take your word for it.


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