I had originally planned to make doughnuts (yeah, you guessed that right?) for what was to be THE BBQ of the summer (oh, with a bourbon caramel filling FYI), but in the end a combination of several late nights in the run up meant there wasn’t enough time to prepare the dough, give it time to rise etc etc. In a last minute panic, my brain couldn’t function satisfactorily enough to come up with an alternative and BBQ host extrordinaire Nick suggested Bourbon brownies. Doh! Of couse; stupidly quick and easy to make these were the perfect solution. Who doesn’t like brownies? They’re even better pimped with copious amounts of booze. Candied bacon seemed the obvious addition to these grown up bakes; sweet and salty bacon backing up the smokey, honeyed notes of the bourbon.
The day of the BBQ arrived with actual sunshine, an unexpected treat amongst the torrential rain we’ve been subjected to recently. A train ride from Waterloo always fills me with a sence of expectation, and travelling through rolling green fields to our destination made it feel more epic than the reality of the around 20 minute journey. A proper little expedition out of the big smoke, our little group of BBQ attendees excitedly clutching our luggage of alcohol and food offerings like naughty children.
Nick played host with inimitable style; not only convincing the sun to shine singularly on our afternoon, he let us run amock in his garden, kept us well watered, and fed us delicious things. A large box from ELSCO is broken out and provides us with an exceptional patty, which along with Nicks Hamburgerme skillz and brilliant, liberally applied bacon cheese, combines to create a very awesome burger. Joel cleverly makes a patty melt, which is basically the ultimate cheese toasty; yeah it contains a burger. Meat and fire creates an irressistable lure for the boys, who immediately come over all neanderthalithic and congregate in a pleasingly stereotypical tableau.
In true Enid Blyton style (but with added booze) we take to the local park with a frizbee to stretch our legs and make some room for additional eating. I had a bit of a half hearted attempt, but was far more into sitting in the sunshine making daisy chains….the rest of the day has now blurred into a bourbon hued fug. Fun times.
It appears I didn’t take any decent pics of the brownies, many missed bacon and bourbon styling options there, but I’m sure you get the general idea.
Recipe is adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and makes 9 giant slabs or 16 more reserved portions.
200g dark chocolate (72% or above preferrably)
325g light muscovado sugar
175g salted butter
130g plain flour
75g chopped pecans
100ml bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
First candy your bacon; spoon generous quantities of light muscovado over half a pack (125g) streaky bacon and grill until glossy and crisp. Set aside to cool then chop finely.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir until combined and glossy.
Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture, then add flour, eggs and whisky, stirring until thoroughly combined, finish with the pecans and then pour into a square baking tin.
Bake in the centre of an oven preheated to 170 degrees for around 30 minutes, or the the top has develped a shiny crust but remains gungy within.Tweet