Monday, 23 January 2012

It Will Change Your Life


you heard me. 


I heard about this concoction somewhere, and I knew immediately I had to give it a try. And I am glad I did. Seriously it changed my life. Bacon jam, aka trailer park pate, bacon spread, or pork product marmalade.
As far as I can tell Bacon jam was born in Seattle. A food truck called Skillet which now sells their burger condiment nation wide. After abit of online research I found myself with a day off and a hankering for cholesterol. Off I went to the Italian Centre where  shopped with a vague idea of what I wanted to make. I looked at many recipes online, and decided to throw together some things and hope for the best. if it is mostly bacon it has to work out right? 

Into my finest largest pot i threw onions, garlic, and double smoked bacon slabs from the Italian centre ( do not cheap out on the bacon here folks ) I chopped the bacon up as small as i could. I put the pot on a low heat and scoured my pantry for additions

As the bacon rendered down i added brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and some spices. then i left it on that low heat simmering away for about five hours. I'm pretty sure my arteries hardened just smelling this deliciousness all day. 
Now I found myself with a very large batch of a very tasty condiment. whats a girl to do?!? lots of things apparently. I started with the obvious things like bacon jam burgers, and the most epic grilled cheese in history.
then I had some fun with it.
I roasted up a chicken, caramelised some onions, roasted a whole bunch of garlic, and mixed it up with an egg and some ricotta. And of course a generous amount of the bacony delight. 

I made some fresh pasta dough, and after rolling it out I cut circles. each semolina disc received a dollop of the delicious mixture, then SHAZAM! dough origami makes chicken and bacon tortellini!

I was feeling pretty bold after my tortellini adventure, so I made a big batch of mashed potatoes, mixed in some roasted garlic, aged cheddar and bacon jam. I knew I had to make pierogi! I made some sour cream pastry and made another type of dumpling with  this batch of carby lusciousness. 

Last, but certainly not least... bacon caramels. 
since this first time I have improved my caramel recipe. But even then, it was amazing. I made two batches, the first batch had the jam cooked into the caramel and simply cooled. I didn't care for the texture,  so I made a second batch cooked with the bacon, but then strained. MMMMMmmmmmm.
The candies were sweet, and salty with a savoury smokiness that I really liked. Alot of my friends wussed out and wouldn't try them. Big thanks Baconhound, Joyful FolliesZoomJer for tasting and being honest with me.  And all my friends who were brave enough to trust me and try it even though they thought i was a nutter!


That adventure was awhile back. I tried making bacon jam again this week. As a matter of fact I was motivated by starting this blog post. This time I was lucky enough to have my bacon ground for me at the divine ACME meats. This saved me much time and aggravation. The texture was fantastic, the only thing missing from my second attempt was the intense smokiness I got from the double smoked bacon. This batch was just completed, and I don't know how it will be consumed, but I know I will be making another batch of caramels. And it was delicious mixed in with some barley and veggies for lunch yesterday. This time I paid attention more to my amounts.

3 lbs ground bacon
4 large onions (finely diced)
1 head of roasted garlic
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
black pepper

All into a pot and simmered for about 6 hours. easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

makes a huge batch, but it freezes well. you could also experiment with maple,or different spices and vinegars. I'm already thinking about my next batch.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


This is a cake i did last year, but i recently ran into Super Liam's Mom, and remembered it. So much fun doing kid cakes.The bright colours, the imagination, the SUGAR! whats not to love?
Super Mom gave me some basic guidelines and let me do my own thing for her. I tried to design the small super hero his very own logo, while including some of his faves, making a loose representation of a hero costume. A Topsy turvy cake on top to add abit of fun. I think I like the idea of Topsy turvy cakes cause when you are handing out pieces of cake there is always those people who ask for a small piece or a big piece. The different heights of that kind of cake would make that easy peasy. Although, I have never done it,all my ideas are purely hypothetical at this point. 

I digress.

Started out covering the whole thing with some bright blue fondant, using some bright skittles candies around the bottom to add colour. Then rolled out a vibrant red fondant  cape and cut out some letters. It was my first time using my letter cutter set. To be honest i didn't love it. I like the simple bubble letter look on this, cause it is a child's cake and should have a bit of silly whimsy. In general though I don't like the aesthetic of that font. The final step ended up being the most time consuming. I painted the skittles with his favourite hero's logos. it took some time, but it was worth it!

The last minute before Super Liam's Super patient Dad came to get the cake, i decided the logo was lacking definition. I tried to outline the different parts to make them look more comic book-y. Even though I was rushing, and it was a tiny bit sloppy, it brought it together and i was much happier with it. And did I mention Super Dad was very patient waiting for my neurosis to finish up his cake.

Super cake, for a superb family.
I'm always so glad to be a part of it.  

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Sometimes I do not realise how badly I want to make a cake design until someone asks me for it. This cake was a perfect example. One of my ska buddies, who also happens to be one of the sweetest gals I know, ordered this cake for her super rad roomie. She has ordered cakes from me before, you may remember reading about the fireball adventure from her last order! She has such a positive energy, you can't help but adore her, and she is always a great boost for my ego. She trusts me, and lets me make what I think will work for her. So far so good, from what I hear 8)

So when we talked about the cake, she mentioned that her roomie loved chocolate chip cookie dough everything. I was hooked, I was immediately obsessed with making a cookie dough cake. I started out with vanilla bean cake and chocolate chip vanilla cake, which I layered it with cookie dough flavoured Italian butter cream loaded with mini chocolate chips

then a quick coat of the cookie dough butter cream, and into the fridge to set up while i roll out fondant. Just a simple coating of white fondant, a clean slate
I kneaded abit of cocoa powder into the fondant to tint it a light brown. then used some funky cookie cutters I got from Mars and Venus (all sorts of fun baking stuffs in stock!) to cut out moustaches to go around the base of the cake. this fondant also formed a giant moustache for a topper.

Once the decorations were set, I gave them a quick brush with brown food colouring to add depth and texture. I thought I was done, but....NO! I had another idea! And since she left it up to me, I chose to make both cakes. 
So i forfeited my sleep to make a monster moustache cake ball.
and then in my facial hair frenzy I rolled out the last of my fondant to cover the moustache shaped cake "ball" and some letter shapes. really I just wanted to make the M. It looks kinda like a foomanchoo, and it made me giggle incessantly.