Often called the “candy of meats,” bacon has a reputation for being irresistible… even the smell of bacon wafting in the air makes the mouth water. Humanity’s love affair with bacon dates back to the Roman Era and it’s been a staple on the food pyramid ever since. While bacon never really faded in popularity, the 21st century brought about a renaissance of sorts with different flavor varieties and pairings appearing on breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
Let’s not forget dessert menus – bacon is just as delicious on the sweeter things in life. The next time you don your baker’s hat, bring home the bacon with these tasty flavor pairings:
Maple and Bacon
The all-time classic pairing is maple with bacon. When this combo began appearing as a dessert option a few years back, many people were understandably wary. Could such stalwart breakfast flavors taste good on a cake? The answer is yes, and boy do they ever. The smooth, caramel-y profile of maple blends harmoniously with the chewy saltiness of bacon. Cakes, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies – you name it, maple and bacon is a delectable pairing for anything you want to bake.
Dark Chocolate, Coffee, and Bacon
If you’re looking for something that is absolutely decadent, mix the full-bodied flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and bacon. The velvet bitterness of dark chocolate and energizing zing of coffee add a pleasant edge to the greasy richness of bacon. These three ingredients create a perfect balance of salty, sweet, and savory. We particularly like using these flavors with cake recipes.
Banana and Bacon
Using fruit like potassium-rich bananas as your base flavor when baking makes it easier to convince yourself that loading on the bacon won’t detract from the overall nutrition value. Pairing the subdued, mellow taste of bananas with that of salty bacon also creates a lighter flavor than when you’re using chocolate or maple. We recommend trying a banana bacon bread recipe. Or, banana nut bacon muffins are tasty and fun to experiment with.
Fig and Bacon
The complex sweetness of figs is a wonderful complement to savory bacon. Figs are a popular choice for bakers particularly during the holidays, and adding bacon to desserts like fig tarts can put a creative twist on traditional favorites. Candied bacon, figs, and apricot jam also make delicious pies.
Bourbon and Bacon
For 21-and-over adults who want something a little racier, combine bourbon and bacon for an unbelievably rich flavor. The smooth tang of the alcohol adds just the right polish to bacon’s saltiness. Bourbon will also increase the moistness of your cakes or cookies, and these ingredients can help you create a gooey consistency. Bourbon, bacon, and buttercream cupcakes are to die for, and we are also partial to bacon bourbon brownies with pecans. Get creative with some cherries in this flavor pairing, as well.
What are your favorite flavors to pair with bacon when you’re baking? Leave a comment below to share your recipes.