When I cook for a party the food do get some attention, but mostly I just want to the food to be one positive element of the party; what’s important is the mix of food, cold drinks, fun people and a nice atmosphere.
But at our Christmas party the week before Christmas a lot of focus was on the food, and one canapé in particular – these caramelised bacon bites! One can say they were the star of the show, the diva in fact, because they were talked about a lot.
And I understand why, as this little morsel of deliciousness places itself in that perfect intersection between salty and sweet and crispy and chewy, but it also has a hint of spice and a smokiness that makes every single bite (and trust me, you will eat many!) interesting.
So without much further ado, I give you the recipe. It’s the brain child of the fabulous Ina Garten and I salute her for creating something this perfect AND easy to make. But I have made quite a few changes to the recipe. I only omitted one ingredient (pecan nuts as some guests were allergic), but as I made enough of these to feed a small army, I also changed the method (and size) slightly to save time.
Caramelised bacon bites, makes 30
Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe.
118 ml light dark brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp good quality maple syrup
225 g fairly thick slices smoked streaky bacon
Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Mix all the ingredients apart from the bacon in a bowl. Cut each bacon slice into three (I found using scissors the easiest way to do this) and place with space in between on the parchment paper covered tray.
Pat in the sugar mixture in a thin layer on each bacon piece using a teaspoon then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned but not burnt. Leave to cool on the parchment paper. Serve at room temperature.