May 14, 2009

Creamfest 2009 epilogue, and bacon toffee.

We've been busy ignoring this blog but now I am back to report the final outcome of Creamfest 2009:

- The mascarpone was incorporated into a lemon chiffon cake with strawberry & mascarpone filling, of which Emily has photos. It was my first time making a chiffon style cake and it turned out awesome, and I want to flavor more things with lemon zest because of how delicious it was.

- The remaining 2 gallons of cream went south shortly thereafter and were rendered into cultured butter. It took pretty much a whole weekend and my freezer is so full of butter, you have no idea.

Now, bacon toffee:

I stayed home sick today after waking up to the third straight day of a migraine. Being a neurotically industrious person (no really), I decided to do stuff in the kitchen in my less-than-coherent state.

First I caramelized some onions, because I felt like I should make them and save them for later or something:

Then I set to work on the toffee:

Mise en splat

Toffee is pretty much the worst thing you could eat, ever. It's butter and sugar melted together with a pinch of salt and vanilla, then allowed to recrystallize. Hence the gross picture of butter & sugar melting in the pot.

In case you forgot what bacon looked like, or if you thought we hadn't posted enough pictures of the horrible things we do to bacon.

Butter & sugar boiling

The ensuing steps in the process happened rather quickly, and my alternate photographer was sleeping on the couch, so I don't have pictures of me stirring the crumbled bacon and vanilla extract into a pot of 300F bubbling sugar and fat. You'll just have to imagine it as being rather warm and dangerous.

I poured the mix onto parchment paper on a baking sheet:

After it cooled (and I broke off bits of the edges that cooled first for quality control), I punched it some and put the pieces in a ziploc bag to keep humidity from making it soft and sticky.

Mmmm, shards of death.

Verdict: Tasty and kind of weird. Mostly tastes like a medium-to-dark caramelized toffee, and the bacon flavor only surfaces upon encountering a piece embedded in the candy.
Definitely a novelty, and I'm trying to figure out who I can get to help eat this batch, because a pound of toffee is a lot of candy.