Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bacon and Chili Oil Chocolate Torte

I really like the idea of chocolate and bacon, but I have had a hard time finding it combined in a way I liked. My first exposure was in the Vosges candy bar.  The idea seemed antithetical yet exciting, but the candy bar just still felt like eating bacon and chocolate--the two just didn't come together.  The bacon didn't compliment the chocolate; the chocolate didn't make the the bacon better. 

I had faith, though, that the two could, and would, come together.  So for Valentine's Day, the day of chocolate and decadent excess, I tried my hand at a union between bacon and chocolate.  My hunch was that it needed a go-between flavor to help bridge the rather large gap between smoky and salty to sweet and creamy.  I kicked around coconut milk, cinnamon, peanut butter (which I still might try at some point).  Finally, I remembered a torte from Paul Gayler's cookbook, The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook, that made a chocolate torte with chili oil.  To me, chili oil (like the black pepper in Vosges candy bar) could be a key to bringing bacon and chocolate together because chili/heat is such a compatible flavor to both.  The other thought I had was to help complete the combination of salty, sweet, and spicy, by bringing in a little tart to balance the palate.

And so, the Bacon and Chili Oil Chocolate Torte was born.  
Bacon and Orange Zest Crust
1 cup chocolate wafers crumbs
¼ cup walnuts
4 strips (1/3 cup) bacon, diced
2 tsp. orange zest (about 1 orange)
1 tablespoon grated dark chocolate
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup salted melted butter
Pinch salt
Pinch red pepper flakes 


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the bacon and 1 tbls. of the brown sugar.  Keep the bacon moving around until it is cooked and crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel.  Then, in the same pan, brown the walnuts (about 5 minutes of stirring continually).
  2. In a food processor, add walnuts, cookies, and bacon.  Process until all are in very fine crumbs. 
  3. Place the walnuts, cookie and bacon crumbs  in a large mixing bowl.  Add orange zest, grated chocolate, the other tablespoon of brown sugar, butter, salt, and pepper flakes.  Stir until it forms a loose mixture. 
  4. Scoop mixture into a 9-in pie pan and mold into a pie crust.  With a fork, make pricks in the crust to allow air to escape.  Place in a 350°F oven and cook for 10 minutes.  Set aside and let cool. 
Chocolate and Chili Oil Filling 
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp chili oil
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt


  1. In a pot over medium-low heat, bring milk and cream to a gentle simmer.  Then, remove from burner and stir in the chocolate, chili oil, and salt.  When the chocolate is melted, add a little bit of the mixture to a bowl in which you have beaten the eggs.  Keep whisking to keep the eggs from cooking.  Now that the temperature of the eggs is warm, add the egg mixture into the pan with the milk and chocolate.  Keep whisking until the mixture is completely incorporated.
  2. Add filling to the chocolate and bacon crumb shell.  Place in a 325°F oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until chocolate is set. 
  3. When the pie is finished cooking, remove from oven and let cool.  Once cool, add some Himalayan pink salt on the top. 

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  1. Great idea! Was it delicious?

    1. Yes! It was! But, even though as a slice of pie it was good, I think next time I would make it in a square pan so that it could be more like a lemon square size.


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