There are some ingredients that you’re accustomed to seeing on the pastry table: chocolate, berry, vanilla, lemon, spice. But bacon? Increasingly, yes. Not just for breakfast anymore, bacon has been working its way onto dessert menus across the country.
Pastry chefs and candy-makers alike are finding that bacon’s smoky flavor provides a perfect salty counterpoint for sweet flavors. Anyone who’s drowned their breakfast plate in syrup can attest to that sugar-savory combination. But accidental dousing aside, bacon is becoming a deliberate component of many dessert offerings.
Like at Dovetail
in New York, where a brioche bread pudding is served with rum vanilla ice cream, bananas… and bacon brittle. Or at the renowned Fat Duck
, Heston Blumenthal’s triple-Michelin-starred English restaurant, where the chef has been known to serve bacon and egg ice cream with pain perdu.
While either of these may be vaguely reminiscent of breakfast, others are decidedly not. The Gramercy Tavern
often features a milk chocolate tart with bacon and crème fraiche. Pastry chef Brian Logsdon designed a bacon baklava
for a dessert at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. The urban barbeque favorite Blue Smoke
in New York serves beignets with bacon-maple dipping sauce. And the city’s Dessert Truck
—a high-end streetside vendor making the Manhattan rounds—serves its famed chocolate bread pudding with an optional bacon crème anglaise.
And desserts aren’t the only ones to get the bacon treatment. Chocolatiers have also discovered the potential of bacon sweets: Roni-Sue’s Chocolates
in New York sells “Pig Candy,” chocolate-covered bacon strips, in both dark and milk varieties, while decidedly high-end Vosges Chocolate
carries applewood-smoked Bacon Bars… and, paying homage to its muse, “Flying Pigs,” pig-shaped chocolates studded with the same smoked bacon.
Pairing sweet and savory is nothing new. But meat on the dessert menu? Its time has come.