Praline Bacon Ice Cream

praline bacon ice cream

Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in my first cooking competition – The Bacon Takedown.  Organized by Matt Timms of chilitakedown.com, this competition was part of a series of friendly amateur cooking competitions held around the United States.  As it reads on Matt’s website, “Self-taught cooks bring in their brilliant creations and compete for money, prizes, and self respect.”

lindsay bacon takedownNot a great picture, but you can see me in action

When I heard the Bacon Takedown was coming to New Orleans, I knew immediately that I needed to enter.  I had been playing around with the idea of making a bacon ice cream, and this competition gave me the extra push I needed to attempt it.  Praline bacon is a regional delight that is often served along side breakfast in New Orleans.  I decided to turn this New Orleans favorite into a flavorful ice cream!

I loved the results!  Creamy and sweet ice cream with the flavor of gently caramelized sugar along with the salty and crunchy goodness of praline bacon.  A match made in heaven.  Unfortunately I did not win any prizes in the Bacon Takedown, but it was a very fun experience and I hope to enter again next year.  I also received a lot of great feedback about the ice cream so I still think it was a win for me. 

Would you like some FREE bacon so you can try the recipe yourself?  Leave a comment below telling me how your will use your free bacon and you will be entered to win 10 pounds of bacon and an official Bacon Takedown apron (like mine in the picture), courtesy of Hormel.  Yes, you read correctly…10 pounds of bacon!!

Here are the rules:

1) Leave a comment on THIS POST or via Twitter (@ScoopAdventurer) by 11:59 pm CDT Sunday, October 3, 2010. Please ensure that I can find your contact information.  If I can’t find you, then I will choose another winner.
2) One entry per person (duplicates will be deleted).
3) Participants must have a US shipping address.
4) The winner will be selected at random using a random number generator and announced on Tuesdsay, October 5, 2010.

Try this recipe for yourself and you may be surprised at how much you like this “unusual” ice cream.  Enjoy!

Praline Bacon Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

6 slices of bacon
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, divided
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (11 g) cornstarch
1 ½ oz. cream cheese (3 Tablespoons), softened
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (133 g) sugar
1/8 cup corn syrup (30 ml)
2 Tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare praline bacon:

Preheat over to 425 degrees F.  Line a large sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper.  Place cooling rack on sheet pan.  Evenly space bacon on rack.  Cover each slice of bacon with 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar.  Bake bacon for 12 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and flip over each piece of bacon and cover with remaining dark brown sugar (1 Tablespoon each).  Return bacon to oven and bake until all sugar is melted and the bacon begins to crisp, about 12 minutes.  Remove sheet pan from oven and let bacon cool on rack.  Once cool, chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.

To prepare ice cream base:

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.  Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside.

Prepare and measure all other ingredients before beginning next step (melting sugar).  Prepare milk mixture (combine remaining milk and heavy cream), measure corn syrup and set aside.

Place sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.  When sugar begins to melt, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Continue heating until sugar melts completely and begins to caramelize (sugar does not require very much stirring but watch very carefully because sugar burns fast).  Remove from heat just as sugar begins to smoke and quickly add milk mixture.  Be careful – milk will bubble and spit when added to the hot sugar, this is normal.  Sugar may harden when milk is poured over it but it will melt again once returned to heat.

Return milk and sugar mixture to medium heat and add corn syrup.  Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.  Return to a boil and cook over medium heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute.  Add bacon fat and stir until melted.

Gradually pour the hot milk mixture (through the sieve) into large bowl with cream cheese. Whisk until cream cheese is melted and combined.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 20 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When ice cream is near completion of churning, add chopped bacon and continue churning until well combined.  Place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Comments

  1. says

    I went to the Bacon Takedown in Brooklyn a while back and it was awesome! Praline Bacon Ice Cream sounds divine. Please enter me into the free bacon contest.

  2. Mike says

    I, too, would love to enter the contest. If the bacon ice cream doesn't work out, at least I can use the 10 lbs to weave together a nice bacon blanket (blancon?) Mmmm….

  3. says

    Wow 10lbs of bacon…that a lot smoke, sweet, porky goodness.

    I guess I would try make a bacon and blueberry pancake ice cream…since that one of my favorite breakfast why not turn it into a dessert?

  4. says

    aww cool! i don't want to win bacon but i just wanted to leave a comment saying i tried bacon ice cream this past summer… yes to salt and sugar and that bacony crunch!! recipe looks great BTW…!

  5. Matt L says

    While the praline ice cream sounds good, I definitely prefer a maple bacon ice cream. I'd definitely make that. It's also tailgating season, so lately i've been craving bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. Mmmm. What about the rest of the bacon? Well it's bacon. There's nothing wrong with eating a side of bacon or two as a side with breakfast.

  6. says

    Congrats! Even though you didn't win, it sounds like you still put some N'Awlins' style into the bacon competition. First, I'd fry up a pound of bacon to make a batch of my Bacon-Rum Pralines, one of my first recipes I ever did for my blog over at @BoozeInfused. Next, I'd make some creamy, cheesy bacon and potato soup. Then, I'd bake up some crunchy bacon chips to serve with goat cheese and spinach dip and my homemade balsamic vinaigrette. After that, I'd experiment by making a batch of Maple Bacon gelato. If that's not enough, I'll wrap some Gulf shrimp in bacon for the next Saints game and serve up a batch of Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies. Bacon – it makes me want to have a party, invite all vegans and laugh manically at them because of the flavor they are missing!

  7. Robin says

    I've been dreaming of making Bacon Chip Ice Cream Sandwichs – a perfect harmony of salty and sweet coming together in savory goodness. 10 lbs of bacon is just the incentive I need to make this dream come true. Thanks!

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