Who is always your biggest critic? Your children of course. Not being born with the vaguest sign of any brain to mouth filter, mine are definitely not shy to speak their minds. Especially when it comes to food and more specifically when it comes to that stand alone food group we call “bacon”. Even my vegetarian friends go a little misty eyed when the word is used in conversation with them and one can’t help notice the slight quiver on the lip as they contemplate their tofu salad.
So when it came to testing out the latest product in the range – Beech Smoked Maple Bacon – it seemed that the logical test panel to use was my two daughters. Commander J would have been the perfect third person in the panel but was unfortunately in need of some reformation and left her pristine palace in our (by then greasy and floury) hands. To make it even more fun we decided to make a batch of mini brioches featured in the latest edition of House and Leisure Food magazine.
Sunday morning dawned, the weather was beautiful and the tension was palpable. If you listened hard you could hear the theme from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and at any minute we expected to hear the jingle of spurs and coming down the passage. I drew a double strength shot of Calle Copey from Rosetta Roastery to steady the nerves and then we were off. Having followed the brioche recipe to the T (thanks to Evan from Knead for the fresh yeast), we popped them in the oven for 25 minutes and started preparing for the duel.
In the left pan sizzled the contender, full of the sweetness of youth and promise while in the right pan, quietly confident, herby and with hardly a splutter was the title holder – Real Bacon. The brioches came out beautifully and I can highly recommend the recipe. They are quite fun as individual little breads and will also make a fantastic french toast.
The results unfortunately were inconclusive. Bella liked the maple bacon. Slightly less salty, a waft of beech smoke and the sweet fragrance of maple syrup. Of course she is the younger, more headstrong daughter and likes to challenge the old order (future lawyer). Julia is old school, preferring the herby favourite and not really tolerant of upstarts (“A” type first born). So of course in future I now have to cook 2 kinds of bacon every Sunday just to keep the peace. If you want to know which is best you’ll have to try them both and decide for yourself.
I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it – Cyrus Ching