Candied bacon (and what to do with it)

March 6, 2011


Candied Bacon

Salty pork works very well with sweet stuff. Bacon and maple syrup with pancakes or bacon and onion brioche are both excellent examples. If you can feel that vibe then try candying bacon; it’s really easy and you end up with crisp, sticky, varnished rashers that shine like porcine treasure. It works much better with streaky bacon, because it’s fattier and candied pig fat is to die for. It’s still good with back bacon, just be prepared to fight for the streaky end.

Apart from chopping it into pieces and serving with an ice cold beer (even better if you sprinkle a bit of cayenne on the meat before cooking), there are other glorious uses for candied bacon. Here are some of them, foraged from the web by me, while munching on the above. Sticky keyboard ahoy.

– Candied bacon ice cream is the bomb. I use David Lebovitz’s recipe, although I make extra candied bacon to sprinkle on top. This brown butter candied bacon ice cream recipe is next on the hit list.

– Candied bacon martini anyone? It’s clearly not a Martini, as the author points out but I’d sure as hell drink it anyway. I think.

– Jamie whips up a candied bacon salad. In 30 minutes or under, I hope.

– Chocolate covered bacon sweets are so popular across the pond they have their own Wikipedia entry. The Americans as ever are way ahead when it comes to putting sugar where you’d imagine it doesn’t belong and people have started businesses selling sticky porcine confections.

– Candied bacon with pecans or praline bacon – probably my favourite candied bacon recipe of all time.

As I munched on my third piece of candied bacon, I couldn’t shake off the thought of trying to work it into a sandwich. An idea lurked at the back of my mind, both exciting and faintly disturbing. People, I bring you the eggy-bread and candied bacon sandwich. Behold!

Candied Bacon Eggy Bread Sandwich


The only way to make this sandwich more of a guilty pleasure would be to make it illegal. Fluffy eggy bread yields to the crunch of candy then salty pork. Oh deary me, I did feel the shame. My boyfriend and I managed half each. We couldn’t look each other in the eye afterwards.

Candied Bacon

Streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford. If possible, ask your butcher to cut it quite thick (if you haven’t read the post above, yes I used back bacon. It’s fine but streaky tastes much better).
Light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C. Lay the bacon slices on a non-stick baking tray and sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of sugar over each one. Cook in the oven for about 6-8 minutes or until golden and caramelised on one side. Remove the slices from the oven and carefully turn them over, wiping them around in the melted sugar on the baking tray. Return to the oven to cook again. You need to watch that bacon like a hawk as it will catch and burn easily. Allow to crisp and cool before eating.

For some sweet variations try using maple sugar to candy the bacon, add some spices or perhaps some smoky chipotle flakes.

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  • Reply Gin and Crumpets March 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I have had bacon chocolate! It was quite good. And it makes me think: “What if your candied bacon eggy bread sandwich was made with chocolate chip bread?” Or would that be too close to the Chocolate Chip Pancake Wrapped Sausage On A Stick of The Daily Show fame? Probably. I’d still eat it, though.

  • Reply Sabrina Ghayour March 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    On its own YES in between 2 slices of eggy bread? NO. (no, no, no) Ice cream idea sounds yum though.

  • Reply Sarah at Good Bite In March 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    evil! you have you given me a bacon craving to rule all bacon cravings!

  • Reply aforkfulofspaghetti March 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Yummeroo 🙂

    But your pics seem to show back bacon, not streaky bacon… *is confused*

  • Reply Helen March 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Gin and Crumpets – ooh I WANT! I want bacon chocolate.
    Sabrina – wimp 😉
    Sarah – You’re welcome.
    Aforkfulofspaghetti – like I said in the post, streaky works best but back is fine.

  • Reply Su-Lin March 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make this but with American style thin rashers so they’d get really crispy. Do they get crispy anyway with British style rashers?

  • Reply Helen March 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Su-Lin – I’m starting to get really worried that no-one reads my blog posts 😉 I used back bacon because that’s what I had in. It’s better with streaky bacon, as I said in the post.

  • Reply Lizzie March 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    But I thought you said you should use streaky bacon?

    😉 lovely. Though I once had french toast from Foxcroft and Ginger and it was so hugely rich and greasy it has momentarily put me off.


  • Reply Kay March 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    You might just have given me the inspiration for tonight’s dinner… I’ve got bacon lying around in the fridge somewhere…

    @Gin and Crumpets: I’ve had chocolate chip cookies with candied bacon bits before – yummy!

  • Reply Su-Lin March 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I did read your blog post! But I was wondering about American style streaky (which is very very thin and normally cooks up like bacon crisps) versus British style streaky (which I assumed that you had made before because you mentioned it!). I did notice that you mentioned crisp but I guess I was wondering how crisp!

    Sorry, I see now where the confusion lay. I said rashers but I meant streaky rashers! American style being like Oscar Meyer!

  • Reply Helen March 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Sul-Lin – Sorry! I was on high alert just then because I got absolutely bombarded on Twitter with questions about streaky vs. back and I got all freaked out. I didn’t realise that American streaky was different to UK streaky so I have learned something new. Sorry again!

  • Reply Gourmet Chick March 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Another use for you – I maple syrup and walnut cup cakes topped with candied bacon (recipe on my blog) – delicious.

  • Reply Jenny Eatwell March 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Why, oh why, is my OH diabetic? ~cries~

  • Reply KSalty March 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    augggh. What a picture. I wants me some candied bacon ice cream, and I wants it now.

  • Reply Cinabar March 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    What a strange idea – I have tried chocolate bacon bar – its was ‘different’ a good novelty but not something I’d re-purchase.

  • Reply Steve Fox March 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

    @Jenny Eatwell.

    I, too, am diabetic.

    And I don’t care.

    I am going to make this. And eat it. And suffer.

    A lot.

    But do I care?

    Do I f…

    The biggest worry I have about this is – what sort of cheese to add?

  • Reply Robert March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Mmm… Loving the idea of grilling rashers which is very similar to the bacon and Maple syrup drenched pancakes. I had it last Sunday as the combo of salty bacon and syrup was enticingly salty and sweet.

  • Reply Jonathan March 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Good grief. That has to be the best sandwich I’ve seen this year. You should be arrested for posting this.

  • Reply David March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Have you come across the woman from Peckham who makes homemade pork pies? Calls herself Lardy Dah I think.

  • Reply Tori (@eat-tori) March 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    This is genius. But you know that, right?

  • Reply Drew March 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I work at a large natural foods store in the US and I got my chef to make this for our breakfast. It’s AWESOME Thanks!

  • Reply Helen March 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

    David – I’ve heard of her before, on Brockley Central I think. Do you know any more details? Like where I can find her?

  • Reply Evie March 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Helen, thanks so much for this fabulous idea – I tried it at the weekend and cut it into strips and used it as alternative ‘soldiers’ for my boiled egg – utterly divine! Thanks for posting something so fabulous!

  • Reply Agostinho March 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    flippin’ thats a cardiac arrest waiting to happen, haha, love it!

    am i dim as anything or did you not include the instructions for the eggy bread? im a proper newbie, lol

  • Reply Helen March 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Agostinho – I didn’t post a recipe for eggy bread – sorry! I will though because my boyfriend makes the best eggy bread ever. FACT.

  • Reply Peter January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    You should put this in a tarte tartin. In between the apple and the pastry. It’s pretty mega.

    • Reply Helen January 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      PHWOAR! Loving your work.

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