August 8, 2009 was a momentous day, a day made of bacon.
In celebration of my birthday, I hosted a bacon-themed potluck. It was a rousing success. I would definitely like to do something like this again, with better organization and a better venue (and a different theme).
Those of you who are following me on Twitter have already seen the photos I’m about to share, a full summary of the menu for the evening (sans adult beverages and the olive tray and potato salad that existed for the vegetarians in attendance). Commence salivation:
Chocolate Covered Bacon from my friend Greg. I had to explain what a double boiler was to Greg before he made this, and his cookware thanks me.
Bacon tacos, from friend Barb. The container of bacon is three pounds worth of bacon, condensed into its most delicious form, enveloped in taco sauce and other joyous condiments. They were a big hit and I plan on borrowing the dish for my own use. The two small containers in the back contained pickled jalapenos, which were great and surprisingly hot.
Avid Twitterer, golfer and Whedon fangirl Sheli whipped up a shockingly tasty bacon ranch pasta salad. This normally isn’t my kind of thing, but I had to sample everything, and it was really great.
My good friend Kyle brought a…well, I don’t even know how to describe what this is other than to call it Porbacam. It is a pork loin stuffed with ham, wrapped in bacon. Seasoned with fresh rosemary and thyme.
And my own contribution. The big show itself. The impetus for the first inaugural bacon party, a bacon cheesecake. Yes, while there is fresh chopped bacon garnishing the top of the cake, there is also bacon mixed into the filling.
In short, all of the food rocked. I was very proud of how the cheesecake turned out, especially. Nearly everybody ate a piece and I had only two small, small slices left over at the end of the night and received universal praise from the guests.
Several of you have asked me for the recipe, and so here it is. If you’re going to post it elsewhere aside from personal use (and I’m okay with that, because we’re friends), just be sure to give credit where it’s due.
8oz. of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, finely ground
1 1/4 stick of melted, salted butter
3 tablespoons of maple syrup (I used Mrs. Butterworth’s because it is my favorite)
2 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 8oz. package of mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 Teaspoon salt
1 pound of bacon
- Start by cooking the bacon. I recommend using a microwave just to prevent burning and ensure even cooking. It is important that the bacon be cooked but not charred. Cover the cooked bacon with paper towels to absorb extra grease (this is also important). Reserve 1/4 pound of the bacon for garnish.
- Make the crust my mixing in the butter and syrup with the cookie crumbs, and using the mixture to line the bottom and side of your springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Cool for 20-25 minutes.
- While baking the crust, start mixing the filling in a large bowl. Using a stand mixer on High speed, mix the cheese together and then slow the speed of the mixer to add the eggs one at a time. Finally, add sugar, salt and bacon. Mix for about 3-5 minutes, until fluffy.
- Once cooled, fill the crust and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before refrigerating.
The resulting cheesecake should still be sweet, but not overly so, a complement to the natural sweetness of the bacon. As evidenced above, the final product should have a bit of a buttery color. It is delicious and awesome.