Monday, 16 July 2012

Bites and Pieces: Eat Like a Girl Bacon Masterclass

Aoife, Cambridge

Bacon fudge. That's all you need to know really. It's as good as it sounds, even better actually. I also came away from this class with candied bacon, bacon jam and bacon vodka. I think it’s clear to see: you need to get yourself to one of these classes.

Niamh is an entertaining and enthusiastic teacher who puts the whole class at their ease. I arrived cranky, wet and tired after a hard day at work, delayed trains and a walk in the lashing rain. I left energised, relaxed and smelling rather deliciously of bacon (to the delight of those on my train home). Niamh’s commitment to using high quality ingredients is inspiring. The incredible Denhay bacon we used didn’t give off any telltale liquid as it cooked and looked so tasty I was tempted to taste some raw (it had been a long day). 

Candied bacon was first on the list. I’d never tried this before so it was a complete revelation for me. Once it was done we ended up eating most of it as we made our other delights. I managed to save just enough to have an incredible sandwich (candied bacon, feta, cucumber, red onion and chilli jam) the next day. The bacon jam is almost indescribable, full of intense bacon and chilli flavours. I’m looking forward to trying it with scallops, goat’s cheese salad and in sandwiches. The fudge making was great fun. The amazing Glenilen butter we used actually had me licking butter off my fingers. A good few spoonfuls of our bacon jam turned above average fudge into one of the best things I have ever eaten. I just can’t stop stuffing my face with it. Bacon vodka was our last task. My batch still needs a couple more days maturing before I filter it and test it out. Expect to hear more from me on fat-wash spirits. Apparently it’s going to make an epic Bloody Mary. Roll on the weekend!

Check out Niamh’s website Eat Like a Girl for details of upcoming classes. The classes are held at the lovely Central St Cookery School which is very handy for King’s Cross and getting back to Cambridge.

Clockwise from top left: Denhay bacon; getting our bacon jam started; candied bacon sandwich; candied bacon fresh from the oven

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