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Dark Chocolate Breakfast Bar

CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST !!!
with granola, hickory smoked BACON, espresso beans and pecans
what self respecting chocolate lover doesn’t dream about chocolate?
well, now you can wake up, enjoy your chocolate and feel fabulous about the day ahead.
A GOOD DAY STARTS THE CHOCOLATE WAY!

CHOCOLATE IS THE CURE ALL

of course there are health benefits in dark chocolate.  pecans have their omegas, bacon has protein…HA HA…and granola is…granola,
but the best part about chocolate is that “moment”
that feeling that everything is gonna be okay
WHY NOT START YOUR DAY WITH ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS…
THE DARK CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST BAR
1 pound of good dark chocolate.  i use Guittard 61% coverture discs
BACON…about 8-10 slices cooked crispy and chopped or crumbled
1 1/2 cup of good plain (gluten free) granola
1/2 cup “sweet-spicy” pecans, some cut, some whole.  try Trader Joe’s
1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans
1/8 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 tsp hickory smoke flavoring in a bottle
1/8 tsp chipotle powder…a little more maybe?
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
smoked sea salt for top sprinkle.  try Maldon’s flaked
NOTE…have extra goodies (granola, pecans, bacon etc.) on hand in case your mixture looks too “soupy”.  ingredient size and shape can vary.
prepare an 8×8 inch square pan.  lightly butter the bottom and sides. this will help hold the parchment to the sides.  line the bottom and two sides with “the parchment sling” (baking tip from Suzie Sweet Tooth).

TEMPER YOUR CHOCOLATE!
this is rather important in my opinion.
tempering keeps your chocolate fresh and snappy instead of a melting blotchy mess.  it will keep at room temperature and be a lot more enjoyable to wrap and give away…TRUST ME.
this is not a hard thing to do.  i think the “microwave method” is easiest.  see my tempering instructions HERE or visit Alton Brown’s instructions HERE.
IN A NUT SHELL… you will slowly melt the chocolate, bring it up to 115 degrees (for dark) and slowly lower the temp to 90 degrees before using…but please click on link for instructions.

once your chocolate is tempered and at about 90-91 degrees, start to add in your goodies.  NOTE…save a few bits and pieces for a sprinkle on the top.  when adding in the powdered spices like chipotle, i like to do this through a small strainer for more control.  i wouldn’t want one person to get a mouthful of heat…right?
also be very careful with the “hickory flavoring”.  this can make or break you.  use a light hand with this for the first time using.  i found that just about 1/4 tsp was good enough.
don’t go wild with the mixing or everything will lose it’s individual unique flavor, ie…the spicy pecans, the smoky bacon and the cinnamon granola.  you want everything including the dark chocolate to shine on it’s own.
pour/spoon mixture into prepared pan.  let sit on counter until solid or put in the fridge.  when set, loosen sides with a knife and lift out by the “sling” handles.
cut into desired pieces with sharp clean knife.

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