Chocolate Dates Bacon, and the result is a delicious concoction of a date, stuffed with an almond, then coated with spiced chocolate mixed with bacon bits. The combination of textures and flavors will tantalize your tastebuds and put a smile on your face.
This recipe was a created for my son’s Prometheus class, which is a combination of history and science. They were studying chocolate and had to come up with a recipe that would be judged and graded based on presentation, taste, and creativity.
My son, Ryan, asked for my culinary acumen to concoct something different yet intriguing. Being the opportunist that I am, I concentrated on enhancing the flavor of chocolate and pairing it with something exciting knowing full well I would post it in the future.
I was never one of those parents who did their kid’s homework, mostly because I would probably get it wrong. There is a difference between helping and doing the whole thing. It would upset me greatly when I saw all these ridiculous parents doing their kids a disservice by doing their homework. What are the kids going to learn if the parents do all the work?
I remember when my son was in elementary school and he was assigned a research project on sea life. They had to pick a creature, research it, and make a representation of it. Many of the other students picked topics like sea lions and small, colorful fish.
My son picked a whale.
He created a whale with plaster paris in art class, researched it, wrote about it, and did the entire thing himself.
The morning it was due, I brought him to school and helped him carry his project. It was an adorable whale about 8” long glued onto a piece of wood that was labeled “Whale”. Along comes this mom who was carrying a SIX FOOT PAPER MACHE BARRACUDA. I MEAN 6 FOOT! I stopped in my tracks and provoked a conversation…
Me: “Oh my gosh! Did your son make that? That’s incredible!” – knowing full well he didn’t.
That mom: “Oh course not! I did the whole thing! He had baseball practice. How was he going to do it?”
Me: “Isn’t that the whole point? He had to do it?”
That mom: “But he had baseball practice! He can’t miss baseball practice!”
I needed someone to hold me back because the anger and frustration that was arising in me was like a volcano ready to erupt. It’s parents like that who do such a disservice to their kids. What’s going to happen when his mom gets him a job? Is she going to walk in with a 6 FOOT BARRACUDA? Geez!
I digress. I helped Ryan with the recipe but he was going to do all the work.
First, we got some dates, semisweet chocolate, (we used chocolate chips) and cooked some bacon until crisp.
He wanted it to be a little spicy and interesting. I added some spice to the chocolate and he tasted it until it was just enough to tantalize the tastebuds.
He stuffed a date with bits of crunchy bacon, then coated it in the melted spiced chocolate. My original recipe included stuffing the date with the almond and topping with bacon, but he didn’t want almonds because he didn’t like the texture. It was his project so he made the rules – hence, good parent.
Next, was presentation. He shot down all my suggestions and went to my Mom for guidance. She’s all about elegance, wanting to use fancy doilies and plates, but he politely said no. Instead, he asked to use these simple, plain, white, mini bowls, and placed one spiced chocolate covered date in each. I recommended sprinkling the bowl with some spiced cocoa powder which made it pretty.
Ryan used one of my wooden serving trays, lined it with a placemat, placed all the bowls in it, and brought it to school. He presented to the judges and they took a bite not knowing what was in store. SHAZAM! We, I mean HE, was sure to win!
We waited for the results the next few days with great anticipation. He won! I was extremely proud of my son. You know why? Because HE did it. He asked for guidance but did all the work himself. He learned about tempering. pairing spices, and creativity in presentation.
For this post, I’m going back to my original recipe which included almonds. Stuff the date with an almond then coat with chocolate mixed with bacon bits.
Present with a sprinkle of cocoa powder and salt. When someone bites into this delicious morsel, they will be surprised at the salty deliciousness of the bacon, the spice of the chocolate, and the crunchy almond in the center.
I dedicate this post to my son, Ryan. He inspires me to create, helps with my pictures, proofs my writing, and provides constructive criticism. Te quiero con todo mi corazón – I love you with all my heart.
For Valentine’s Day, why not make your love these delicious treats? The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate to firm up.
If you make this, let me know what you think by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @thegeneticchef and use hashtag #thegeneticchef. I would love to hear all about it.
Thanks for visiting and Happy Valentine’s Day.
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 slices bacon, (more if you plan on munching)
- 12 almonds
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (little more than ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- unsweetened cocoa powder, optional for presentation
- To cook the bacon, place a few slices on a foiled lined baking sheet and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. I use my toaster oven and cook 20 minutes for thick sliced or 15 minutes for thin sliced bacon. Reserve the bacon fat. Transfer bacon to a cutting board and blot with a paper towel. Slice the bacon into bits.
- Measure out 2 teaspoons of bacon fat and place in a small bowl along with the chocolate chips and cayenne pepper. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Usually takes 1 minute 30 seconds with my microwave.
- Alternatively, place a bowl that's larger than the opening of a pot filled with an inch or so of water over medium heat. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch water. Heat and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Stir in bacon bits.
- Stuff a date with an almond and coat with the chocolate bacon mixture.
- Place on a parchment lined plate. Repeat with remaining dates.
- Sprinkle tops with a little salt.
- Place in fridge until chocolate has hardened.
- Recipe can be doubled, tripled, ...
- Share with your loved one and Enjoy!