Dark Chocolate for BREAKFAST! :D

This is a very adjustable recipe, since it’s basically just melt shit in pot of chocolate and call it ‘breakfast’ so feel free to make adjustments!

  • 1 lb good dark chocolate (preferably chips or chunks, not a solid brick)
  • 8-10 slices bacon, cooked crispy and chopped/crumbled
  • 1.5 c. plain granola, gluten-free and so forth
  • 1/2 c. “sweet-spicy” pecans or almonds – make your own or try Trader Joe’s
  • 1/2 c. chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • 1/8 c. cocoa nibs
  • 1/3 c. dried fruit of choice (raisins, cranberries, etc. – or chop larger dried fruit, like apricots or dates)
  • 1/4 tsp hickory smoke flavoring (can use own spice blend for this, or a bottle)
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt to sprinkle on top

Sub-Steps:

For good, baked bacon: (the problem with this is that is uses the oven, and your kitchen should be cool when working with the chocolate, not warm, so do this step ahead of time if possible)

  • Line a baking tray with foil; place bacon in a single layer.
  • Put in cold oven; set temperature to 380 F; set timer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove tray and drain fat.  If desired, sprinkle bacon with seasonings (ex. cumin, chipotle powder, etc), then flip each piece over.
  • Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Drain fat again if necessary – bacon must be crisp!  Set slices on paper towels & dab off excess fat.  Let cool completely, then crumble.

For DIY flavored nuts: See my post about “rosemary roasted nuts” and just replace the rosemary with other spices, like some brown sugar and paprika or cumin or cinnamon or allspice or whatever strikes your fancy.

For DIY ‘plain’ granola: You can get some premade at the store, but if you want to make your own…

  • 2 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil of choice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix until all oats are moist.  The whole mixture should be a bit clumpy and wet.  If you like clusters, add a splash of water (1-2 tsp) to help some of the oats clump together.   Spread into a thin layer on a baking tray lined with foil; bake about 20 minutes (stir halfway through baking to ensure none of it gets too dark).  It will harden as it cools, so don’t dry it completely in the oven.

For good, tempered DARK chocolate: (the temperatures are a bit different for milk chocolate)

  • Use microwave method to melt chocolate, rather than a double-boiler, to eliminate any chance of getting water in your good chocolate!
    1. Put chocolate in glass bowl; microwave on high 30 seconds; stir & wipe down sides with clean spatula.
    2. Microwave another 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir (total of 3x).
    3. Microwave another 15 seconds, stir, 15 seconds, stir, repeat until chocolate reaches 100 F.
    4. Microwave another 10 seconds, stir, and repeat until chocolate reaches 115 F (about 5x).
    5. Remove from microwave and cool by stirring occasionally, until chocolate cools to 95 F.
    6. Add other ingredients until chocolate cools to 90 F.
    7. Test the temper of the chocolate by spreading a small amount in an even layer on a metal surface over an ice pack.  It should set within 3 minutes, and be shiny and streak-free.
    8. If necessary, use a hair dryer to keep the chocolate at 90 F while working with it.

Actual Directions: 

  • Lightly butter bottom and sides of 8×8 square pan.  With one long-ish strip of parchment paper, line the bottom and two sides, creating a makeshift sling.  Re-grease top of parchment paper.
  • Follow directions 1-5 for tempered dark chocolate.
  • In step 6, add all the other ingredients; mix well.  Keep chocolate at 90 F while incorporating the other ingredients.
  • Pour / Spoon mixture into pan.  Let sit on counter until solid (or, if necessary, place in refrigerator 10-20 minutes).
  • When set, loosen sides with a butter knife and lift out the chocolate with the ‘sling’ handles.  Cut into desired pieces with a sharp knife.

OTHER TIPS:

  • Cover your work area for easy clean-up. 
  • Make sure everything you will need is already out and easily accessible.
  • Make sure the ambient temperature of the room is a bit chilly.  Wear a sweater; don’t turn the heat or the oven on. 
  • Use a larger bowl lined with a dish towel to place chocolate bowl in while working (the ‘snuggle’ effect helps it keep warm).
  • Only put chocolate in refrigerator if necessary, for a max of 10-20 minutes (to prevent condensation).
  • Keep finished items in an airtight container in the coolest room of the house.

Final Note: To make this fructose-free, use dried blueberries instead of other fruit, and make sure the granola you use doesn’t have any hidden fructose!

Chocolate Bar Source: http://julesfood.blogspot.com/2013/10/dark-chocolate-breakfast-bar.html
Granola Source: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2010/04/homemade-granola.html

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