For me the term pig candy is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Culinary wise, I do love most pig parts, albeit there are some I’m not too fond of. But turning pig into a candy bar, sounds a bit off, doesn’t it?!
My personal pig candy story is probably not too far from yours (if you’ve had the pleasure): I stumbled upon it on the net, sometime, somewhere, shook my head in disbelief and moved on. The term pig candy got cached somewhere in my mind next to thoughts around re-painting our living room and calling an old friend. Until Sebastian surprised us at an offbeat cook yourself business dinner with these nibbles. They are the incarnation of concentrated bacon flavor and anything but easy to swallow, you will either love or hate them! Some might say: “hm hm hm – wow” after the first bite and a second later “ok! been there done that“, but I’ve also witnessed someone diving head first into these – well, you tell me.
There are a couple of different methods to turn an ordinary breakfast bacon into these sticky pig candy stripes. ‘sticky pig candy stripes‘, is there a TM on this? I think there should be. I experimented quite a bit with temperatures, baking time and spiced sugar over the last weeks and ended up with both, crisp and caramelized pig candy as well as almost black, unpalatable chewy somethings. Key is to make the sugar crystals melt without letting the bacon burn – finding the right balance of time and temperature is the real challenge. Here is a method that worked best for me and don’t let the images fool you, the best results were achieved by scattering the sugar over the bacon, right at the beginning – not after backing it separately for a few minutes, something I’ve tried as well.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390° Fahrenheit) and switch the circulating fan on, if available. Line a tray with parchment paper and place the bacon stripes flat next to each other.
Prepare the spiced sugar by mixing together the brown sugar, the cayenne pepper and the powdered ginger in a small bowl. Evenly spread the spiced sugar with a teaspoon over the bacon stripes. Try not to scatter too much of it on the parchment paper itself, because it will burn there very fast and turn black.
Bake on the middle level for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sugar has melted completely and the bacon has gained some color. Don’t leave the bacon unattended, it’s only a short moment from crisp to burnt!
Remove the tray, immediately lift up the caramelized bacon slices with a spatula (don’t burn yourself!), before the sugar hardens again. Best eaten still warm. A definite ice-breaker for every party!
Sticky Pig Candy Stripes
Recipe source: adaptation of Sebastian's recipe
Prep time: ~20 minutes
100g breakfast bacon, sliced
50g brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ginger powder