Crunchy sugar syrup lollies loaded with pecans and a sprinkling of crispy bacon bits. Sounds odd? Bacon tastes good in anything.
Equipment and preparation: you will need a sugar thermometer.
Heat your grill to high.
Place a sheet of baking parchment on a board, then draw four 6.5cm/2½in circles on it, spaced apart. Turn the paper over so that the pencil is on the other side but you can see it through the paper. Brush each circle area with vegetable oil.
Snip the rind off the bacon rashers, then grill until crisp and golden-brown. Let them cool then snip them into little pieces.
Divide the cooled bacon among the circles, along with the pecan nuts. Position the lollipop sticks near the circle, too.
Put the sugar and 75ml/2½fl oz of water into a small heavy-based pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the golden syrup and maple syrup. Turn up the heat slightly and use a sugar thermometer to watch the temperature carefully until it reaches 150C/300F (the ‘hard crack’ stage). (CAUTION: boiling sugar can be extremely hot. Handle very carefully. Use a deep pan to avoid bubbling over.)
Meanwhile, fill the sink with 10cm/4in cold water.
When the sugar and syrup mixture reaches 150C/300F take it off the heat and dip the base of the pan in the sink of cold water to stop it cooking any further. Cool for a minute or two, then carefully place a spoonful of the syrup into each circle over the bacon/pecans. The syrup will run, but will thicken slightly on cooling. Press in the sticks, then continue to spoon the syrup into the circle on top of the first spoonful of syrup.
Allow to set for about 30 minutes then carefully lift off the parchment.
Surprise your friends with this delicious combination of flavours.
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