Recipe

Candied bacon with mac and pretzel crumb cheese

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 8
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Ingredients

Candied bacon with mac and pretzel crumb cheese
  • 8 rindless bacon slices (500g)
  • 1/3 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 500 gram (1 pound) macaroni
  • 500 gram (1 pound) cream cheese, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • 300 millilitre pouring cream
  • 1 1/2 cup (180g) grated vintage cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup (150g) grated mozzarella
  • 200 gram (6½ ounces) pretzels
  • 80 gram (2½ ounces) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup (150g) grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup (60g) grated vintage cheddar

Method

Candied bacon with mac and pretzel crumb cheese
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Lightly grease two large wire racks; place on two large oven trays lined with foil. Combine bacon, sugar and cayenne in a large bowl until bacon is well coated. Place bacon on racks. Bake for 15 minutes or until bacon is caramelised. Cool slightly, then chop coarsely. Reduce oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes less than the cooking time on the packet. Drain; return to pan.
  • 3
    Make pretzel crumb.
  • 4
    Process cream cheese, salt and mustard until smooth. Add half the milk; process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in remaining milk with cream, cheeses, candied bacon and warm macaroni until combined well. (Mixture will be very wet, but will thicken on cooking.)
  • 5
    Spoon macaroni mixture into a lightly oiled 4 litre (16-cup) ovenproof dish. Top with pretzel crumb; bake 20 minutes or until golden.

Notes

Place pretzels in a zip-lock plastic bag; crush roughly with a rolling pin. Combine pretzels with butter and cheeses in a medium bowl. You can make the candied bacon a day ahead; store, covered, in the refrigerator.