Bacon and Bleu Cheese "Cake"

When Confections of a Foodie Bride shared her recipe for Bacon and Bleu Cheese "Cake", I knew I must make it. First, I have a deep love for bleu cheese (any cheese, really) and, second, Adam is fond of saying that "bacon makes everything better." When I told him that the recipe required that the loaf pan be greased with the rendered bacon fat, I think he actually swooned. Here are the results and Foodie Bride's recipe:

Bleu Cheese and Bacon “Cake”
8 strips (5oz) of bacon or pancetta, cooked to a crisp, grease reserved for later use*
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 small bunch of chives, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) or scallions
5 oz well crumbled bleu cheese or Roquefort**
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

**To make the bleu cheese easier to crumble, put in in the freezer to firm a bit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving the grease. When the bacon has cooled, crumble.

Grease a 9-inch loaf pan (or a 10-inch pan) with reserved bacon grease and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, chili powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, mustard and chives until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir in the wet mixture, stirring just until the wet ingredients are almost incorporated. (there should be a bit of flour still visible). Do not over mix. Fold in the bleu cheese, parmesan, and bacon bits until everything is just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour (45 minutes was enough for a 10-inch pan), until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back when you gently touch the center. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then tilt it out onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool upright before slicing.

Storage: The cake can be wrapped in plastic and kept for up to three days. It can also be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.

Yields: One 9-inch loaf cake
Source: Adapted from Parisian Desserts, by David Lebovitz

I served this as a main dish with a light salad on the side. It was very interesting...it took us a couple bites before we got used to eating bacon...in a cake. But overall the effect was surprising and unique. I used bacon, but I felt that the smoky flavor was too overpowering so I'll try pancetta next time. Also, I would have liked more punch from the bleu cheese so, next time, I'll crumble some over the top 5 minutes before the cake is done. Last, I used the 9-inch loaf pan and thought it was a bit too dry so I'll cut the time by about 10 minutes next time and see how that goes. I drank Bridlewood Viognier with this, which was a good fit since it was light enough for the salad but still full-bodied enough to match the bacon (Adam drank a glass of Blue Point's Toasted Lager).

Eat, drink, and put bacon in everything

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