About a week ago, I got an interesting email in my inbox. Its subject line read “Hi Amanda! It’s Diane (formerly) of Bon Appétit”. That had me extremely intrigued.
Then I opened the email. Diane had discovered my blog when my Chocolate-Malt Cake had been featured on the Bon Appétit Blog as one of the recipes for “What People are Cooking” in September and she had been following it since. She had left Bon Appétit recently and now worked for Electric Artists, a social media strategy company.
Her coworker Matt, worked with the Food Network.
(I just need to quickly say… there is absolutely too much awesome going on in that blog post opening… but moving on…)
His current project was to promote a few upcoming Thanksgiving specials on the Food Network by getting food bloggers to interview the person who was the common thread among the 3 specials.
And lovely miss Diane suggested Matt get in contact with little old me to be one of a few bloggers to come up with a couple questions for a conference call interview with Claire.
When did I become someone actually allowed to converse with TV personalities? I feel like I would have noticed that shift in the universe.
Admittedly, I didn’t know very much about Ms. Claire Robinson. I had seen both her shows in the past (c’mon, who doesn’t find 6ft cake sculptures, threatening to face plant, entertaining?) but I hadn’t determined if she was one of the more gimmicky folks on the Food Network, or moreso among the ranks of my beloved Alton Brown.
And then she talked to me about chocolate bacon topped ice cream.
Relatively fresh off of my Maple Caramel Pumpkin Bars with Bacon, I asked her about her favourite “unexpected” Thanksgiving dessert, and she excitedly described a traditional pumpkin pie, upped to the next level by getting topped with ginger ice cream, candied nuts… and chocolate covered bacon.
I enthusiastically responded to it with “I think I have to do that.” And she told me I had to try it with maple ice cream.
So I did.
Maple butter-pecan ice cream to be exact.
All in all, I came out of the conference call thinking Claire was a sweetheart. All her answers felt enthusiastic but genuine, like she really knew her stuff and loved that she did.
And she gave me another bacon dessert to try. So that’s an auto-love from me.
On the player below you can listen to the conference call that 5 folks and I had with Claire Robinson. I ask my questions last and I start talking with Claire at about the 34:30 mark. I ask her about unexpected thanksgiving desserts and frustrating 5 ingredient recipes. Enjoy!
Want to see more Claire Robinson? She will soon be appearing in the following Food Network Thanksgiving themed specials:
- 5 Ingredient Fix: 1 hour Thanksgiving special
Saturday November 13th at 10am
- Dear Food Network: Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems Solved
Saturday November 13th at 9pm
- Food Network Challenge: Holiday Windows
Sunday November 28th at 8pm
You can find recipes from Claire and all the Food Network talent this Thanksgiving season at Foodnetwork.com and on Food Network’s new In The Kitchen App for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch available on the App Store (More info…).
Maple Butter-Pecan Ice Cream with Chocolate Dipped Bacon
Ice Cream Recipe from Epicurious.com
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
Chocolate Dipped Bacon
- 6-8 slices maple bacon
- 12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- Ice Cream: Coarsely chop pecans. In a skillet melt butter over moderate heat until foam subsides. Toast pecans in butter, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cool pecans and chill in a sealable plastic bag. Buttered pecans may be made 3 days ahead and chilled.
- In a heavy saucepan bring cream, milk, maple syrup, and salt just to a boil, stirring occasionally. In a bowl beat yolks until smooth. Add hot cream mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170° F. Pour custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and cool. Stir in extract. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, at least 3 hours, or until cold, and up to 1 day.
- Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker according to your manufacturer’s particular instructions for making ice cream. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and fold in chilled pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.
- Bacon: Coarsely chop bacon into half-inch wide strips. Cook in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until lightly crispy. Drain and cool on paper towels.
- Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over lightly simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. Dip cooled bacon in chocolate and then let cool on a rack placed over a cookie sheet to allow excess chocolate to drip off. (I found the easiest way to “dip” the bacon was to put it in a strainer over the chocolate and to drizzle the chocolate over the bacon, letting the chocolate drip through the strainer, and then transfer the bacon to the rack.)
- Top scoops of ice cream with your desired amount of bacon when serving and enjoy!