This is the first of several posts on incredibly delicious, egg yolk laden, sugar rich and artery clogging desserts for the holidays. Tocino del Cielo (Bacon from Heaven!) is not something you would eat too often unless you wanted to join your creator sooner than statistically warrantedâ€¦ it is just simply over the top. Introduced to us by the Spanish, it is a really simple, yet incredibly rich dessert. Scent of Green Bananas has a brilliant post on it worth reading if you are curious. I basically used the recipe of Gene Gonzalez in his book Cocina Sulipena, though I notice it is remarkably similar to other good recipes from several different sources. This is not leche flan but a smoother, richer, milk-free confection that is sublimeâ€¦
To make, first caramelize some sugar and coat the bottom of the small tocino del cielo aluminum pans (available from good groceries before the holidays, streetside in Divisoria all year round or specialty bake shops) as you would leche flan pans. In a clean stainless steel pot (not Teflon or non-stick) put 3 cups sugar, Â½ cup of water and Â½ tablespoon of dayap juice. Boil this over medium high heat until the syrup is brown, donâ€™t take it out too soon or the tocino will be sickly sweet. Donâ€™t wait too long or it will become a bitter mess. This is what you use to coat the little pans.
Boil 5 cups of sugar with one cup water until it is at the â€œsoft ball stageâ€ when dropped into some cold water. This is roughly 234 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a good stovetop thermometer. Cool this mixture, which will take several hours. When the syrup has cooled, add 25 large egg yolks about 1/2 pound of butter that is very soft and mix gently; strain if you prefer a smoother tocino de cielo. Pour into the prepared molds and put them in a bain marie or pan with some water that goes up Â½ way up the tocino molds in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven, for roughly 50-65 minutes, covered with foil or a baking pan. Once set, shut off the oven and let the tocino rest for a while. Pass a small knife around the sides of the tocino and turn it over onto a plate. A 2 inch diameter serving is more than enough for most dinersâ€¦