Howl’s Moving Castle was actually the first Studio Ghibli movie I ever saw, and it’s main comic relief (the fire demon Calcifer) is still one of my all-time favorite Miyazaki characters. Though he can be a bit salty and sassy, Cal’s got a good heart underneath it all, so I wanted to pay tribute to him with a dish in our Ghibli menu.
When forced into making breakfast with the new cleaning lady, Calicifer famously curses her by saying, “May all your bacon burn!” So in honor of Cal (and the delicious, non-burned bacon he made with Sophie that day), I decided to make some sweet and spicy bacon!
This recipe features crisp center cut bacon rubbed with cinnamon and cayenne for spice and coated with honey and brown sugar for sweetness. The perfect snack to share with your favorite fire demon!
Calcifer’s Sweet and Spicy Candied Bacon
“Here’s another curse: may all your bacon burn!”
- 1 lb bacon (I used center cut, since it has less fat. A good bit of the fat melts away into the bottom of the tray when you cook these, so having a higher meat/fat ratio cuts down on waste.)
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp honey
- 6 tbsp packed brown sugar
Makes 1 lb of bacon
- Preheat your oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place a baking rack on top (this will save you LOTS of messy cleanup later). Place 6-7 strips of bacon 2 inches apart on the rack.
- Dust one side of the bacon with cinnamon and rub it in. Add a very light sprinkling of cayenne and rub that in as well. Drizzle on a light coating of honey and—you guessed it—rub it in. Sprinkle on just a bit more cayenne. Flip the bacon over and repeat with the other side.
- Liberally sprinkle brown sugar on both sides of the bacon, rubbing it in before flipping.
- Place the bacon in the oven and allow it to cook for 8 minutes. Flip the strips of bacon over and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the strips are cooked through and beginning to darken at the edges. The grease and sugar drippings in the bottom of the tray may begin to burn, but that’s ok.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes on the rack. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Repeat Steps 2-5 with the remaining bacon until it’s all cooked.
- Serve to a fire demon to placate him after he helps you cook breakfast! 🙂
Gotta have more bacon? Check out our other bacon-y recipes!