Cut the bacon slices crosswise into ¼” wide pieces.
Cook over medium heat until really nice and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to absorb excess fat.
For the Salted Caramel
In a heavy saucepan (choose one that is large enough to accommodate at least 4 cups of liquid) bring maple syrup to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10-12 minutes, until it registers 235F on a candy thermometer. It will become a nice dark caramel color and start to get thicker. The syrup should form a soft ball when dropped in cold water.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, mix all the ingredients of part I and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cacao butter is melted and mixture just barely starts to simmer.
When syrup is ready, slowly pour in the coconut milk mixture while constantly stirring with a long handled wooden spoon. Be very careful here as this mixture will bubble heavily and might boil over if you go at it too quickly.
Once all the milk has been added and completely incorporated, give the caramel another quick boil and cook for an extra minute while stirring constantly, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool while you work on the crème au chocolat
For the Crème au Chocolat
Chop the cacao paste finely and place it in a large heat proof mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan or heat proof bowl, (or other container that will work as a double boiler) add coconut milk, honey, egg yolks, ancho chile powder, nutmeg, vanilla seeds and pod, as well as salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Heat over a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and forms a smooth custard that coats the back of a spoon (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Remember, this mixture can never be allowed to simmer or boil, else the yolks will cook and curdle. It just needs to heat up until the temperature reaches about 175°F (80°C).
When the custard is ready, take it off the heat, place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl with the chocolate, and pour the custard right through to catch the vanilla pods and any lumpy bits. Help the custard down with a rubber spatula and don’t forget to scrape the underside!
Now, place that bowl over the double boiler (or transfer it back to your other bowl if this one won’t fit), kill the heat (the heat from the hot water will be sufficient) and stir very delicately with a whisk to get the chocolate to melt and bind with the custard to form a super smooth and silky chocolate-y mixture.
Now that the caramel has cooled, stir in Fleur de Sel and divide between 8 small ramekins or espresso cups. Top with a few pieces of crispy bacon.
Delicately top with the crème au chocolat and decorate with a few pieces of bacon.
Cover the cups with plastic wrap and let them chill and firm up in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
This dessert is best if taken out of the fridge at least 1 hour before serving and sprinkled with a little bit more Fleur de Sel.
*you could also use good quality dark chocolate (72% cacao or more) but if you do that, you'll want to omit the maple syrup. The Crème au Chocolat recipe was slightly adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
Chocolate Bacon and Salted Caramel Pots-de-Crème https://thehealthyfoodie.com/chocolate-bacon-and-salted-caramel-pots-de-creme/