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Belligerent Butter Scotch
This candy recipe makes good use of the syrup created as a byproduct when making candied chiles. Depending on the chiles used, the syrup can get pretty hot. Typically it has a consistency somewhere between corn syrup and molasses and looks clear, lightly tinted.
1/2 cup chile syrup
1/2 cup butter (125 grams)
2 oz. (60 grams) pecans, walnuts or almonds, chopped
Butter a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper. Cover an area as large as a letter size page with the chopped nuts and set aside.
In a microwaveable cup, cautiously warm butter so it just melts to a liquid stage.
Put syrup in a one quart saucepan. Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil. Continue stirring until the syrup begins to thicken and turns a little darker. Insert a candy thermometer if available.
Slowly pour the butter into the saucepan, keep stirring.
Attention: This stuff is getting very hot, and if working on a ceramic stovetop, be sure not to splash any of the sugar.
Keep at a bubbly boil and keep on stirring - ignore phone calls and the door bell, this stuff burns easily!
Remove from heat when the candy thermometer indicates what candymakers call soft-crack stage, about 270F (130°C), or if the mixture changes its color to light brown, whatever comes first (any longer, and the mix will burn).
Pour over the chopped nuts and let cool for a couple of hours (optionally, spread chopped nuts also on top, after about 15 minutes).
Crack into 1/2" pieces, store in airtight container and enjoy!
At lower temperatures, the candies would stay chewy. But as I don't want to pull my crowns, I prefer mine crunchy...
Of course there are plenty of toffee and caramel recipes around - just experiment, using your spicy chile syrup instead of corn syrup and sugar.
Yield: 10 oz.
Heat Scale: Medium (depending on heat of syrup. Hot if pure habanero syrup)
Blistering Blue Lagoon Cocktail
Here's our kicked-up version of this classic Caribbean cocktail.
Blend liquors, juices, and syrup in a blender.
Fill two 12-ounce glasses with crushed ice and pour blended liquid over ice.
Garnish with candied habanero chile, serve with straws.
Yield: 2 servings
Heat Scale: Medium (depending on heat of syrup)
Here are other articles about cooking with sweet heat:
Pomegranate Passion by Lois Manno, with recipes for Asian Shrimp Salsa with Pomegranate Vinaigrette and Wonton Chips, Pomegranate Chicken, PAMAgranite Barbecued Salmon, Lamb Fesenjan with Pomegranate-Walnut Sauce, Roast Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce, and Creamy Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce
Mulberry Madness! by Dave DeWitt, with recipes for Sweet-Hot Mulberry Jam, Chicken with Chipotle-Mulberry Barbecue Sauce, Grilled Lamb Chops with Mulberry Salsa, Country Cobbler, and Mulberry Ice Cream
Chiles and Chocolate by Dave DeWitt, with recipes for The Great Montezuma Hot Chocolate, Double Trouble Chocolate Truffles, Tangy Truffles!, White Chocolate Ancho Chile Ice Cream, Warm Chocolate Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Red Chile Zucchini Cake
Sweet Heat for Your Valentine by Nancy Gerlach, with recipes for Cascabel Caramel Turtles, Peppery Popcorn Candy, Habanero Cashew Brittle, Rum Raisin Red Chile Truffles, and Chocolate Chile Almond Cookies
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Story & Photos by Harald Zoschke