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Candied Chilli Peppers

Sometimes I ask myself some odd questions, and one of them, when thinking about our recent Mexican ice cream flavours, was whether one could candy chilli peppers in the same way one candies orange peels. They are a fruit, after all. The answer to this is of course you can, and they are strangely addictive. We put them into ice cream as an inclusion for the food festival, but we also snacked on them over the course of the week.

If you want to make something different, and like spicy things, give them a go! (They also look quite dramatic as a decoration – especially if you combine red and green chillis).

Please note: you would be wise to use plastic gloves when chopping the chillis, or at the very least make sure you wash your hands carefully afterwards. If you absentmindedly rub your eye before doing so (as I have done), you will have a very unpleasant reaction.

Candied Chilli Peppers


150g fresh, mild chilli peppers
150g sugar
300g water

What to do:

1. Cut the stems off the chillis, then cut them lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, and chop them into narrow, half-round strips.

2. Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Add the chopped chillis and cook over medium heat for about an hour, topping up with water as needed to keep from burning.

4. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve, catching the chilli peppers. (The syrup is quite tasty too if you want to keep it – great over mango sorbet or fruit…)

5. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the chillis on a baking tray, and bake at 200C for about 5-10 minutes to dry them out. They should darken slightly but not turn brown.

6. Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy!

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15 Responses to “Candied Chilli Peppers”

  1. October 13th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Sarah Bell says:

    That’s a really interesting idea, may have to give it a go. I imagine the syrup would also go well in a sorbet or as part of a mexican inspired cocktail.

  2. October 13th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    manuel says:

    I have a naga chilli plant but I’m guessing those really wont work with this……

  3. October 14th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Deborah says:

    What a brilliant idea!!! I love it and will totally do a red/green combo coming up to Christmas. Beautiful!

  4. October 14th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Serving-Ice-Cream says:

    What an interesting concept! And they look really good too! My husband loves hot chilis and hot peppers – I think he’d really enjoy these!

  5. October 14th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Sharyl says:

    Candied chili peppers? Ranks right up there with chocolate covered ants!
    Oh well, to each his/her own!
    I’ll have a scoop of caramel pecan please~

  6. October 15th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Natha says:

    I am a chilli addict so will definitely be trying this out, thanks a mill!!

  7. October 15th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Caroline@Bibliocook says:

    Good to get the recipe, Kieran – I’ve been wanting to try these babies out for myself!

  8. October 16th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Monika says:

    Well, there is chili “jam”, so why not candied chili… the weird combinations you come up with sometimes… :-)

  9. October 16th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Chocolate Heaven says:

    Or how about a chili/chocolate combination?
    Dark, rich chocolate icecream with pieces of candied chili running through it? Mmmm

  10. October 22nd, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Kate says:

    I’ll definitely be trying these – what would think about folding them into chocolate mousse? Remember when removing the seeds to take the membrane out too, it contains lots of the heat.

  11. February 19th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Margaret Stead says:

    Loved the candied chilli recipe! I discovered that it still tastes great even if it does go brown in the oven – I got a bit distracted. The problem I have is how to get it into chocolate or ice-cream before it all gets eaten….

  12. February 19th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Kieran says:

    I had the same problem. We ate fistfuls of them!

  13. April 18th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) says:

    Thanks for the idea! I candied a habanero pepper to put on mango sherbet, and it was great. I loved the spicy syrup left over.

  14. October 6th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Sarah says:

    I too was wondering whether candied chillies would be possible and I stumbled across this. I’m definitely trying this recipe over the weekend!

  15. September 9th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    sct says:


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Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).