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
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!