Archive for May, 2013

Elixir of Life – Recipe #1

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Hello folks! It has been a while, and I have been a tad slack with the blog, mainly due to festival preparations, you don’t want me to run out of products do you?

You may remember, during April, with the help of Grant Young, I took over his restaurant menu for an entire evening of chilli madness! I did promise to unleash the recipes for those who attended, and for those who wish to recreate at the privacy of their homes, so here is one of those now…

Elixir of Life

A candied chilli dropped into a good sparkling white, we chose a Prosecco rather than a champagne for cost reasons as well as the fact that prosecco lends itself well to chillies!

To candy a chilli successfully you will need patience and discipline. First make a stock syrup. Basically 2:1 water to sugar. I added some orange and lemon zest (use a peeler so removed without pith) a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a few Szechaun peppercorns, some cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring to boil and simmer. Then once a nice colour has occured, drop the washed de stemmed (small slit on each to soak syrup) chillies in and simmer for half and hour. Turn the heat off and allow to cool. Pop a lid on to stop any nasties entering. Once completely cooled, again, bring to the boil, immedietely simmer, another 30 mins then cool. I have a baume thermometer. It measures sugar density. A stock syrup will be around 24 baume. We need to increase this to 32. Generally as the syrup reduces in quantity, the baume increases. This will take a few days to make so patience! You increase the baume by around 2 each time so 5 times should do it. On your last simmer, you’ll notice the chillies going translucent, and a smell of warm sugars and chillies.

BIGGEST ISSUE- Grease. ANY utensil used to knick one of the chillies out (as I know you will be tempted each day as I was) needs to be grease free, so boiling water over the spoon befroe dipping in. May I also add that the pan used to make the stock syrup need also to be scalded out with boiling water before making.

fancy a taste?

fancy a taste?

Photo Copyright David Kelly

This is a technical process, sometimes if not done correctly, the sugar will crystallise in the jar you pour them into after a few days. It means at some point a little grease (oil etc from fingers counts!) was present.

I do hope some of you try this, I am always happy to hear stories of success and almost successes so feel free to email photos, stories and the like.

Next recipe will be the Rookie Goblin Bread!

Signing off…THe Reaper