If you have ever dived deep into the wonderful and unpredictable world of chilli you would definitely have stumbled upon the deceptively bell-pepper-shaped Habanero. These little orange (and they even have an orangey taste) pack a punch of between 100 000 and 350 000 Scovilles which made it the Guinness world record holder for hottest chilli in 2000. Things have changed since then with other chillies besting it but it’s still damnably hot – Tabasco is only at around 3500 – 8000 Scovilles to give you some indication. Read about it here

habanero
Awww wook at all da widdle…. AHHHHH IT HURTS IT HURTS CUT OFF MY TONGUE! AHHHHHH!

Handled wrongly this chilli will hurt you. It’s almost a full day later and although I’ve washed my hands many times with many different types of soap I still have a fear every time I touch my face because some parts of my hands are still burning!

But on the other hand if handled right this happy little chilli can create some remarkable things. This recipe was inspired by two things – Grapefruit rind candy, and a sweet chilli sauce I made a while back that is still the best one I’ve ever tasted (I’ll put the recipe up soon). Time to try Habanero candy!

Looks so gentle and innocent right?
Looks so gentle and innocent right?

The method is quite simple:

chili candy 5
Step 1: Take out the stalks and seeds, and cut spirally.

 

Step 2: Put in cold water and bring to the boil, let it boil for 1 minute, rinse in cold water, repeat 3 times.

Step 3: Make a saturated sugar solution (1 cup water : about 2.5 cups castor sugar)

Step 4: Place chillies in sugar solution and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let cool for about an hour.

String up chilli strips with cotton and place in oven to dry at low heat - You don't want to cook it, just let it dry out so it becomes tacky.
Step 5: String up chilli strips with cotton and place in oven to dry at low heat – You don’t want to cook it, just let it dry out so it becomes tacky.
Step 6: Once tacky, coat in castor sugar.
Step 6: Once tacky, coat in castor sugar.
Leave this lying around the house and you will probably get murdered dead in your sleep.
Leave this lying around the house and you will probably get murdered dead in your sleep.

What you end up with is a candy with a fiery hot punch, that I found works nicely with ice cream.

Who would have thought that Chilli candy would go so well with White Truffle Gelato?
Who would have thought that Chilli candy would go so well with White Truffle Gelato?

After note:  After writing this I had the good fortune of making friends with the guys at San Julian Mexican restaurant, who gave me the top tip of soaking the chillies in cold filter coffee once you’ve cut them open – apparently this denatures the chemicals that burn the living crap out you.