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The 10th Annual Hot Pepper Awards Winners Announced!

spicefreak

Member Since 08 Nov 2015
Offline Last Active Today, 11:41 AM

Topics I've Started

Puckerbutt Pepper Co & Hot Ones' The Last Dab (Video)

Yesterday, 07:12 PM

Hey folks, I recently uploaded this to my youtube channel and though you might be interested, what with it being the one Pepper X sauce and all:

 

 

Now, I talked about it being bitter a few times. That's not extract bitterness. Cold pressed pepper oils don't taste like other extracts.

What it was was the same sort you get with some raw, underripe peppers. It was bearable, though, given that it was only really there when the sauce was overdone.

 

But, speaking of overdoing it, the capsaicin cramps 3 hours later were tough and day two was worse than the time I ate 6.4 million extract on pizza.


Chocolate Madras

15 October 2017 - 08:37 AM

Hey all, my recipe's a little early this month due to a couple of UK national food weeks popping up at the same time and making for an opportunity that I just couldn't turn down.

Here's the post, copied over from my blog as always:

 

Hello again everyone, I'm bringing my recipe forward a couple weeks this time to celebrate national curry week. Or is it national chocolate week?

God knows why we're having both at once this year but I've had vague plans for chocolate curry for a long while so it's about time that they saw metaphorical print.

 

It's time I made a chocolate madras.

 

Now, you could make this dish with beef or chicken but I'm not going to be using actual meat for the meat of my dish. I'm using fennel. The plant, not the seeds.

 

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And I'll be bulking it out with a couple of other vegetables but this one was the reason I chose to make this month's dish vegetarian. I wanted those subtle aniseed-like notes throughout.

 

Aside from this, I'll be using:

 

2017-10-13-12-34-34.jpg?w=1024

 

For the substance of the dish, that's:

400g tinned tomatoes

400g potatoes

300g carrots

1 onion (or, in my case, two tiny ones)

2 garlic cloves

1 fennel heart

and the juice of half a large orange.

 

While my spice mix consists of:

2 teaspoons cayenne powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cumin

4 cloves

and the seeds of 4 cardamom pods.

 

But, of course, there's one more ingredient that fits into neither category:

 

2017-10-13-12-36-28.jpg?w=168

 

20g the darkest chocolate you can find

 

In my case, that's Montezuma's 100% Absolute Black. Completely unsweetened and nothing but cocoa, making it awful to eat but utterly perfect for cooking with.

It's going to be a little while before that goes in, though.

 

First, it's time to chop the vegetables, getting rid of any too leafy fennel stems. Not that I think it's mandatory to do so but the foliage generally isn't eaten and I can imagine it wouldn't be the nicest texture cooked into curry. Too fuzzy.

 

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Bear in mind that I'm counting garlic as a vegetable here. I don't know what it's officially classified as but that's what it seems most like to me.

 

Then, once those are nice and diced, get a pan of water up to boil and part cook your potatoes. Just until they start to show signs of softening. About ten minutes, by my estimation.

Which should be just long enough to get all the spices ground and mixed.

 

There are a few things I want to mention there: The choice of chilli, the lack of fresh ginger and my special ceylon cinnamon. These were all active decisions I made to fit the dish.

 

Ceylon cinnamon, talked about a bit in my past crumble recipe, is a little brighter flavoured and less woody than the common chinese strain. Not to mention better for you. It's here for a little contrast against the dish's dark flavours but, while I personally prefer the ceylon stuff, the difference is not so large that standard cinnamon won't work. Just use what you can.

 

The ginger, on the other hand, isn't anything special. In fact, it's less special than what I normally use.

 

Unlike fresh ginger, though, its powdered form has had time to oxidise. This stops it tasting so sharp and raw and makes its heat a little drier. The earthier tones it brings out are perfect for this meal, when the fresh root probably wouldn't be.

 

And, as for the chilli, it's pretty common to use powder as the main heat source in indian restaurants. A bog standard sort at that.

 

This is not that chilli but it's also not bird's eye, kashmiri or any of the other more specific types that fit the nationality of a madras.

No, I've picked cayenne as a sort of middle ground between that and the kinds that aztecs would have used in their spiced chocolate drinks - The other influence for this recipe. It doesn't quite fit either culture but it compliments the flavours of both and, when we get right down to it, isn't that what's important?

 

Anyway, when you're done with those spices, drain your potatoes and set them aside. It's time to fry the onions and garlic.

 

Warm up some oil in a pan and get them sizzling away at a high medium heat for a few minutes. Or until the onions start to soften up in both texture and colour:

 

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Add the spice mix you prepared and carry on frying for a minute or two, stirring constantly to ensure an even coating and lack of burnt patches.

 

Next, pop in the remaining veg, potatoes included, and mix them with the rest of the pan's contents, before quickly tossing in our liquid. That is, the tin of tomatoes, the juice of your half orange and 300ml of water.

 

In a normal madras, we'd be using lime or lemon but this is a chocolate version so I opted for a more complimentary fruit.

 

Bring the result to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veg is suitably soft.

 

Finally, melt in your twenty grams of dark chocolate and make sure it's thoroughly mixed in before serving.

 

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It adds a nice level of richness without turning the dish sweet or detracting from the spice mix at all, giving us a quite unique curry. Albeit one that's definitely still a madras.

 

And, with all that ginger and cinnamon supporting its chilli, it's a hotter madras than I had initially expected. It's not the high medium many are but full blown hot, reaching the very top of my scale's

3/10

Heat

 

It's no vindaloo but it's potent all the same, with a very dry, inner cheek burn that lingers for quite a while.

 

For me, that's great but I understand that won't be for everyone so do feel free to drop the chilli down to a single spoonful in this dish should you want milder. It has plenty of other flavour to support it anyway.

 

Personally, though, I think the only change I'd make would be to use some sweet potato next time I make this. It'd fit perfectly with all these warming flavours.


Cowley's Fine Foods' Shiiiitake Thats Hot

11 October 2017 - 06:54 AM

One last post about a freebie from Cowley's Fine Foods this week, copied over from my blog as always. Enjoy:

 

Hello again everyone, today were looking at the last of Cowley's Fine Foods' vegan jerky samples, their Shiiiitake! Thats Hot!

Now some people spell the word “shītake” with one “I”, some people spell it with two and I spell it with a little line known as a “macron” to denote a long vowel sound.

 

Cowley's, though, have decided to use four “I”s.

 

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Four “I”s that emphasise the pun that they're making.

 

You see, while shītake may well be a type of mushroom, it's also close enough to a common swear word that it often takes its place when self-censorship is needed. “Shiiiitake! Thats Hot!” is meant as much to be the exclamation used in response to this product as a description of the contents.

 

But, as we can see through the clear bag, it's a pun that they've committed to. Aside from a couple of broken bits, there's nothing but whole, chilli-covered shītake mushrooms in here. Certainly not the four types we saw in their milder mushroom jerky.

 

But the white label tells us even more, with a huge pile of trinidad scorpion chillies taking centre stage between two smaller piles of the jerky's namesake fungi. It says everything it needs to before we even have to read the blurb.

 

Personally, I would like to see an apostrophe in “thats” but that's all I can find fault in. It's a great, punny name with design work that showcases its product's qualities very well.

 

Yet even it can't do it so well that I don't have to try the contents.

 

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The mushrooms are crisp, dry and have a good bit of chew to them. They have the rich, earthy, woody flavour that I was expecting, with a bit of saltiness from the soy, but there's more to it than that.

The soy also adds to the darker umami notes of the mushrooms themselves and the strong, ever-present taste of dried red chilli pairs remarkably well with that woody side, while also keeping the richer, darker elements in check.

 

There is a slight variation in flavour here, with what taste like both generic red chilli flakes and flakes of de árbol, alongside the advertised scorpion pepper pieces. But, even so, they all share common dried red pepper base notes beneath the hints of the de árbol's woody not quite smokiness and the scorpion's citric not quite oranginess. They add variety without detracting from the whole at all.

 

I was expecting little more than very hot mushrooms but, while the hottest bits definitely gave me a strong

6.5/10

Heat

that slowly spread backwards from the impact point, it came in long after the taste of these delicious treats, meaning that I could really savour the flavour before they stung my tongue with their intense burn.

 

So yes, they're shītake that're hot but they have so much more going on flavourwise. They're my favourite of everything I've had from Cowley's Fine Foods and I would definitely suggest getting some yourself. But only, of course, if you can handle heat in excess of ghost pepper sauces.

 

They are, after all, still incredibly strong by most people's standards.


Assorted Brands of Spicy Gummy Bears (4+ Products)

08 October 2017 - 01:27 PM

Sup peoples, have an early halloween post, copied over from my blog:

 

Hey everyone, it's october. And you know what's special about october?

It's the month with halloween in it.

 

And yes, I know, halloween's still almost a month away but what use is a holiday product review if it goes up on the holiday? I'm doing this early so that you have time to track down the items involved, should you feel the need.

 

Or maybe just to warn you what's in store if you knock on my door this year.

 

Either way, I'm talking about gummy bears.

 

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Three different brands and four or five different products, for a full comparison of every sort I've seen.

 

First up, we have a couple from Efruitti, a german company that's more widespread in america than the UK but seems to feature in nearly every import sweet shop.

 

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Unlike the other brands on show today, Efruitti don't use gelatin in their gummy bears. They use palm wax and oil to set their sweets without any animal content. These bears are the only spicy ones I've found that are both vegetarian and vegan.

And, also unique to this brand, they come in chilli, cinnamon and ginger flavours, though I sadly can't show you the last of those.

 

The ones I can show you, however, look pretty great in their black and red or black, red and orange packaging, flames coming off the chubbily lettered company name and a clear centre to highlight the bear inside.

 

Yet there is only that one bear inside. But it's a massive red bear that dwarfs most others even after I've beheaded it.

 

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Because otherwise you're just prolonging its suffering.

 

But, ignoring their abnormal sizing, there is an actual problem I have with these bears. Their flavour.

 

Their is no actual cinnamon or chilli in these. They're flavoured with “artificial and nature identical” ingredients that produce a spiced wood not too unlike the real thing for the cinnamon version but get a bit weirder when they attempt to take on chilli.

 

The chilli one, to me at least, begins by tasting of some miscellaneous red fruit. Maybe cherry, maybe blackcurrant, maybe even strawberry but, whatever it is, it's definitely not quite the real thing and it soon transitions into something else entirely. An ever so slightly savoury, not quite red jalapeño, not quite bell pepper flavour that's clearly supposed to be chilli of some sort but doesn't quite match any I know.

Like if fruit squash was made from peppers.

 

The chilli version had a surprising

3/10

Heat

but, as you might expect, the cinnamon was a little lower, striking me as more of a

2/10

Heat

 

And, of course, they both felt like the manufactured, full mouth flame of an extract because that's what these contain. They simply contain a lot less of it than any of the more blatantly extract-based products we've seen.

 

Frankly, they're alright (and so is the equally low 2/10 ginger version) but they certainly wouldn't be my preferred option.

 

As a chilli connoisseur, I find them too fake and, compared to other gummy sweets, they're a tad tough and un-springy.

My preferred chilli gummys would probably be these:

 

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Hot-Headz' “Satan's Spawn”.

 

A bigger bag of smaller bears, labelled up in similar shades of red and black but this time featuring a nappy-wearing fusion of cub and devil to give the consumer a pretty good idea of what to expect. It even holds a chilli pitchfork.

 

And indeed, they are hot. We can even just about see the flakes of habanero on camera.

 

They are, however, practically invisible from a distance and, when mixed in with Haribo's, you'd have to look very closely to tell these bears apart.

 

haribos.jpg?w=1024

 

This is, of course, the recommended use for tricksters but, with the number of sites and stores that sell them, I'm sure there are many other stories and suggestions out there. In fact, I've heard a few myself.

But, while I will be giving away such a mix this year, I'll also be giving trick or treaters my business card and I won't being doing it to little kids.

 

I'm not that mean and I genuinely think that these sweets should be enjoyed. After all, they're red habanero and apricot flavour, giving the unique and pleasant impression of something almost orange or pumpkin-like until the high

3.5/10

Heat

hits hard, about 30 seconds into the experience.

 

They're definitely enough to shock people with and can seem very hot if you've never stepped into the world of supers but they're also genuinely enjoyable if you appreciate strong chilli and don't linger too long.

 

But then there's Cowley's Fine Foods.

Like I said before, I may have been mostly showing off the samples of their hot vegan range that I was sent but I did request a few extras from them too. The only chilli one of which was these:

 

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Gummi Swears.

 

Now, I planned this gummy bear comparison post well in advance but it was still mere chance that I stumbled upon Cowley's contribution. Due to their spelling and punny name, neither the word “gummy” not the word “bears” would take me to them.

 

But let's be honest. The name may be bad for search engines but I'll never forget it now that I've found it and it really is quite to the point. Sweets so hot you'll shout expletives.

I wouldn't change it.

 

But are they really that potent? Can they really hold up against Hot-Headz?

Yes. But only ten percent of them.

 

As the packaging explains and it's angry teddy on a roulette wheel image suggests, this is a gummy bear roulette pack. A pack that includes not just bears but also a pair of dice and a rules sheet.

 

Yet that sheet explicitly states that you must pick with your eyes closed. Which made me scrutinise every colour for differences and here's what I found:

 

swears.jpg?w=1024

 

The light, orangey yellowy ones are twenty percent smaller than the rest and have the same little flecks in them as Satan's Spawn.

 

They don't taste the same or have quite the same colour but they're still remarkably similar in all respects. Their size and shape are identical and these, too, reach a pretty powerful

3.5/10

Heat

in a very similar fashion.

 

If you want chilli gummy bears, though, you get a lot more with Hot-Headz. Yes, you have to buy the heatless bears to mix with but they aren't exactly pricey or hard to find.

 

No, if you're buying the Gummy Swears, you're doing so for the flavours. The genuine and remarkably recognisable fruit flavours of pineapple, apple and kiwi, red berries (including elderberry) and lemon and orange.

 

These are a lot tastier than your average bears and so, if gourmet sweets are your thing, they will go down a treat. As would the jelly babies of the Gummy Swears range. Simply the same flavours in a different body, with a softer, squisher texture and no dice.

 

I did find, however, that I got a lot fewer hot ones with the jelly babies for some reason, to the point that mentioning their heat has been a very last minute adjustment.

 

Perhaps that's a good thing, though, as it puts more focus on the real fruit flavours that I think are the product's best bit.

 

So, in conclusion, my recommendations are as follows:

-Cowley's for flavour.

-Hot-Headz for the heat.

-Efruitti for those who want less intensity or don't eat meat.

 

And, of course, even in the event that none of them appeal to you, I wish you a great halloween all the same!


Peter's Pepper Pod Review (Video)

06 October 2017 - 05:52 PM

Hey guys, here's another, slightly better pod review for you, featuring what's probably the dumbest idea for a chilli world record out there.

Few commercial growers will touch this pepper because of its unorthodox appearance but, when I did manage to get my hands on one, that made it perfect to try with my most innuendo-laden friend. He even tells me he's put an "Uncensored" version on pornhub...