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The 10th Annual Hot Pepper Awards Winners Announced!


Member Since 08 Nov 2015
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:30 PM

Topics I've Started

Burning Desire Food's Chipotle Chilli Syrup with Bourbon Whiskey

14 August 2017 - 05:32 PM

Sup hot pepper people. I've been a bit lazy this week so you're still one post behind my blog but we'll catch up soon, I promise. In the mean time, here's something fancy and delicious to look at:


Hey folks, last month we looked at a delicious new product that I got at Reading Chilli Festival but this month I have something even newer for you.

This week's product comes to you from Burning Desire Foods, is a little more out there than a sauce and was actually released on the day of the event. What I have for you is their chipotle syrup:




The packaging is a rather simple jar, black-labelled in some places to reflect the darkness of the product within but mostly just clear to show it.


On these black labels, however, there is some serious colour. Not in the form of imagery, mind you, but in the simple yellow-bordered red of the product name and description. A two-tone, fiery colour combination that really makes itself known amidst the solid black packaging.


In this text we can read about the syrup's bourbon content, its mild heat, its smoky flavour, its applications and even its intended cooking time. Burning Desire have really gone all out with the information dump but there's still one way we can find out more.

Actually trying it.




On the spoon you can see that this is, indeed, a syrup. A dark one, filled with the seeds of the chillies they have used. But they're mild chillies and they're in sugar. The fire that I get from them is nothing more than a late




It is, as they have said, a mild product. But not in flavour.


In its flavour, this syrup is rich, strong, dark and earthy, with a good bit of smoke to it and all the sweetness you'd expect of maple syrup.


Because that's what it is. The suggested uses on the jar dance around it, calling this product an ideal bacon, ham or pork glaze and mentioning its use on pancakes and icecream, but there's absolutely no denying the reality of the matter.


This is a maple syrup substitute.


It's got all the same sweetness, all the same darkness and all the same richness with, in my opinion, even more depth of flavour.


Where the difference lies is that maple is woody, as you might expect with it being tree sap. This, however, is earthy, instead, and has some rather obvious smoky undertones that are going to make it even more perfect for meats.


It's mild but absolutely full of flavour and such a novel use of chipotle. Green chipotle, if I had to guess, because I'm not getting even the slightest hint of fruity red jalapeño to interfere with the rest of its taste.

No, I'm actually picking up a little nuttiness from the pecan wood with which green chipotle is traditionally smoked.


This is one for the bacon lovers and dessert cravers among you for sure but it's worth mentioning that there is another version. A vanilla version.


Just as the vanilla in the Chilli Alchemist's latest lent it some wonderful smoothness of flavour, so too did it a wonderful, not quite creamy element to this syrup that would have made it even better on sweet stuff.

Unfortunately, though, it was a choice between that and the bourbon content when I made my purchase.


The bourbon content bridges the gap in flavour between the dark, molassesy notes from the sugar and the more savoury, smoky, earthiness of the chilli and helps this product come together as one delicious flavour combination, rather than two separate parts.


I loved the vanilla addition but it just wasn't the same without the alcohol.

Chilli Pepper Pete's Dragon's Blood Green Salsa

07 August 2017 - 06:57 PM

Hey guys, here's another of my freebie product reviews. We're only one post behind my blog now, so don't expect two a week after this:


Hello again spice lovers, this week we're going to look at another of my samples from Chilli Pepper Pete and, like the Zhoug, it's one of their milder ones.


Emphasis on the “er”, of course, because, as I mentioned back in my overview, Chilli Pepper Pete doesn't actually do anything below medium. Which makes today's offering rather hot when compared to other, similarly coloured sauces.


That's right, it's a green one. And, unlike the Zhoug, it's not getting its colour from fresh herbs.

No, it's using tomatilloes and green chillies to make a salsa verde. One that I'm sure you'll agree, once we talk about its other ingredients, is far from ordinary.



Image provided by Chilli Pepper Pete.


And, while its packaging may be very similar to the others in the Dragon's Blood line, its two-tone, yet in places also gradient, use of both dark and practically neon green is unlike anything I've seen in years. A particularly dramatic use of the colour that seems to never be associated with anything but dragon scales, making it all the more fitting for this salsa.


Indeed, it has those very same scales spotlighted behind the name of the line, which itself also uses that practically neon green. That, however, feels less like planning and more like a happy accident, given that the exact same red and green, slightly slanted Dragon's Blood name appears on five other products. It just fits in remarkably well with this one.


Whereas the brightly coloured flames that hold the product name most definitely were intentionally colour coordinated. Even if they are almost the same shade.


But, while a lot of design work has clearly gone into it, I can't properly judge this sauce's label from just the online picture. Not if the sauce itself is such a different colour:




No, the lighting they've used is playing a major part in how vibrant it appears.

The sauce I saw, as neon as its packaging, looked sweet, fruity and tart, just like a red salsa. It was not what I got.


What I got was definitely on the tart side but more savoury than sweet and without any real fruity tang to it. Instead it had the smooth taste that I've since come to realise is a major part of what separates tomatilloes from unripe tomatoes.


Building on this is the clear presence of roasted green peppers of a non-bell variety, along with onions and garlic to further accentuate that smooth, soft, green flavour.

But there's a counterbalance to this smoothness, too, in the form of this sauce's thick, chunky texture, as well as some lime notes and its sharp



which definitely feels like it's being helped out by the product's ginger content.


It is, indeed, very high for a green sauce, being somewhere on the boundary between medium and hot, but this isn't actually an entirely green chilli product.


The roasted taste does come in part from some standard green chillies, with jalapeños included to support their green flavour, but Chilli Pepper Pete have also included some of the large, round facing heaven sort that I used in my vegetarian mapo tofu. Both to increase the salsa's heat and to enhance the roasted side of the other peppers.


It's an interesting choice which I'm actually rather happy with but it does limit the usage of this salsa a bit, in my opinion.

Most of what I would want a green sauce for is not something I would choose facing heaven rounds to go with and most of what I would want those facing heavens with (primarily chinese dishes and roasted meats) wouldn't go with such a green sauce.


I feel as though it might be good with thai food or on nachos but what I actually see this one going best with is eggs. Especially in or on something like mexican style huevos rancheros or a north african shakshuka.


The Pain - Anyone Know this Pepper?

05 August 2017 - 05:10 PM

I was handed this chilli by a grower yesterday. He claims it has Reaper heat or above and is named "The Pain".

Obviously, that's an impossible name to find on google, though, with the number of articles about capsaicin response out there so I know next to nothing about it. If anyone has any information on this chilli, I would much appreciate it.



Sweet and Sour Arrabiata (& some flakes to avoid)

03 August 2017 - 07:38 PM

Not sure if this belongs here or under sauces but here's the latest recipe from my blog, made as an attempt to combine classic Itallian spicy pasta with actual heat and something of a chinese feel.

It's a little silly and experimental but here goes:


Hey all. This month I wanted to re-explore the idea of mixing culinary cultures
so you can, should you want, consider the following recipe to be inspired by
may's fruit risotto.


The link is tenuous at best, however, since the only thing these dishes really
have in common is that they're both part-italian fusion foods. The risotto was a
fruity rice dish with japanese, moroccan and peruvian influences, while today's
penne a la arrabiata is a more chinese take on a classic tomato-based pasta one.


Because I was looking at recipes and thinking about making a hotter version with
more interesting chillies when I realised that all the posher arrabiata sauces
added in red wine.


By swapping that out for a (rather cheaper) red wine vinegar and adding in a
little extra sugar, suddenly we have the beginnings of a tart yet sweet sweet
and sour. Which, of course, paves the way for us to use one of the few dried
chillies that are popular in chinese cooking.

This dish would probably be excellent with the rich, roasted flavour of the facing
heaven rounds I used in my vegetarian mapo tofu but that's something to try
out another time. For now, I want to keep things a bit brighter and closer to my
recipe's italian roots.


I'm going to be using a dried habanero instead. A mexican chilli but one that's
popular in china none the less.




Of course, this would probably fit the two cultures a bit better were it a red chilli, rather than an orange one, but, after getting a burnt batch of jalapeño flakes recently*, I don't feel like trying my luck with more dried peppers that I can't see in person.

At least, not when I have a very similar pepper I already know the quality of.


And, in addition to this, you will need:


3 large tomatoes (or 5 medium)
3 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions (including the greens)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
150ml red wine vinegar
A dash of nutmeg
A dash of salt


First rinse the spring onions and get rid of its roots, as well as any shrivelled or dried up pieces of its greenery. Then crush the garlic and chop the two up fine.


While we're at it, it might also be worth preparing the tomatoes and peppercorns ahead of time to avoid being in a rush later.


The tomatoes can be chopped quite roughly but, unlike in my mapo tofu, the szechuan peppercorns should be ground to a fine powder. They're here for their flavour as a black pepper replacement, not being used for their numbing sensation, so you don't want to be biting into any bigger pieces.


And, now that everything but the chilli has been prepared, we can begin cooking. Just be aware that you'll need disposable gloves in a moment. Keep them handy for when you're shredding the pepper.


For now, though, heat up about a tablespoon of oil in a high-walled frying pan and and throw in the garlic and spring onions.


Fry them for five minutes or until the whites go somewhat transparent, then toss in nearly everything else. The purée, sugar, vinegar, salt, nutmeg, and peppercorn dust.


Stir until they've combined and then it's time to flake in the dried habanero.


Sure, you could chop it with a knife but it has a somewhat leathery texture to it, with skin that squishes and flexes more than it cuts. As long as you have the appropriate handwear to keep the heat off your fingers, you're going to be a lot better off just ripping it apart into the pan.


When that's mixed in as well, it's finally time for the fresh tomatoes. These will need to simmer into the mix for a good 20 minutes, while being squished down as they're stirred so that they mush down into a thick sauce.


A thick sauce with a fairly high



and the classic, sharp, pins and needles like burn of the orange habanero. It's hardly dulled by the pasta, either, so don't expect this dish to pull any punches.




If you like it hot, however, this is an excellent, sweet yet tangy tomato sauce with a definite red grape/wine undertone from the type of vinegar used. It doesn't have the blatantly italian herbs to it but it does have a little greenery from the spring onions and it actually winds up tasting somewhat chutney like.


Both its cultural influences are there and the arrabiata name, literally translating as angry, definitely suits something with such an upfront burn. The only thing that I'm a little confused by is how a single dried habanero has ended up significantly hotter than the two fresh scotch bonnets in my sweet potato stew.


Sometimes you just can't predict how things are going to turn out.


As for the penne, I'm afraid I can't help you there. I don't have the tools to make my own and, if I'm honest, I wouldn't bother anyway. I have no plans to infuse the pasta itself with anything and it's so much easier to simply buy a packet and follow the instructions.


Don't forget to salt the water, though, or you'll wind up having to put much more on post-cooking.



*Few places sell dried jalapeños as anything other than powder because they're very thick fleshed and rather juicy chillies. They're very hard to dry properly.

When I saw Chilli Wizard offering red ones as flakes, I assumed that they had found a way around this problem. Unfortunately, however, their solution seems to have been little more than overcooking them.

South Devon Chilli Farm's Reaper Chilli Sauce

01 August 2017 - 03:39 PM

Figured it was about time to put a metaphorical face to my number ten spot so this time it's a reaper sauce review that I'm copying over from my blog.

I also wanted to change up the order a little while I was at it. Here goes:


Change of plan, everybody. We've been through a lot of hot stuff over the last year and a bit but I've still managed to build up quite the backlog of review products. So, as of today, I am no longer going to be dedicating the last tuesday of each month to a recipe.


Instead, every tuesday will be a review day but don't worry, I'll still give you something tasty to cook up. Only it's now going to be on the final weekend. The saturday or sunday upload slot that I've previously saved for the very occasional bonus dish.


And this gives me a little more flexibility with what I can show you, as well.


Previously, I've tried to keep at least close to one superhot item, one hot one and one mild or medium thing a month in order to please as many different heat tolerances as possible but now, with an extra slot opened up, showing off something crazy that won't suit the vast majority of people doesn't have to take the place of one of those.


Today I can finally show you one of the all time hottest natural sauces that I've ever had. A natural




The South Devon Chilli Farm's Reaper Chilli Sauce.

One of the two products that first set the upper limit of my scale and one of the absolute hottest non-extract sauces out there.


I'm not going to make any claims I can't back up, though. I'm not going to say that there's no natural product hotter. Without trying every fiery food product on the planet, I can't rightly make such a claim and I know for a fact that it wouldn't be true anyway.


This sauce may be 60% carolina reaper but there are purées of the chilli that are purer and stronger.


My ten out of ten rating simply describes the upper bounds of what a reaper or scorpion sauce can achieve in heat, not the full potential of the peppers in their purest form.

But enough of what this isn't, let's look at what it is:




It's a a 50ml, black labelled bottle of some very serious chilli sauce.


Its name is bold red and green and so too is that of the company. A company name enclosed by further lines of the “complimentary” colour combination.

And then we have the heavily outlined figure in the middle, with its very minimalist colour scheme.


It may be a bold, standout design but it's also simple and almost looks as if it were made to appeal to children. The one thing that gives away the crazy heat of this sauce is just who that figure is.



The reaper themselves, cloaked from head to toe in grey robes, bony fingers clutching their chilli scythe. No face to hint at any humanity or remorse.


It's a great image that plays with the chilli's name and hints at the fate within but still, the bottle seems surprisingly inviting for something that claims on the back to be “DEADLY HOT!”. And I do already know this claim to be true.


A fact that, while perhaps not implied enough by the bottle's artwork, is certainly hinted at by its size and the size of the drops that come out.




That's not the result of a Tabasco-style dropper cap, either. It's simply the result of trying to get a relatively thick sauce through the bottle's small neck. It basically has that flow restrictor built in.

But that's hardly a problem here. You don't want a lot of this sauce in one go or in one place. You want to use it sparingly due to its crazily strong burn.


A burn that, while striking across the tip of the tongue, is also surprisingly throaty for something so obviously reaper.


Yes, despite that strength of its burn, the taste of the chilli is instantly recognisable.

Rather soft and mellow, lightly spiced and definitely what could be called a little earthy. The flavour of this sauce is pretty much that of pure carolina reaper, with just the tiniest bit of vinegar coming through. It's surprisingly pleasant.


Or rather, it's pleasant for a moment.


While I genuinely really like the initial taste of this sauce, it very soon gives way to a rapidly growing sour, behind which the heat builds in, too. And, just as that sourness becomes a little hard to handle, the heat overtakes it, overpowering almost all else.


Normally I like to say that heat only destroys flavour if you exceed your own limits by a fair margin. Normally that line holds true. Here, however, I guess the flavour must have left when the sourness took over because there's not a trace of it through the heat, no matter how little I have.


The less I have, the longer I get to enjoy that initial flavour but it always gives way pretty quickly and has always disappeared by the time the sourness leaves. Which is a real shame.


I would not, therefore, recommend this sauce for flavour lovers. There are much better ways to enjoy the taste of reaper, even if this one is quite pure. This sauce is purely for the extreme heat seekers, I'm afraid.


It is still, however, a lot tastier than the closest extract sauce.