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Devil's Tongue Candies

It's getting near Halloween. So I figured I would post my method of making hard candied peppers. You can check my original post here [topic='18572']Candied Jalapenos & Habaneros[/topic]. Which you actually do need to do to make the hard candy as well.
 
I'm using Devil's Tongue peppers. They are almost identical to fatalii. So I'm using the habanero method.
 
First I stem, and split.
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You may, or may not want to seed the peppers at this point. Once the peppers are hard candied; you will not be able to remove them.
 
Now "soft" candy the peppers. Like in my [topic='18572']older guide[/topic].
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Now many people have asked how to tell when they are done. The best way is to check the tempture of the sugar, which best would be around 225. However there is another way to tell. You can "water dip" your fingers into the sugar, and stretch it between your fingers. If it pulls a thread, and stays. Then it's done.
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And damn, Devil's Tongue candy to be damn beautiful.
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Ok now you need to setup to hard candy them. You will want parchment paper. Note NOT wax paper.
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I also use chopsticks to fish the peppers out of the syrup, and put them onto the parchment paper. Chopsticks leave the least syrup on the peppers compared to spoons, etc... You will want to cook the peppers(Yes the peppers you already candied) in the same syrup as before. However you want to do them in small batches. This is because you need to get the sugar to 310 degrees, or until water test is hard. And immaditally remove it from the heat. Then quickly use the chopsticks to remove the peppers. The sugar will thicken, and harden pretty quickly. So you can only handle small batch at a time. Your sugar will slowly darken as you do this. Personally I prefer the taste of them as it darkens. It becomes more caramel like. However if it gets too dark, then you will need to do knew sugar syrup.
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Any darker then that, and it will start to taste scorched. This sugar can be poured on parchment, or into candy/lollipop moulds. It will harden, and is quiet tasty and spicy in it's own right.
 
This is what a hard candied pepper looks like if it was not caramelized.
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And this one was allowed to caramelize.
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Video with proof of hardness.
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX2qfZ7u_OQ[/media]
 
Also, they are not sticky.
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udHpGXeA-Nc[/media]
 
So now you can have some pretty, and spicy candy for Halloween.
 
Also do not toss that hard syrup sugar.
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Break it up, save it. Dang tasty to munch on.
 
I will be first in line if you ever decide to sell them. They look like they bring sweet and hot to new heights.
 
That is so very cool. Must the pods be fresh or can I pullout my frozen ones. I would assume the process would harden them regardless. 
 
SL3 said:
That is so very cool. Must the pods be fresh or can I pullout my frozen ones. I would assume the process would harden them regardless. 
 
You can use frozen fine. Just thaw them first, and be sure they are fairly dry to the touch.
Oh forgot to mention. If you try this recipe. If your sugar gets hot enough to smoke; be VERY careful NOT to inhale the smoke. If you do, there will be instant regret, possible vomiting, and maybe a hospital visit.
 
spysee said:
This looks awesome!
 
One question, how do you clean the pot afterwards?
 
Hot water. Sugar dissolves easily in it. If you let harden in the pot, then just put water in. And bring it to a boil.
 
nice recipe. i'm about to try this.
 
i wonder though. for the hard candies, do you want to invert the sugar first?
i'm thinking the low moisture content means good preservation either way.
however, the mix of saccharides from inversion interferes with crystallization. which gives a superior hard candy product, i wonder? plain sucrose or a mix of sucrose, fructose, and glucose?
 
Inverting the sugar is a good idea, though not needed for hard candy. Inverting the sugar helps prevent crystallization. When you soft candy a pepper the crystallization would make it look unappealing, and have a "gritchy" texture. In the case of hard candy it more ensures a smoother texture to the candied item. If the hard candied pepper were to crystallize, it would be come slightly grainy, and somewhat opaque in color instead of clear. 
 
they came out pretty good.
 
i did some aji lemon drops, and i love their flavor. i think that the more distinctive and powerful the pepper flavor, the better, so something like an aji is good. i think a very perfumey pepper would be ideal for this.
 
also, i think i prefer them soft candied. hard candied was good, but the caramelized flavor covered up the pepper flavor a little too much.
 
 
 
soft candying process (inverted with a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice):
 
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completed soft candy:
 
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completed hard candy:
 
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Nice!
 
Yeah your hards look a little dark. It can be tough keeping the temp right to lessen the caramelized taste. Though I do agree soft candied is better. It's more flexible use wise.
 
this toy i used is called the polyscience control freak. it's an induction cooktop with two temperature control modes:
  • pan control: a spring-loaded contact thermometer built into the cooker's surface that presses against the bottom of your cookware. basically measures cookware temp.
  • probe control: a temperature probe you put in your pot/food. for example, it can be used for regulating the temp of an oil bath for deep frying.
you can have them both going at the same time for display, but you can only use one at a time for closed loop temp control.
 
i'm still getting the hang of it.
for this, i had it in probe control mode, but i think that i should have actually been using the other mode to regulate the pan temp instead. it would have done a better job of preventing caramelization. when you do probe control, it may heat the pan above your desired temp momentarily to try to bring the probe temp up. pan control would have been the smart way.
 
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