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recipe-help What's your best pure habanero recipe?

Howdy all!

Back after along hiatus and diving back into hot sauce making.

Quick backstory: a few years ago, I had a habanero sauce from a friend of a friend and it was awesome. It had tons of hab flavor, wasn't super sharp from the vinegar, and was so tasty, I could literally pour a teaspoon of it and eat it straight. Sadly, I can't seem to contact or find the person that originally made the hotsauce (they were producing for sale, so I'm not sure they would have told me anyways).

Anyone have any ideas into what the recipe might have been? I can't imagine it was too terribly complex, but somehow, when I've tried to make straigh hab sauce, it doesn't hold a candle to this stuff.

So, what are some of your best hab recipes?
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Try this:
Thank you, sir!

Huh. I had not considered adding a sugar syrup to the mix, but that's a good idea. It would certainly cut any bitterness and help bring out flavors.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
If you follow the recipe you will find you end up with pure pepper flavor and the sweetness is only there for balance and this does not make a sweet sauce. Even though it's called puree it is like a thick sauce, I always used it as such. But you can always make it thinner.
 
Makes sense.

Sugar can make other flavors stand out more and other flavors be less perceptible without actually tasting sweet.

Learned that once at a tea shop that sold chai. No sweetener at all would make for a rather bland, slightly bitter drink. Too much sugar and you had more of a spiced, creamy dessert. If you could nail the sweet spot (pun intended) you would have a drink that got all the spices to pop and the naturally sweet taste of milk and tea would stand out without being astringent or bitter, but it didn't taste "sweet" like sugar or candy.

Fascinating experiment to try.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Salt is like that too. Salt can brighten/enhance and yes sugar can balance/round out flavors! True! Getting both right is key. Good luck!
 
Lemon works that way too. I’ll often add lemon and sugar even though I don’t want to add sour or sweetness or even lemon flavor, but just because the combination boosts other flavors.
In most cooking I’ll try a squeeze of lemon to make the flavor pop before I reach for the salt.
For habaneros specifically, I like apricot if I’m doing a fruit based sauce. The two seem to elevate each other.
Sherry vinegar too.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
In most cooking I’ll try a squeeze of lemon to make the flavor pop before I reach for the salt.
This is why the 80s were all the rage about the Lemon Pepper spice lol!
 
Lemon works that way too. I’ll often add lemon and sugar even though I don’t want to add sour or sweetness or even lemon flavor, but just because the combination boosts other flavors.
In most cooking I’ll try a squeeze of lemon to make the flavor pop before I reach for the salt.
For habaneros specifically, I like apricot if I’m doing a fruit based sauce. The two seem to elevate each other.
Sherry vinegar too.
Part of the natural ability of acids to provide more rounded flavor. Almost any time you're cooking something and think it needs more salt, add a dash of acid, be that lemon juice or vinegar or whatever, and taste again. I would reckon nine times out of ten, it solves the issue. It can give something a more savory taste without it tasting "salty".
This is why the 80s were all the rage about the Lemon Pepper spice lol!
Right? That used to be everywhere. Though, I've been seeing something of a resurgence of Lemon Pepper recently.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Not sure about rounding, I use that term to take the sharpness out of things and vinegar adds sharpness but I know what you mean.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Perhaps balance, since that means raising or lowering to achieve it... and that can mean rounding out flavors or adding sharpness. 😁
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
All of the above, in balance. I learned to start using sugar in more places when I started learning more about Asian cooking - Chinese and Thai in particular. I was surprised at how much sugar there actually was, but how little you would taste it. But there was always something missing without it.

I knew this from making chili, just never thought to apply it elsewhere.
 
Has anybody worked with malt sugar in hot sauce? This discussion just made me think of it. It’s two glucose molecules, so I imagine it would be good for a nice balanced flavor boost without an overt sweetness.
Dextrin might be worth looking into as well.
 
Has anybody worked with malt sugar in hot sauce? This discussion just made me think of it. It’s two glucose molecules, so I imagine it would be good for a nice balanced flavor boost without an overt sweetness.
Dextrin might be worth looking into as well.
I have not, but that does seem interesting.

I used to work at a homebrew shop and I gotta say that malt extracts, e.g. sugar and syrups, are very not sweet. You would be adding a lot of malt flavor to the mix. Depending on the source and age, you might get that malt extract funk that comes up in homebrew.
 
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