I love working with hot peppers. I love the experimentation of working with ghost peppers and scorpion peppers to make them accessible to those who, shall I dare say, are not heat tolerant. I love not only the heat but also the flavor of these peppers, and I do enjoy that nice little tingle in the back of my throat when eating one of my creations. Hot peppers add a special zing to any dish; they just need some loving tenderness when working with them.
My challenge is coming up with recipes that will not detract from the ingredients with an overpowering sensation of heat. I want just enough to tingle, but not to make someone burn their mouth. This being said, I made a new batch of ghost pepper jelly last month and doubled the peppers. I loved it! When I brought a jar to my father when visiting him, he said his mouth was on fire! Twenty minutes later he said it still tingled, but that he did love the jelly. He probably threw it out when I left, haha.
I am a spicy sweet girl. I love that combination when making sauces, jellies, and now candy. My son, Jack, loves roca. We always had roca or English toffee in the house. With my new batch of scorpion peppers I thought I would see how they would fare in a hard butter crunch. The scorpion pepper butter crunch toffee was a huge hit with my family and friends. When I put the word out in my previous neighborhood for those who were interested in trying these delectable candy pieces, I had none left at the end of the day. The overwhelming response was they loved them. Someone actually said they were highly addictive!
The scorpion peppers add a nice zing to the candy. This recipe is sweet, buttery, with a nice tingle at the back of the throat. Once you try this recipe, you will only want butter crunch toffee this way.
Until next time do what Chef Dina does: make life a delicacy!
Scorpion Pepper Butter Crunch Toffee
By Dina Barton
Note: The scorpion peppers add a nice zing to the candy. This recipe is sweet and buttery, with a nice tingle at the back of the throat. Once you try this recipe, you will only want butter crunch toffee this way! Make sure to wear gloves when dealing with the peppers or else you will get an intense burning sensation on your skin.
If you want to use a 9x13 pan, I have ingredient measurements below.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
For 17x11 Pan Ingredient Measurements
1 pound unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water 3⁄4 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 scorpion peppers, seeded, membranes removed and finely diced
9 ounces milk chocolate, broken up
2.25 ounces sliced almonds
For 9x13 Pan Ingredient Measurements
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1⁄2 teaspoon water
1/3 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Line a large (17x11) cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Once melted add sugar, water, lemon juice and syrup. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Stop stirring and bring the heat down to medium. Gently boil and cook for 13-16 minutes or until the temperature reaches 300-310 degrees. Do not stir during this time.
Once temperature is attained, take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the peppers. Pour mixture in the pan and smooth out evenly. Cool completely.
When the caramel is cooled, melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate on top of hardened caramel. Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds. Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
Break the toffee into random pieces and store in an airtight container or zippy bag. The candy freezes well.