Intro: Candied Jalapenos
Over the weekend my husband, some friends of ours and I were in a cheese shop in Salem, MA when I saw a bag of chocolate covered jalapenos. Thinking this sounded like an interesting combination, I was going to buy the snack chip sized bag until I saw the price tag---$7.50. I've mentioned before in other Instructables that I have a hard time paying for something pre-made if I think I make it myself for less and there was no way I could pay $7.50 for what was essentially a bag of chips.
So today I went to Trader Joe's and bought a pack of their jalapenos for $1.69. I also bought a dark chocolate bar (which was actually two bars) for $1.49. I went home and set to work following my usual produce-candying method. The results were better than I could have expected. The jalapenos have this great spicy and sweet flavor that doesn't send you running for the milk. The chocolate does help mellow the heat a bit, but is completely optional.
Step 1: Ingredients
2 cup sugar
3/4-1 cup water
1/2 dark chocolate bar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Step 2: The Jalapenos
Wash and dry your jalapenos and then seed them. I have a nifty little jalapeno seeding tool that is supposed to limit skin exposure. Discard seeds and membranes and then slice your jalapenos. You want to try and keep the jalapeno circle intact, this just makes things a little easier when they get to the rack and depending on how you are using the jalapenos, they look nicer. If you don't want to deal with the little circles, slice the jalapenos into sticks.
Step 3: The Sugar
I decided to follow my usual method for candying produce. In a pan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add the jalapenos and allow to boil for a few minutes. Lower the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
When the jalapenos are finished, transfer them to a wire rack (with paper towel beneath) or a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Allow jalapenos to cool, you want the sugar to have time to "crystalize".
Reserve the jalapeno simple syrup, store in an air-tight container for 2-3 weeks.
Step 4: The Chocolate
After your jalapenos have cooled you can start on the chocolate. Dice one bar into small pieces and slivers, this makes it easier and faster to melt. Transfer to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring the chocolate each time until it is all melted.
Using a knife or a small spoon, dip into the chocolate and carefully drizzle over the jalapenos. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool and harden.
Step 5: Done!
If you are not eating these right away, store them in an airtight container. These jalapenos can be eaten as is, added as a topping, as a garnish, or included in another recipe (coming soon).