My last attempt at making marmalade was marked with horrendous results. I had thought about what I wanted to do all week and finally decided upon a combination of blood orange and chilli. Unfortunately, not everything went to plan. The deliciously red blood orange peels lost their deep hue during the blanching process and the chillies which I had spent vital minutes of my life chopping into perfect little squares decided that they would piss out dirty looking liquid into the pot.
I was so upset. I cried. Well, no, not really. But being the perfectionist that I am, I was determined to try again until i achieved the results I wanted! I did a little thinking while crying myself to sleep that night over the unfinished marmalade which closely resembled dirty dish water. What would be the technique to pre-process the chillies and prevent this strange occurrence? I'd read about jams containing things like candied ginger. Perhaps I could try candying chillies too?
I set about trying to find a recipe for candied chillies.. It seems good fortune was not on my side. I supposed I'd have to figure it out myself. Luckily there were no mishaps this time. I also ended up with a jar of hot red syrup which I turned into a caramel afterwards!
250 g castor sugarIn a small pot, bring sugar, water and vinegar to the boil.
200 ml water
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
150 g long red chillies, finely sliced
Reduce until it becomes syrupy (about 10 minutes).
Throw in chopped chillies and remove from the heat.
Store in syrup.