A luxurious slow burn.
Two ingredients that bring out the best in each other.
The Chile Caramel collection is for lovers of fine caramel that want to flirt with real pepper flavors and heat. That’s not to say these don’t bring the heat; you can’t put Ghost or Carolina Reaper peppers into anything without making it HOT. But these caramels are a lovely exploration of how capsaicinoids and casein can come together to smooth the build of the heat out, allowing the fruity, earthy, citrus, and floral flavors of the peppers showcased here to shine.
As you experience this collection, let the heat slowly build on your palate, one bite at a time.
Red Hatch Chile Caramel
The heat in this chile is similar to its green sibling. With red Hatch chile peppers, the peppers are allowed to mature and ripen on the vine for longer. Instead of biting up front like its green counterpart, the Red Hatch Chile has a blooming back heat. It opens and warms with each bite, teasing out earthy, smoky, rich, buttery flavors.
Green Hatch Chile Caramel
The green chiles tend to be more assertive than their red counterparts because the chiles are harvested before the spiciness fully mellows, but the heat signatures on the two are very similar. The flavor notes signature to Hatch chiles are secondary to the heat-- but not absent altogether. You’ll love the earthy, smoky, rich pepper taste you experience with this caramel.
Serrano Tampiqueño Chile Caramel
Serrano chiles have a delayed-fuse heat, allowing their flavor notes to unfold before their heat crashes in. The Tampiqueño variety we feature runs hotter than the average Serrano, packing a big kick in a tiny package.
Scotch Bonnet Chile Caramel
This is THE chile pepper of the Caribbean region, and it has earned its notoriety. Famous for its scorching heat, the Scotch Bonnet is a fruity, sweet pepper that boasts flavors of tomato and apple in its complex profile.
Habanero Chile Caramel
The Chocolate Habanero is a chile pepper that bites back. It runs almost twice as hot as its orange cousin, and while it has the bright, fruity notes we all know and love in habaneros, you’ll find that the ripping heat in this pepper also comes with smoky, earthy flavor notes.
Trinidad Scorpion Chile Caramel
The Trinidad Scorpion Chile is aggressively hot, with a long-lasting lingering heat signature. The flavors you’ll experience before the heat gets you are citrusy, sweet, and at times even floral.
Ghost Pepper Chile Caramel
The Ghost Pepper is the chile pepper on this list most likely to haunt you. You can beat the heat of a lot of the peppers-- even those dubbed Super Hots-- by removing the ribbing and seeds. Not with the Ghost Pepper. Pulling out the seeds and ribs will only remove up to half the heat, leaving you with a punishing pepper even in its altered state. Our peppers keep their seeds and ribs, making them more than formidable. Still, the way in which we prepare these caramels allows the adventurous eater to enjoy the smoky, deeply peppery notes of the Ghost Pepper’s flavor before the slow burn heat builds to all but unbearable levels.
Carolina Reaper Chile Caramel
If you’re looking to meet your maker via death by chocolate, the Carolina Reaper Chile Caramel is a delicious way to tempt fate. The hottest pepper on the market today, it is extremely rare to taste any of the fruit’s signature fruity, sweet flavor notes. Instead, what most gastronomers experience is the searing, relentless heat (this pepper has a range of 1.4 - 2.2 million SHUs). Don’t misunderstand; there is plenty of heat to be had in this caramel. The caramel preparation simply delays the way in which the capsaicinoids unfurl in your mouth. Timid palates should start with a small nibble from one corner, and have a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream nearby to help curb the heat.
TEST KITCHEN APPROVED
Enjoyment & Pairing Recommendations
Cerveza + Cider
When you're relaxing with the Chile Caramel collection, you want to keep your drinks lighter and fresher. This will keep your palate sharp, and allow the slow build of the heat in the caramels to reach it's full potential. Stay away from heavy stouts and anythig overly hoppy (looking at you, IPAs). Instead, favor the brews made from wheat and corn, or a fruit-based cider if sweet and sparkling is more to your taste.
Mezcal + Lime
In the same vein as the Cerveza, a cocktail of mezcal (or tequila) and lime (or any citrus) is going to be the best play for a mixed drink. Keep it light and fresh, to brighten your palate in between Chile Caramel pieces.
Not everyone can handle the heat. Cut your capsaicin-averse guests some slack by offering an assortment of cheeses for them to sample between spicy bites. The casein in the dairy will help blunt the effect of the chile peppers. Balance your board with a mix of soft (brie), crumbly (feta), whipped (goat cheese), and. hard (sharp cheddar or a smoked gouda).
Dried Fruits + Nuts
One of our favorite aspects of the chile peppers featured in this collection are their varied flavor profiles. Above and beyond the heat they bring to the party, you'll find flavors of smoke, fruit, florals, herbs, and more in these pieces. Enjoy the collection with an assortment of fruits (fresh is also great, but dried will concentrate the fruit flavors) and roasted or smoked nuts to mix and match with the pieces in the collection, exploring their nuanced flavor notes as you go.