I have roasted chiles, blended chiles, pureed chiles, chopped chiles, grilled chiles, even tossed a few chiles in my cocktail. But, I’ll be honest with you. This LatinoFoodie has never candied chiles before. The thin curly strips have a sweet warm flavor with just a hint of heat. Now I want to put candied chiles on EVERYTHING. I’m thinking ice cream, cupcakes, and on top of my flan… they’re that damn good. This weekend I loved the little sweet chile bits crumbled on top of ice cream.
What sparked my love affair with candied chiles? Last spring I attended TECHmunch Los Angeles, a traveling food bloggers conference by BakeSpace.com. We met a number of local chefs from the restaurants at Disneyland Resorts, who cooked up everything from Mickey’s macaroons to these tasty little candied chile bites.
The Disney chef made them with ancho chiles, which isn’t too hot of a pepper. The slow candied process of two hours in the oven on a low heat gives them a wee bit of a smoky flavor and makes them nice and crunchy.
It’s really a simple process. Really. Take a look at this video as we captured the chef from Carthay Circle Restaurant in California Adventure park explaining how he prepares Candied Ancho Chiles.
We didn’t have dried ancho chiles available in our pantry, but I did have a big bag of mild dried Hatch chiles and thought, why not? Here’s our recipe and a few photos. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours (includes making the simple syrup and baking the chile strips)
Makes about one and a half cups
1 cup white granulated sugar for the simple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar to toss chiles
1 cup water
8 dried Hatch chiles
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a medium sauce pan, add one cup of sugar with equal parts of water on medium heat. You want to dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently. Keep the simple syrup on the flame at a low simmer.
Add the dried chiles to the pot. Stir to coat and simmer for 15 minutes to soften the skin of the chile.
While the chiles are cooking, put 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
Line a cooking sheet either with parchment paper or silicon pad. If use parchment paper, make sure to spray an even coat of non-stick baking spray.
Turn off the heat and allow the chiles to steep and cool in the simple syrup for about 3 to 5 minutes, just long enough for you to handle them. Be careful because when the syrup cools, it will thicken to a consistency of honey and the chiles will be harder to work with and cut.
And then when cool enough to handle, on a cutting board, remove the stems and the seeds of the chiles and thinly slice into 1/4 inch rounds. I like and wanted more heat so I left a few seeds in the chiles.
Place the chile rounds in the bowl with the granulated sugar and toss to coat.
Remove from oven and allow candied chiles to cool.
Top off your dessert with the candied chile rings or pop them in your mouth one by one for a great treat!