Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ho Ho Hot!

Last Christmas I made over 100 cupcakes to give away as presents to friends and family.

This Christmas I am making mini hampers. With Chilli jam, biscotti, spiced biscuits and shortbread. For fans of tea and coffee some treats to go with them. With the exception of the chilli jam of course!

I have never made chilli jam.

I have never made biscotti.

I have never made short bread.

Tonight I made my first ever set of chilli jam. It it hot. It is jarred and cooling and setting just now. For the last 2 hours my fingers have been tingling and swealing. The recipe says to use a food processor for a reason- please for the love of all your digits use a processor.

This is far worse that dicing 12 onions.

Than dicing 1200 onions.

Than dicing 120,000 onions...

My lips have that Angelina Jolie bee-stung look about them. While my fingers have that Ranulph Fiennes pre op look about them (controversial much?). I am prepared to spend the rest of the evening getting freezer burn on them to reduce the swealing and take the burning sensation away. Thankfully I have managed not to rub my eyes. I should add that as far as I am aware the only thing I am allergic to is pollen.

They look amazing all my little ruby coloured jars glinting on the window sill. I am sure it will taste sensational. One of my dear friends will be getting the first sample this week, fingers crossed...

Anyway for the curious, courtesy of Nigella, here is the recipe for Chilli Jam:


  • Gluten Free
  • Nigella Recipe
  • Vegetarian
  • 150g long fresh red chillies, each deseeded and cut into about 4 pieces.
  • 150g red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks
  • 1kg jam sugar
  • 600ml cider vinegar
  • 6 x 250ml sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lid, such as Kilner jar or re-usable pickle jar


Serves: Makes approx. 1.5. Litres
  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

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