A week ago today, I was still riding off the sugar high that was the Chile Chocolate Takedown.
In the middle of the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanic Garden, six contenders met to battle chiles and chocolate. Only one victor emerged, and if you can’t tell from the above picture, the winner was ME! Every year, there is a Chile Fiesta at BBG and the Takedown is a part of it. It’s pretty awesome, a small competition mixing up the heat with the sweet.
Matt Timms, the Takedown master, wrote an EPIC story as a wrap-up to the event. Go read it because it made my life.
I know I’ve hinted at it before, but I have a major obsession with homemade marshmallows. With a pantry of homemade jams at my arsenal, adding some flavor to the base is so easy and really makes for a unique confection. This competition felt like a perfect fit to show how awesome homemade mallows are.
Homemade hot pepper jam went into the marshmallow base to make a spicy pillow that sat on top of a graham cracker crust and a rich dark chocolate ganache. These spicy s’mores are, in a word, awesome. They take a bit of work, but for the final product, it felt so worth it!
Chocolate Habaneros, Cayennes, anchos and mild red peppers met up with a lot of sugar and pectin to make an intense pepper jam. And the marshmallows deserve a good burn in flavor because once paired with the crust and dark chocolate, the heat loses its intensity. I’m not sure why, but it happens! So you have to counteract with a very spicy marshmallow.
And here’s where I admit that a gimmick may have won me the competition. The smell of caramelizing sugar and the look of the flame coming from the kitchen torch was a key player. There’s something rather lovely about hearkening back to childhood, and a damn joy to play with fire once in a while!
Thanks to Matt Timms for another awesome Takedown, the Brooklynauts for both being an awesome competitor and for their photos of the event [ALL photos used in my post are Brooklynauts pictures]. And a big thanks to Grace Foods, who supplied the basket of Jamaican condiments as the winning prize. Something tells me you’re about to see an uptick in spicy recipes here on Nomnivorous.
No time, patience, or desire to whip up homemade marshmallows of your own? Maybe you just NEED to try this out? Check out the Nomnivorous Goodsie, a simple site just launched to sell my confections.