Introducing….Hellraising Hot Sauce!Posted: March 27, 2013
I’m woefully behind with this post, but I had to get a few things sorted out before I made the official declaration here. Readers, meet Hellraising Hot Sauce. Hellraising Hot Sauce, meet readers. Life in Spicyland has taken on a whole new meaning these days! 🙂
I mentioned this little hobby nearly a month ago, and in that time we’ve spent many hours cooking up a storm and dreaming of Hellraising.
I had never made hot sauce before, so the first day we made it was quite eye-opening….let me show you!
DT shopped like crazy to get all the supplies and ingredients we’d need.
Safety first when dealing with all this heat….we didn’t know how hot the peppers would be, so DT stocked up on goggles, face masks, and gloves. This is a serious operation!
The blender and Cuisinart were our trusty workhorses for the day.
Our goal was to fill up as many 1.7 ounce sample bottles as we could. These were handed out to family, friends, and coworkers for initial feedback on our recipes.
But first they needed to be sanitized by warming in a 225-degree oven for at least 20 minutes.
We started with the habanero pineapple sauce, a.k.a. Sweet Suffering.
Onions and garlic were sauteed until softened, then added to the food processor with the carrots, crushed pineapple, and some juice.
Blend, blend, blend….
Now – the HEAT. Habaneros de-stemmed and measured. The seeds stay in!
The peppers are chopped up, then combined with the onion/garlic/pineapple mixture and blended some more.
Once the sauce is smooth (we had to do in several batches since the Cuisinart wasn’t big enough to hold it all), it’s poured into stockpot to simmer. All the flavors get delicious together.
The sauce also needs to reach a certain temperature to safely bottle.
Testing pH levels:
Our first batch of Sweet Suffering!
Well, here’s the thing. The sauce had great potential – the combination of heat and pineapple is spot on, but it just wasn’t WOWing me. It needed more flavor, more punch. Plus, the sauce was way too thick – it was difficult to bottle, let alone when people tried to get it out. We needed to work on consistency big time. We were thrilled about the color, though – so bright and vibrant and appealing.
So we tweaked our recipe and made another batch.
This time we added a few more habaneros, less crushed pineapple, and more of the juice to help loosen up the sauce. That helped tremendously – it also amped up the pineapple flavor upon first taste….then the heat creeps in.
Now this WOWed my socks off….the flavor is incredible and complex.
You can even see here – so much smoother!
Yesssss….this was much, much better.
Our second, new, and improved batch of Sweet Suffering….success!
Batch number three was DT’s triple pepper blend recipe, our Triple Inferno sauce. Red jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros. Yeah baby.
This is a more “traditional,” “everyday,” “go-to” hot sauce. Very versatile and without any real dominant flavors (e.g. fruit) – just layers of heat. Onions, garlic, and carrots also served as the base.
A similar process was followed – all the ingredients blended well together, then simmered and bottled.
Eight+ hours later, a destroyed kitchen and the fruits of our labor:
We learned a great many things this first day….there’s much more to perfect and refine, but it’s a start. We’re really looking forward to spending more time with Hellraising!
Shameless social media plug: follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@hellraisinghs) too!