This weekend I was experimenting with my hoard of raspberries and I noticed I was using two different techniques to add flavor to the jam. The first jam I made was Raspberry with Theo Chocolate.
I used my favorite raspberry jam recipe, but added some finely chopped Theo Chocolate at the end. The Chocolate was Theo’s 74% fair trade chocolate and I added six ounces for a 12 jar batch of jam. The important point is that I didn’t cook the chocolate, but let it just melt into the jam.
The other batch was Raspberry Habanero. I’ve complained here before that I have difficulty making things hot enough, so this time for a batch of Raspberry Jam, I added a 1/2 cup of finely minced habeneros. And I put the habaneros in at the beginning of the cooking process. It turned out too hot for me, but Vincente, the Mexican baker and Ali, the falafal maker, in the kitchen both loved it.
The point is, that when making additions to jams or jellys, one should think about when to add. If its an oil you’re adding — citrus peel, peppers, vanilla bean — add it early. Alcohol based additions — booze, vanilla extract — add it late. If cooking could hurt the product — fine chocolate, for example — add it late.
The Raspberry chocolate is decadently scrumptious.