This hot spiced maple syrup is super easy to make and has just a few ingredients. It adds a spicy kick to sweets and a sweet and spicy addition to savory dishes.
Maple syrup is graded in four different levels. It ranges from golden to amber to to dark to very dark (you may remember it being A & B before). Golden is the lightest in color, sweetest and has the mildest maple flavor. Very dark obviously is the darkest, is slightly less sweet and has the strongest maple flavor. I prefer dark or very dark for this recipe. The maple flavor holds up better to the strong spices.
Cayenne pepper is what adds the spicy kick to this syrup. The recipe calls for an amount that in my opinion makes it mild to medium spicy. If you prefer it less spicy, you can reduce the amount of cayenne. If you prefer a hotter, spicier syrup then add more.
Paprika is a milder pepper that gives this syrup a little more depth of flavor with an earthy, sweet flavor. If you like smoky flavors, use smoked paprika.
Finally, salt is so important in a syrup that is super sweet and spicy. The salt brings a little bit of balance but also enhances the maple and pepper flavors.
How to Make Spicy Maple Syrup
I thought about simmering the maple syrup with a hot pepper like a jalapeno, serrano or Thai chili. But hot peppers are very inconsistent in their level of heat and I want to be able to control the heat level in the syrup. So ground spices are the best option for this.
To get the spices to flavor the syrup, it is cooked on the stove for a few minutes. That’s really how simple this recipe is. However, the spices do not dissolve and give a very slight texture to the syrup. I have a texture snob in my house so I am sensitive to the subject! If you prefer it smooth without the spices, run the hot syrup through a coffee filter to remove the spices.
How to Use this Syrup
You can use this syrup in the traditional way on top of pancakes, French toast and waffles. The spicy salty flavor is such a nice balance to the sweet in breakfast foods.
- This syrup would also be wonderful on bread pudding, again adding a wonderful spicy kick.
- What would bacon be without maple??? Brush the syrup on bacon for the last 3 or 4 minutes of cooking time.
- I think that the perfect dish for this spicy maple syrup is chicken and waffles. The salty, spicy & sweet along with savory fried chicken and sweet waffles is the ultimate combination.
- Finally this syrup would be a wonderful finishing glaze on pork chops or baby back ribs. Whether you put a spice rub on your ribs or a barbecue sauce, this syrup would be wonderful brushed on for the last 3 or 4 minutes of cooking.
Spiced Maple Syrup
- ¾ c maple syrup (amber or dark is recommended)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (add another ⅛ tsp or more if you like spicy heat)
- ¼ tsp paprika
- This syrup is mild-medium spicy. If you like it very mild use ⅛ tsp cayenne. I you prefer it closer to hot, add an extra ⅛ tsp cayenne
- Place all of the ingredients in a small pot. Place on the stovetop over low heat.
- Stir for 15 seconds or so.
- Heat for another 4-5 minutes stirring often. Keep the heat low enough so it does not boil.
- The syrup can be used as is, with the spices in it, but they do not dissolve. If you pour it through a fine mesh strainer, only some of the spices will be removed. This is what I do. As it sits, the spices will settle to the bottom. If desired, you can run it through a coffee filter (while still hot) to remove the spices. But the coffee filter method takes quite a while. The cooking process will have flavored the syrup
- Once cooled the syrup will thicken. Store in the refrigerator.