Candied Orange Peel dipped in Chocolate
The inspiration for this candied orange peel confection came from Black Book Kitchen Diaries – I was sold the moment I saw the pictures. Not only did they make it onto my Christmas gift list (which is always rather hopeful but impractically long) but I actually managed to make them too.
This is what I did:
- Halved 6 organic oranges and squeezed out the juice.
- Removed the innards as best I could leaving as much pith as possible on the peel.
- Cut the peel into 1/2 cm strips.
- Boiled the peel in water for about 15 minutes.
- Drained the peel and repeated the process twice more (I wanted to leave some bitterness, the original recipe cooked them for longer and had one more change of water).
- Heated 100g sugar and 50ml water until the sugar had dissolved.
- Added the drained strips and simmered for about 45 mins until the peel had started to turn translucent.
- Drained the syrup and used this in lots of other recipes.
- Put the peels on a rack to dry – initially for 24 hours (see below).
- Melted 80g 78% Trinitario chocolate from Cuba.
- Half dipped the dried orange peels and laid them out on silicone paper until set.
- Packaged into jars
These were wonderfully succulent the day after I put them up for drying, but I thought they needed a bit longer so that they wouldn’t stick together in the jars. Unfortunately, I managed to forget about them for 4 days – oops. Luckily, the candied orange peel was still edible and still very tasty, but it veered more to the chewy than the succulent! Despite being soaked in syrup, these really weren’t too sweet. They were very orangy but had a hint of bitterness which complemented the chocolate well.
Although, this was a fiddly job and not my favourite sort of kitchen activity, the result was so good, I shall be making these again.
The chocolate I used from Pierre Marcolini was a 78% grand cru trinitario from Cuba and it was delicious; a fantastic melt in the mouth experience. It had a fruity aroma and fruity notes when it first hit the tongue. This was followed by notes of butterscotch and finally coffee. Melting the chocolate was a wonderful nose experience – the kitchen smelt delightful for a long time after. I was very impressed with this chocolate.
Update December 2011 – On making candied orange peel again, I peeled the oranges rather than squeezing them first and this worked much better as the peel was cleaner. This time around I dried them for 24 hours only which made them much juicier and then rolled them in caster sugar before storing.