I just love giving presents; thinking up a little something that will put a smile on someone’s face.
I have no idea what triggered this gift, but all of a sudden I thought back to my childhood Christmases: I seem to remember that every year someone in our family was given candied orange peel from this one particular confectionary. But people move cities, habits change. It has been a long time since one of these little cellophane packages sat under our Christmas tree.
So I decided to make some candied orange peel as a gift for my father. I think I only failed in one respect: everyone (even the little ones) liked them so much that by now there is not much left for him to enjoy.
These are easy to prepare and taste fabulous – so do not wait until Christmas before making these as a gift for someone you care for.
(found on the blog ‘Whisks and Whimsy’ adapted from ‘Smitten Kitchen’)
4 organic oranges
water for blanching
230ml (8 oz) of water
225g (8 oz) of sugar
100g dark chocolate (I used the 70% Green & Black’s Organic chocolate)
- Bring two pots of water to the boil.
- Slice the top and bottom off the oranges. Score them from top to bottom and then peel each orange in one large piece (if you can manage). Slice the peel into strips.
- Place the peels into the first pot. Blanch for 3 minutes. Tip into a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Repeat the process blanching them for another 3 minutes in the second pot. (Blanching them twice removes the bitterness from the peel.)
- At the same time combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer.
- Add peels to the syrup. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir once in a while to ensure the peels are submerged.
- Once cooked drain the peels and lay them out on a sheet of baking paper (or rack) to cool and dry.
- Melt the chocolate au bain marie. (If possible use a narrow deep cup for the melted chocolate. It’s not necessary, but makes dipping the orange a little more easy.)
- Dip each orange peel 2/3 into the chocolate. Then place on the parchment to cool. ( I left them out for 24 hours.)
- Once the peel has dried store in an airtight container.
Tips & Variations
- Instead of or before dipping the orange in chocolate, the peel can be tossed in 250g (1 cup) of sugar.
- These peels still look a little rustic. If you are looking for a more polished result temper your chocolate (this will keep the chocolate shiny and with less “feet”.)