I have been having a bit of an “orange-a-palooza” week. I am drying orange slices to use in decorations (blog later), making mandarin jam (recipe link to previous post below), and one of my favourite treats: chocolate-dipped candied orange peels. Also an incidental snack made it’s way in….
Chocolate-Covered Orange Peels
If you have not tried chocolate-covered orange peels before, they are a sweet/bitter combination of chocolate and orange. We found them in a shop last Christmas, but they are not carrying them this year – soooo, I thought I would like to try making them. We have been enjoying a bag of clementines so I thought I’d do a test batch with the peels. They turned out a bit crunchier than the ones we get commercially, but they were good, especially once coated in dark chocolate. I think they would last reasonably well, but truthfully cannot say for sure because they disappeared by the end of the second day….
Here is what you need:
· 3/4 cup sugar
· 1/2 cup water
· Peel from three clementine oranges or 1 large naval orange, sliced in 1cm strips
· 3/4 cup melted dark chocolate
- Slice the peels into strips, boil them for ten minutes, and then drain them. I repeated this two more times as is suggested by all the recipes I looked at, to reduce bitterness and soften the skins.
2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil, then add the skins and gently boil for 12 minutes.
3. Set them out on a rack individuality and let them cool/harden for an hour . At this stage they were very crunchy, but improved with the addition of the chocolate.
4. Dip one end in chocolate and set them to harden on a sheet of parchment paper.
5. Let them fully harden before putting them in a container.
If any of you have read the children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”, you will understand how this goes…
I had a bit of melted chocolate left from the orange peel project. To use this up, I dipped some dried apricots in the chocolate, then in some chopped pistachios. Let them set on parchment paper until firm. Delicious! They were really easy, and looked quite nice!
Since I had leftover clementines, I also made a batch of jam substituting them for mandarins in my mandarin jam recipe. It resulted in a stronger marmalade flavour than when made with mandarins, which is especially good on toast or on Christmas breads such as panettone. I made a small batch for fresh use, so did not process in mason jars this time.
Next blog we will dive into dried orange decorations! See you then.