A while back I was at a chocolate shop and tasted a chocolate dipped candied orange. As my daughter says, they were “delicious,” I could have bought the entire tray! Instead of buying the store out, I thought I can make those at home. I searched, goggled and experimented, but NEVER duplicated that same chocolate dipped orange. Then, when I had sort of given up and forgotten about my chocolate-orange obsession, I came across a recipe in Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook for chocolate dipped candied orange peel. (My latest obsession–citrus)
Why I hadn’t thought about checking that cookbook when I was searching in desperation–at any rate, SUCCESS!
These little jewels not only look beautiful, but they gave me more chocolate-orange moments of pure pleasure.
They do take a few steps (easy steps, just time consuming) and an overnight of drying time, but according to Alice Waters, the pre-chocolate dipped candied orange peel strips will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator. I plan to use some of my undipped strips to decorate some chocolate cupcakes. And while the chocolate-orange combination is “delicious,” after successfully making candied orange peel, I am thinking about candied lime peel–Key Lime pie, candied lemon peel–Lemon Tart and candied tangerine peel–more chocolate!
Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peel
adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters
5 organic navel oranges
4 cups fine white sugar
2 cups water
5 oz. semisweet chocolate (60% cacao), chopped
1. Wash the oranges, cut in half and juice them.
2. Place the orange halves in a 6 qt. stock pot and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the orange peels and repeat process two more times, the third time, simmer until orange peels are pierced easily with a knife tip. Drain and cool.
3. Carefully scrape out the white membrane inside of the orange peels. Cut into thin strips.
4. Place the orange strips in a medium sauce pan. Add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups of cold water.
5. Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook slowly and stir occasionally until the mixture registers 230 degrees F, the syrup will bubble.
6. Turn heat off and let orange peels sit for 1/2 hour. Drain and cool pieces overnight on a parchment lined baking sheet, pieces should not touch each other.
7. The next day, toss the orange peel with 1/2 cup of white fine sugar in a large bowl.
8. Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Dip orange strips and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, refrigerate until firm. Consume immediately. OR temper the chocolate with a home tempering unit (I have one and use it all the time!)–the chocolate will hold longer at room temperature and have a shiny finish.