What a treat these Chocolate Covered Orange Peel are! They remind me of Christmas.
I guess you could make them any time but I only have them at Christmas. Maybe that is what makes them feel so special.
These are sweet and tangy, tasty bites. You can add them to a cookie tray, use them for garnish on a mousse or ice cream or have them on their own.
I love them on an after dinner dessert board with nuts and dried apricots and a glass of Port.
Chef's Tips for Chocolate Covered Orange Peel
- Try to source Organic oranges since it is the peel that you are consuming. Organic or regular be sure to wash and scrub the peel lightly.
- I quarter the orange vertically and using a paring knife or spoon loosen the peel gently trying to keep the quarter intact. If it tears it isn't the end of the world but your pieces won't be as uniform and nice for presentation.
- Take a spoon and lightly scrape off as much white pith as you can from the inside of the peel quarters. Then cut even vertical strips. I cut the strips in half and that makes a nice size piece.
- Don't skimp on the cold to simmering water baths. They extract the bitterness from the peel so it is an essential step.
- A wire rack over parchment paper or a pan to catch the drips from the simmering syrup is best. If you have to lay them on the paper or pan directly they may be a bit soggy or sticky. Rolling them in sugar and letting them air dry is also an essential step. You don't want soggy, gooey orange peels in the end.
- Dipping the candied peel in chocolate is optional but it does add a delicious contrast to the orange.
- You can use a dark chocolate bar - look for 70% (best), bittersweet or semisweet melting chocolate. Melt it slowly in a heatproof bowl set in a couple of inches of water in a sauce pan. Try for a small bowl with some depth to facilitate the dipping. As the amount of chocolate reduces the dipping may become more like rolling half of the peel in the bottom of the bowl.
- These store well in an airtight container. I keep mine in a cool place and they last a few weeks.
Chocolate Covered Orange Peel
- wire rack for draining and cooling orange peel
- 2 navel oranges
- ½ cup water
- 1 ¼ cups sugar divided 1 cup + ¼ cup
- 2 Tbsps corn syrup
- 1 cup melting chocolate 70% cacao if possible
- Wash the fruit well. Make 4 vertical cuts to quarter the oranges. Carefully remove the orange segments using a small knife or spoon if necessary. Try to keep each quarter of the peel intact.
- When the segments have been removed take a spoon and carefully scrape the inside of the orange peel to remove as much white pith as possible.
- Cut the quarter peel in half horizontally and then into vertical strips about ¼ inch wide.
- Cover the peel in a saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat this 3 more times. After the last boil transfer the peel to a plate.
- Then add 1 cup of the sugar, water and corn syrup to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the orange peel and simmer about 20-25 minutes until the syrup thickens.
- Remove the peel and transfer to a wire rack over a pan lined with parchment paper. Arrange peel in a single layer separated so they don't stick to one another.
- Put ¼ cup sugar in a bowl. After peels have drained and dried a bit roll each peel in sugar to coat and return to the wire rack. Allow to air dry about 4 hours or overnight.
- Bring water in a skillet to a boil. Put chocolate in heat proof bowl and sit the bowl in the hot water. Stir after a few minutes and keep stirring to chocolate is smoothly melted. Move the skillet off the burner but be ready to return it to the heat if the chocolate starts to get too thick.
- Dip orange peel pieces in chocolate. You can dip half way or cover completely. If you plan to cover completely you may need more than 1 cup of chocolate.
- After dipping return the orange peel to the wire rack for the chocolate to cool and firm up.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a month.