Saturday, April 24, 2010

Orangettes / Candied Orange Peel with Chocolate

This is one of my favourites....
5 large unwaxed thick-skinned oranges
800 grams of sugar
300 grams of dark chocolate
Wash the oranges. Cut the ends off of the oranges, and score the peel from one end to the other keeping as much as possible of the white-side of the zest. Slice the peels into strips (0.5 cm wide each strip) and trim the edges Weight them. Place them in a bowl, cover with water and leave them overnight. Drain them after 10-12 hours.
Place the peels in boiling water and blanch them for five minutes. Repeat it three times. This process will eliminate the bitterness of the peels. Drain them. Place the peels in a large pot, and distribute them as flat as possible. Cover them with sugar. I use 1.5 times of sugar of the weight of the orange peels. For example, If I have 500 grams of orange peels, then I use 750 grams of sugar. Sprinkle a little bit of water (few drops), and simmer them until the sugar is dissolved (medium temperature). Bring the temperature to low, and test the syrup with a spoon. When the syrup in the spoon forms a long thread, the peels are ready. It takes about 25 minutes. A second option will be to prepare syrup by mixing water and sugar in a sauce pot, bring them to simmer and place the peels in the pot for about 1 hour. In my opinion, this second method takes longer and fills with too much water the peels.
When the peels are ready (cooked and translucent), remove them from the pot, and put on a rack to cool them. Once they are cool, you can start dipping them in a melt chocolate.
To melt the chocolate, I use a double boiler. Dip the candied orange peels, flip them with two forks in the chocolate, remove them, and place them over a tray with aluminum foil. Place them in the freezer for five minutes, take them out of the aluminum foil and store them in an airtight container or the fridge.

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