|Blobs of chocolate-covered orange peel (without the rack)-- big mistake, July 2011.|
I love candied orange peel and I'll eat it anyway I can get it. Good, bad, mediocre... I love it all. I even like the jellied kind from Trader Joe's. So when I got tired of making marmalade and couldn't figure out what else I could do with all the sour oranges on our tree, I figured I couldn't go wrong with candied orange peel.
I scoured the internet and many of my cookbooks, including my great-grandmother's Inglenook Cookbook for recipes. Eventually I invented a recipe that seemed to have the most common elements from the handful of recipes I found. This was my first mistake.
I should have just tried the best of the recipes as written. I make this mistaken fairly often and it frequently leads to disaster... or at least a mediocre result. I don't know why I still continue down this path. I guess it's because I usually find one part of a recipe that doesn't look quite right and I think, "If I only add this part from the first recipe and that part from the second, I'm sure it will work out." Live and learn.
Here's the recipe I tried. It yielded a not-too sugary orange peel with a non-glossy chocolate surface. (The best part was the chocolate covered marshmallows I made for the girls with the leftover chocolate.) It was a somewhat disappointing enterprise, but I think I'll look through some old confectionary books and try again.
|A trio of confections drying, July 2011.|
Chocolate-Covered Candied Orange Peel
- 4 medium sized oranges
- 2 cups sugar
- 18 cups water (16 for blanching peels, 2 for making simple syrup)
- 10 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- Slice the ends off four oranges.
- Using a paring knife, slice the skin off the orange with some of the pith. (I wasn't too particular about this since my oranges were fairly thin-skinned and the various recipes I looked at seemed to have different opinions about keeping the pith on or taking it off.)
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in s medium sauce pan. Add orange peel and blanche for 3 minutes.
- Strain off the water repeat the blanching process using fresh water.
- In the meantime, create a simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil in a second sauce pan.
- Add the blanched orange peels to the simple syrup and simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Be careful to watch the pot so that the water does not boil off.
- Remove orange peel from the simple syrup and drain on a cooling rack until orange peel is completely dry. This took two days at my house, but I suppose it depends on the temperature and humidity. (Several recipes suggested that the peel would be dry in less than 24 hours.)
- Melt 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler.
- Dip the candied orange peel into the chocolate and fish it out of the chocolate bath with a fork.
- Place chocolate-covered candied orange peel on a cooling rack until dry. (Some recipes suggested drying the chocolate-covered orange peel on parchment paper, but this yielded a very lumpy-looking candy as you can see from the photo above.)