Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Covered Orange Peels

On more then one occasion, I had amazing little candied citrus peels when I was in Italy. The sorbets I could take or leave but the memory of these chocolate covered lemon and orange peels has hardly left my mind. Tender and almost juicy on the inside and delicious, dark chocolate on the outside.

With the holidays just around the corner, these treats will make great Christmas gifts or addition to an open house or party. Last year, I gave homemade Fairholme Granola as Christmas gifts, packaging each gift in pretty, festive bags from Creating Occasions.

If you're looking for a gift idea that has a touch of decadence, these chocolate covered orange peels are for you. They're easy (and actually kind of fun) to make. And while these aren't as good as the ones I had in Verona, I have a feeling nothing will quite compare to my memory.

Chocolate Covered Orange Peels
recipe is a direct copy of Smitten Kitchen's orangettes

4 oranges
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup dark chocolate wafers

Slice ends off four oranges, score the peel from one end to the other, and remove the peels from the oranges. Slice the peels into thin strips and trim the edges.

Using a medium size pot, place the peels in boiling water and blanch them for a few minutes. Rinse the peels, and repeat this process a second time. This is done to remove the bitterness of the peels.

Prepare the simple syrup by combining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring the syrup to a simmer, place the peels in the pot, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Once the peels have cooked, remove them from the pot, and place on a rack to drain and cool.

Melt 16 ounces dark chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the candied orange peels in the chocolate, remove them quickly, and let them cool on a piece of parchment paper. Store the orange peels in a zip lock bag in the fridge.

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