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Category: Desserts

Chocolate-dipped candied orange peels

If you were asked to name a food that is perfect just as is, a good piece of chocolate might come to mind. But pair chocolate with one of four particular flavors -- mint, orange, hazelnut or coffee -- and ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, plus 4 to 6 hours drying time | Makes about 120 candies
Note: Triple-blanching the orange peels removes the bitterness.
  • 5 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
  • 1 cup water, plus more for blanching
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 8 ounces good quality bittersweet (61% cacao) or semisweet chocolate

Step 1Score the orange peels into quarters without cutting through to the flesh of the orange, and peel the oranges, reserving the fruit for another use. Scrape some of the pith from the inside of the peels so they will be about one-eighth to one-fourth inch thick. Trim the pointed ends of the peels and cut the peels into one-fourth-inch-wide strips.

Step 2Place the orange peel strips in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes. Drain, place them back in the saucepan and repeat the process two more times. Drain the peels; cool and pat dry.

Step 3Place 1 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Wash down any sugar on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook the sugar syrup to the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees. Add the orange peels to the sugar syrup. Do not stir at any time or the sugar may crystallize -- swirl the pan to stir if necessary. Simmer the peels on medium-low heat until they are translucent, 45 minutes to one hour.

Step 4Remove the peels from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack set over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Separate each peel. Allow the peels to dry, uncovered, for 4 to 6 hours.

Step 5Chop the chocolate into pieces no larger than one-fourth inch and place the pieces in the top of a double boiler. Melt the chocolate, stirring often, over gently simmering water. Remove it from the heat (wiping the bottom of the bowl or pan so water doesn't accidentally drip into the chocolate).

Step 6Reline the baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Dip the orange peels halfway into the chocolate a few at a time. Gently shake off some of the excess chocolate; place the peels on the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the orange peels are dipped. Refrigerate the peels for half an hour to set the chocolate. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Each piece:
30 calories; 0 protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sodium.
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