Chocolate dipped candied orange peel is easy to make and makes a delicious and decadent treat or pretty gift.
Undipped candied peel is also great as a treat or used in bakes and cakes.
Home made candied orange peel dipped in Chocolate is one of my favourite sweet treats.
Strangely, I am not a huge chocolate orange fan but I love the contrast of the sweet chewy candied peel against the rich dark chocolate.
And this is one instant where I actually prefer plain chocolate to milk, although usually it is the other way round. My absolute favourite chocolate is milk chocolate with a cocoa content of around 40%.
If you haven't tried it, search it out in the shops. It has the creaminess of milk chocolate but is not as sweet. It is seriously good! a little on the pricey side but worth the extra cost.
Anyway back to this chocolate dipped candied orange peel. Its a little time consuming to make but very easy and the end result is delicious. Its a lovely treat I like to serve with coffee after a long lunch.
Candying the orange peel
First wash the fruit well under running water scrubbing with a soft brush to remove the harmless wax coating which is used to preserve the fruit.
Remove the peel from the flesh. It does depend a bit on the variety of orange but often the easiest way is to cut them into quarters and then peel. Some varieties do not peel as easy and tear into small pieces, in which case you will may have to cut or scoop the flesh away.
Aim to have pieces that you can cut into long strips about 7-10mm thick. You will want to have some white pith still attached but not too thick. So if the peel is very thick cut a little of the pith away. For the photographs I used navel oranges which peeled easily and had quite a thin layer of pith.
The next step after you have removed the peel and cut it into strips is to boil the peel for 10 minutes. Then drain. This step is repeated three times. Each time with fresh water. Do not be tempted to skip this as it removes the bitterness from the peel and in fact if you can do it a couple of more times if you want to ensure you have got rid of all the bitterness.
Next you make a simple sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water and simmering for about 10 minutes. The blanched peel is then added to the pan and returned to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until the pith is almost translucent.
The peel is then removed from the syrup with a draining spoon and spread out on cooling racks with a tray placed under them to catch the drips and left to dry.
The peel will take at least 12 hours to dry and may take up to 36 hours. Once dry the orange peel can be rolled in caster sugar or dipped in chocolate.
Dipping in Chocolate
You can simply half dip in melted chocolate and leave to set but if giving as a gift it is worthwhile tempering the chocolate first.
Tempering chocolate helps ensure that the chocolate sets shiny with a good snap. It is not difficult and you can read in more depth on How to Temper Chocolate on Recipes Made Easy for more details.
For most purposes, I find the easiest way is to temper chocolate is to melt ⅔ of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
Time permitting, keep the chocolate in this melted state for at least 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours, reheating gently if it cools too much and starts to set.
Then when ready to dip stir in the remaining chocolate chopped into small pieces into the melted chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted, reheating only if required.
Dip the peel to half coat in the chocolate, allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then place the peel on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave until set.
Uses of Candied Orange Peel
Plain candied orange peel that has just been rolled in sugar will keep for months if stored in a cool dry place. Use in Christmas cakes or any bake which calls for chopped peel, and as with many home-produced items, gives a much better result than shop-bought.
Candied Orange peel also makes great gifts. Pack into cellophane bags and tie with ribbon or back into a pretty box. I think the chocolate coated peel is more decadent so I tend to give these as gifts but a mixture of the two can also look really pretty.
Try with other citrus fruits, lemon, limes, grapefruit and even pomelos and clementines can all be used to make candied peel.
Use the leftover syrup in fruit salads in place of simple sugar syrup for some cocktails or to poach fruit such as rhubarb or pears for a dessert.
Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peel Step by Step
Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peel
- 4 large oranges
- 750 g (1lb 6oz)golden granulated sugar
- 150 g (5½oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- cooling rack
- baking sheet
- baking parchment
- Cut four large oranges into quarters and remove the flesh. If the peel is very pithy the cut away some of the white pith but to not make the peel too thin.
- Cut the peel into 6-10 mm (¼-½in) wide strips. Place the peel strips in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring quickly to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Drain and refill the pan with water to cover the peel again. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, drain then repeat this step once more time. Drain and set the peel aside.
- Place 750g (1lb 6oz) sugar in a saucepan with 600ml (1 pt) water. Heat stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the orange peel and bring back to a simmer. Then simmer for 50-60 minutes or until the pith is semi-translucent. Remove from the heat then transfer the peel with a slotted spoon and spread out on a wire rack set over a baking tray to catch the drips .
- Allow to dry for at least 12 hours or up to 36 hours in a cool dry space - Do not refrigerate.
- Break about 100g (3½oz) of the plain chocolate into squares and place in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water until melted. remove from the heat. Chop 50g (2oz) chocolate into small pieces and stir in the melted chocolate, continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted.
- Dip each piece of orange peel into the chocolate allowing the excess to run back into the bowl then place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Allow the chocolate to set in a cool dry place before serving.