My mom is a big fan of chocolate covered orange peels, so when I learned how to make them in my cooking class, I knew that I had to send her a batch. I had fun whipping them up- they are relatively simple to make, smell delicious, and are a nice variation on the kinds of recipes I usually make. I don’t particularly enjoy eating orange peels, but they came out pretty good. My mom was happy to receive them in the mail. She said the peels are much softer than the chewy ones she normally encounters, and she’s right. Maybe that’s why I didn’t mind snacking on a few before packing them up.
One orange makes about 19 strips of orange peels, so get as many oranges as you’d like. Use a knife to slice the top and bottom off of the orange, just enough so that you can see the orange sections. Then, use your knife the score the orange peel from top to bottom at four different places (12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock), making sure you don’t cut into the fruit. Use your finger to loosen one of the sections of orange peel from the top of the orange, and carefully peel the skin off. Continue peeling the orange until it’s naked. Then, cut each piece of orange peel into 4-5 vertical strips.
Add the orange peels to a pot, and fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the peels. Cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Once the water boils, drain the orange peels. Repeat this process 4 more times to draw the bitterness out of the orange peels. All told, you should bring the orange peels to a boil in fresh water 5 times. Now that the oranges have lost their bitterness, it’s time to candy them. Return the peels to the pot, and add 1 cup of water at a time until the peels are covered. Add half the amount of sugar to the pot as well. So- if you added 2 cups of water, add 1 cup of sugar. Bring the water to a boil, and reduce it to a simmer once the sugar has dissolved.
Put a lid on the pot, and simmer the orange peels until they are soft. The orange peels are done when they go limp when you hold them up, but you shouldn’t cook them so long that they can’t hold their shape.
Transfer the peels to a rack to cool and dry. Once the orange peels have completely cooled, you can either toss them in coarse sugar to make candied orange peels, or you can coat them in chocolate like I did. If you’re going for the chocolate, pat all of the orange peels completely dry with a towel.
Melt some dark chocolate. I filled a small pot with water, brought it to a simmer, and put a glass bowl on top of the pot. The heat gently melts the chocolate and prevents it from burning.
Dip the orange peels into the chocolate, and then set them on a piece of parchment paper to cool. I’m not a pro with chocolate, but it seems like a good idea to put the freshly coated orange peels into the refrigerator to set for an hour or so. I let mine cool at room temperature, and they formed some condensation over night and the chocolate didn’t fully harden. I put them in the fridge the next morning, and that seemed to make things better.
When the orange peels are fully set, eat away! I’m thinking about trying to make candied ginger next. Do you have any other suggestions, or tips for covering things in chocolate?
- Dark chocolate