Today I welcome back Pattie Tierney, fabulous chocolate guest blogger.
Pattie Tierney is a blogger, reader, traveler, diner, jewelry-maker, and lover of all things chocolate and mysterious. Check out her online jewelry shop; her online paper goods shop; follow her on Twitter @pattietierney or read her Blog.
I was first introduced to the magic of the chocolate/orange combination by Bruce Morley, my not-so-secret admirer in the sixth grade. It was the last day of school before the Christmas break and there, waiting for me in the center of my well-used, flip-top desk was a "Terry's Chocolate Orange," the ball of chocolate mixed with orange flavoring, divided into segments to appear much like a real orange, and wrapped in orange-colored foil. Bliss! I never saw Bruce after the sixth grade as we headed in opposite directions for Junior High, but I always figured that he ended up making some woman very happy as, after all, he certainly knew what pleased females back in the sixth grade!
I can't say it was Bruce, or that Terry's Orange, but I have, ever since, had a particular fondness for the chocolate and citrus combination, so when a friend offered me a chocolate-dipped candied orange segment two Christmases ago I had to have the recipe right then and there. She was nonplussed. There's no recipe, she told me (this from, a woman who once cooked with Julia Child!), you simply boil orange peel three times, boil it again in simple syrup, let it dry and dip it in chocolate. Okay.
Essentially it is that simple, but I'm a fanatic for having things written down in some sort of understandable form, and if you are too, here is the recipe. It is easy, and these are more delicious than you can imagine. Don't wait to serve them at holiday time or special occasions, make some now. In fact, never throw away an orange peel, carefully remove it, bag it up and freeze it so you're always ready when the mood hits.
Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peels
3 large oranges
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Chocolate for dipping
Cut off the top and bottom of each orange. Then, make four vertical cuts equal distance apart, working your way around the orange and remove the peel in segments. If there is too much pith on the segment, lay it flat on a cutting board and carefully run a knife back and forth to remove as much as you can.
Once this is accomplished, slice each segment, vertically into thin strips, about 3/8" wide.
Place the strips into a medium-large saucepan and cover with cold water.
Place pan on the burner of your stove and bring to a boil.
Boil peel for 15 minutes.
Drain peel and rinse, then repeat the boiling process two more times.
As the peel is draining for the final time, bring the 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil over medium heat in a medium-large saucepan.
Add the peel, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 45 minutes until the peels are tender.
Drain once again, saving the syrup, if you like, to use in iced tea.
Pour the superfine sugar into a small bowl and toss the orange peels in the sugar until well coated. Don't overcrowd. You may need to do this 2-3 times depending upon the size of your bowl.
Place the sugar-coated orange peels onto a cooling rack to dry, leaving about 1/4" to 1/2" of space between each one.
Allow to dry at room temperature for 24-48 hours. You'll want to taste one (or 2, or maybe 8) to make sure they're all right.
When they are dry, melt the chocolate of your choice (I've used anything from Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips, to a left over giant Hershey bar) in a small bowl over simmering water and dip the end of the peel into the chocolate to coat.
Place back on the rack until the chocolate is dry.
I have no idea just how long these will keep as that has never proven itself to be an issue.