I’m not sure exactly when I first had Orangettes (Chocolate-covered Candied Orange Peels), but I instantly loved them. I remember my mom candying orange peels once upon a time, but she never seemed to do it again that I can recall. It’s been on my To Do List to try to make them at home. I’ve been testing another recipe (that I’ve yet to write up) that needed several blood oranges cut into suprêmes or membrane-free segments, so it seemed like a good excuse to make them.
After removing the flesh of the fruit, I was left with a mound of orange peels. It felt like such a waste to throw them away when I knew that they could be turned into something deliciously sweet that I could use as a calling card for some upcoming appointments that I have. Turns out, these aren’t so difficult to make at all. The hardest part is resisting the temptation to eat them all and not to share any!
Orangettes (Chocolate-covered Candied Orange Peels)
Prep time: 2-3 hours (includes drying time)
Serving size: makes about 2-3 cups orange peel
3 large Blood Oranges
250 g White Sugar
5 Allspice berries
2 Cloves, whole
1 Cinnamon stick
50 g White Caster Sugar
100 g Milk Chocolate
100 g Semi-sweet Chocolate (70% cocoa)
Cut away the orange peel from the flesh of the orange. If you cut away large pieces (as in the case of segmenting the orange), you can trim away the excess white pith from the orange peel. The pith is bitter, but you do need to leave some of it with the peel to give structure to the final product. A few millimeters is all you need of the white. Then, cut the peel into thick strips lengthwise.
To take away the bitterness of the peel, you need to blanch it. Put a pot of water on to boil. Put the orange peel into the boiling water for about 15 seconds. Remove it and place it into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Repeat this process two more times (for a total of three times). Start with fresh water each time. Every time you do this process, the peel will be quickly cooked in the boiling water and then dunked in an ice bath to cool it down. When blanching the orange peel for the third time, keep the cooking water.
Mix together 500 ml of the orange cooking water with 250 g white sugar in a saucepan and cook on low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the allspice, cloves, and cinnamon, and then add the blanched orange peels. Cook for 30 minutes over low heat until the orange peels are translucent. Drain peels. Keep the syrup and reserve for another use like sweetening tea or cocktails or to pour over pancakes and biscuits.
Pour the caster sugar into a bowl along with the orange peels. Toss together to coat each of the peels with the sugar.
Shake the orange peels to remove the excess sugar and dry them on a baking rack set over a parchment-lined sheet tray. Let them cool for about 30 minutes.
Melt chocolates in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water (or in a double boiler if you have one). Dip one end of each of the orange peels into the chocolate and place it on a parchment paper to allow it to set.
Leave orange peels alone for 30 minutes while you try to resist the temptation to eat them. When the chocolate has set, you can store the chocolate-covered blood orange peels in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.