It’s been a rather atypical week in my kitchen. I got a juicer for Christmas (Thanks, Mom!), so I’ve been making juices instead of baking. I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of fruits and vegetables and so far my favorite juice is a green juice made with apples, lemon, kale, spinach, and cucumber. It sounds weird, but it’s actually really delicious and I kind of think drinking it will counteract all the butter and sugar that’s currently in my diet (I’ll just keep telling myself that).
Anyways, just because I’ve been juicing this week, doesn’t mean that I haven’t made anything on the sweet/unhealthy side. Instead of throwing away the peels from some oranges I juiced, I candied them and covered them in chocolate.
First, you peel the oranges and cut the peels into thin strips.
Then you blanch the peels twice in boiling water (to remove their bitterness), simmer them in simple syrup for an hour, let them cool and drain, and then dip them in melted dark chocolate.
The end result is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t even know you could eat orange peels until I saw these in a chocolate shop a couple of weeks ago and attempted to purchase them (when I say “attempted”, I mean that I ordered them along with a number of other chocolate-y items and came home to discover that they never made it into the bag). Since the incident, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them, so when I bought oranges this week, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the peels. Keep your peels, people! They make one delicious treat.
Chocolate Covered Orange Peels
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Water for blanching
8 ounces water
8 ounces sugar
16 ounces dark chocolate (I used an 11.5 oz bag of Guittard dark chocolate chips and had plenty)
Slice the ends (the tops and bottoms) off the oranges, score them from one end to the other, and then peel the oranges so that the peels come off in one piece. Slice the peels into thin strips and trim the edges if needed.
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and then blanch the orange peels in the boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and rinse the peels and then repeat the process again—blanching the peels twice removes the bitterness.
In a saucepan, combine the 8 ounces of water with 8 ounces of sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the peels to the simple syrup, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 hour. I would check it every so often and give it a stir to make sure all the peels are submerged. Once cooked, transfer the peels to a rack to cool and drain (I placed wax paper underneath my rack for easy cleanup).
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate. Dip each of the candied orange peels into the dark chocolate and then place them on parchment paper. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container.
Makes a big batch or 6 servings according to the original recipe.