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Chocolate Candied Orange Peel

Prep Time:1 hour
Cooking Time:3.5 hours
Serves:250g

Wait until late November or early December, when you see lovely big oranges in the shops, before making this preserved fruit.
Once you have made your own peel, you’ll never want to go back to using the ready-made variety.
Homemade peel keeps well for several months in the fridge and can be used for decorating cakes, biscuits and desserts, as well as for making this fabulous festive snack.

Ingredients

6 large unwaxed oranges

4 cloves

150g granulated sugar

Dark chocolate. Suggestion, Venezuelan Carenero 100% cacao (for a more bitter peel), or Venezuelan Rio Caribe 72 chocolate (for a sweeter peel) – see method for quantity.

Equipment

Sauce pan

Baking tray

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Method

Remove a thin slice from the top and bottom of each orange. Cut the fruit into quarters, then remove and set aside most of the pulp, leaving just a small amount attached to the pit.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the prepared orange quarters and leave to bubble over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain into a sieve, then place under cold running water for about 5 minutes.

Return to the pan, cover with more boiling water and boil for another 5 minutes. Repeat the boiling, draining and rinsing once more. This process removes any bitterness from the pith.

Squeeze the juice from the reserved orange pulp into a clean pan. Add the boiled and rinsed orange quarters, cloves and sugar. Add just enough cold water to cover, then bring to the boil over a medium heat.

Lower the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer very gently for 1 hour. Remove the pan lid and cook for another 30 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and sticky.

Preheat the oven to 100˚C. Place a wire rack on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Tip the candied orange quarters onto the rack, then place in the oven for 1-2 hours to dry out.

Slice the candied orange into strips 5mm thick. Weigh them and for every 250g peel, measure out about 100g of your chosen chocolate. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Temper the chocolate. Skewering the strips of candied orange on a fork, dip them into the chocolate until well coated.

Shake off any excess chocolate, then push off the fork onto the lined baking tray and leave in a cool place to set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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