Orangettes (chocolate candied orange peels)
- November 2023
- Makes about 50
- Hands-on time 1 hour, plus cooling and at least 4 hours drying. Simmering time 1 hour 20 min
If you’ve never made orangettes, they’re a fantastic gift for the Christmas season. They make a gorgeous after dinner snack, or even a classy garnish for your festive cocktails…
The recipe comes from food writer Debora Robertson who says “I love these crystalised strips of orange peel and dark chocolate. I started to make them a few years ago, for myself and to give to friends, and the house always smells wonderful.”
Our vegan chocolate truffles are also perfect for homemade gifts.
- 2.5g (1.5g saturated)
- 11g (11g sugars)
- 5 large oranges
- 450g caster sugar
- 300g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids (vegan if need be)
- Trim the top and base off each orange, then score the peel from top to bottom 6 times all the way round (don’t cut into the flesh). Take off the peel, then cut the pieces into 5-7mm wide strips.
- Put the strips of peel in a nonreactive pan (not aluminium) and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil for 1 minute, then drain in a colander. Repeat this twice more with fresh water each time – this removes some of the bitterness and will help the strips absorb the sugar later.
- Rinse the pan, then add the sugar and 600ml water. Warm over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Bring to the
boil, then add the peel. Lower the heat a bit and simmer until the peel turns very soft and the pith is translucent – about an hour or so, but keep an eye on it.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave the peel to cool in the syrup. If you want a break at this point, you can cover and chill the pan for up to 3 days.
- Scoop out the strips with a slotted spoon onto a wire rack set over a tray and leave for 4 hours or, if you’re looking to give them as a gift, overnight – this lets them dry out properly for packing (see Know How).
- Break up the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Give it an occasional stir until fully melted.
- Using a fork or small tongs, dip each slice of peel in the chocolate to cover half. Shake gently to remove excess chocolate, then put on baking paper to dry fully. Once dry, store in an airtight container in single layers, divided by sheets of baking paper. The orangettes will keep for a couple of weeks, though the chocolate will lose its gloss after a few days.
“I’ve made the orange version here, but you can use other peels,” says Debora. “Grapefruit and pomelo are good, and lemons too – though you must look out for the thick-skinned varieties.”
The leftover orange flesh is perfect for juicing – or freeze it, then grate it over yogurt for breakfast.
To accelerate the drying process, put the wire rack of peels in a very, very low oven for 30 minutes. Or toss them in caster sugar before coating in chocolate.
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