Orangettes

I’ve been much more organized recently – I’ve restarted my housecleaning schedule, I’ve freshened my to-do list, I’ve even started writing weekly menus and reducing my grocery shopping to once per week. That, in combination with the baby having a steadily longer attention span, means that I am finally getting my life back. I can do projects again, start hobbies that have been on hold since before I was too pregnant to move. I’ve made candles, rehung wall textiles, and finally made sausage with appliances that I bought a year ago. More about those projects in later posts – but in the name of chocolate and all that is holy, this one cannot wait.

I like chocolate as much as anyone, but unless it’s in a warm, moist, dense cake I don’t really find it all that appealing a flavor on its own. Luckily for my waistline, this means that I’m hardly ever tempted to buy straight up candy. Combine it with citrus, however, and I simply cannot resist. Heck, I served a flourless chocolate-orange cake at my own wedding! So I was delighted to find that these little chocolate-dipped pieces of candied orange peel (adapted from this recipe here) are actually quite easy to make.

So if you, like me, are a fan of citrus and chocolate – if you crave Orange Milano cookies at odd times, if your eye alights first on the “key lime” and “meyer lemon” truffles at the Godiva shops – then you must make orangettes.

Slice the ends off two well-scrubbed oranges and peel them. Slice the peel into julienne-ish strips. I made mine as thin as possible and they got very soft and then were smothered in the chocolate, so I think next time I’ll make them 1/4″ thick.

Drop the peel strips into boiling water for two minutes to blanch them and remove the bitterness. Drain and rinse. Change the water and blanch and rinse them again. Now fill the pot with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and the tiniest pinch of salt (I’m a big believer that salt should never be present without sugar, and vice versa) and drop in the blanched peels. Cover and let simmer for one hour. Remove the peels to a cookie rack over a sheet of wax paper (to catch the drips) to allow them to dry and cool. I let mine sit for about two hours, but I don’t think you have to wait that long.

Melt 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips) over a double boiler until almost all melted, then remove from the heat and keep stirring until it’s all smooth. You don’t want to get the chocolate too hot, or it won’t get stiff again later. At least that’s what they tell me.

Dip in the candied orange peels, then dredge them in cocoa powder. Place on parchment paper to cool for at least 1/2 hour.

 I tried them both with and without cocoa powder, and found that I think I actually like the ones with cocoa powder better. They had a slightly more satisfying mouthfeel. I’m not sure, though. I think I should continue to taste-test. Purely for scientific purposes, of course! Don’t look at me that way. They’re made with fruit, so they’re healthy, right? Right? … (pin drops).

One Response to “Orangettes”

  1. Rose Says:

    By the way, if you eat the peel of citrus fruit, you should really buy orgnaic, since the non-organic ones are covered with pesticide, fungicide, and other yummy stuff like that. I picked up some deeeelicious organic red flesh navels at My Organic Market yesterday. Mmmmm.

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