This chocolate covered orange peel is a delicious and budget friendly Christmas treat. It makes fantastic gifts and can be made well ahead of Christmas day.
This dark chocolate covered orange peel is another one of my traditional family recipes. It is very budget friendly and has just three ingredients, dark chocolate, orange peel and sugar. But I'm not gonna lie, it does take time. It's best to make this over a couple of days to give the peel enough time to candy and become all syrupy and delicious, and then to dry out enough before dipping in chocolate.
If you want something homemade that will really wow your friends and family then this is the recipe for you.
Is candied orange peel good for you?
Yes and no. Orange peel has the same vitamins, minerals and fiber found in orange flesh, but in higher quantities. But it also contains a lot of fiber and orange oil and can be difficult to digest.
in the quantiles you eat this candied orange peel its probably fine.
Why are my candied orange peels bitter?
A couple of possible reasons:
1) The peel has not been candied in the sugar syrup for long enough. Try adding more sugar and water, bring to boil and simmer on low for longer. Low and slow is the way to go when candying orange peel.
2) There is to much pith on your peel before candying. The pith in orange peel, the thick white substance beneath the outer skin of the orange is bitter. If there is still a lot of pith attached to the skin before candying then your candied orange peel and chocolate coated orange will be bitter. Try carefully removing some of the pith with a sharp knife before candying.
If its already in the syrup, add more sugar and water, bring to the boil, then turn down low and simmer for longer.
How long does candied orange peel last?
If candied properly and stored well in an airtight container candied orange peel and this chocolate coated orange peel can last for a month or more at room temperature.
Dark chocolate: this recipe works perfectly well with budget friendly dark cooking chocolate, also called compound cooking chocolate. You can use more premium chocolate if you prefer.
Orange peel: for this recipe you will only need the peel from the oranges. The peel is candied in sugar syrup until its lovely and soft and tender.
Sugar: regular white sugar is best for this recipe. You could use castor sugar if you prefer but I don't recommend using any other type of sugar.
How to make chocolate covered orange peel
Cut through the orange skin as if you were going to cut the orange into quarters, but stop just below the skin. Carefully peel away the skin without taking any of the orange flesh underneath.
If the pith is particularly thick, carefully remove some with a sharp knife.
Put the sugar and water into a medium sized saucepan and heat on medium, stirring until the sugar dissolved.
Add the sliced orange peel and simmer for two to three hours, longer is better. If the syrup starts to dry out, add a bit more water. Turn off heat and allow to cool. The pith on the peel should be translucent and the peel should taste sweet and not bitter. If the peel is still bitter, add more sugar and water, stir and continue to simmer on low for longer.
Put a two cooling racks on top of baking trays to catch the syrup drips. Carefully lay out each piece of candied peel onto the cooling racks, close together but without the pieces touching. Leave to dry for at least four hours, preferably overnight. The peel should be tacky but still flexible and not too sticky.
Hot tip: don't throw out that beautiful orange syrup! You can use it as a dessert sauce or make use it in a batch of my delicious chocolate orange ice cream!
If using a double boiler, put the water on to boil. Line two trays with aluminum foil. Chop the chocolate into pieces and melt in the top of a double boiler. Stir until chocolate melts.
Set up your chocolate dipping area with racks of candied orange peel on one side, double boiler with melted chocolate in the middle and couple of trays lined with aluminum foil on the other side. Make sure you put something heat proof under the pot to protect the work surface.
One at a time drip each piece of candied peel into the chocolate. Use a fork to flip the piece over so its completely coated, then carefully remove it from the chocolate, tapping the fork on the edge to shake off the excess chocolate.
Lay the chocolate coated peel onto the foil and repeat again for the remaining pieces, placing them close together to save space but not touching.
Leave to dry for about two hours or until the chocolate has set competently. Carefully peel off the foil and store in an airtight container until needed.
How to serve
This chocolate covered orange peel is perfect to serve after a Christmas feast, as part of a festive dessert bar or when friends and family pop over during the festive season. It also makes fantastic budget friendly homemade Christmas gifts and can be made well ahead of Christmas day.
How to make chocolate covered orange peel gifts
This chocolate covered orange peel makes a great and inexpensive Christmas gift. To give as a gift fill some small clean jars with the peel, add a pretty curling ribbon and you're done! Just make sure your jars are thoroughly clean and dry before filling with the candied peel. Alternatively fill a cellophane bag with peel and tie firmly at the top with curling ribbon to prevent any air getting in. Curl the ribbon into pretty circles and you're done!
How to store
This chocolate covered orange peel stores extremely well in an airtight container lined with baking paper for up to four weeks. In the southern hemisphere you may need to store it in a cool place or even in the fridge if it's really hot, purely to stop the chocolate from melting.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy Christmas desert recipes?
Why not try making
- Chocolate orange ice cream
- Old fashioned fruit cake
- Gluten free shortbread
- White Christmas
- Gingerbread ice cream
Chocolate covered orange peel
- double boiler (optional)
- Baking trays
- Cooling racks
- Aluminum foil or baking paper.
- 3 large oranges
- 2 cups (440gms) white or raw sugar
- Several cups water
- 2 x 7oz (200gms) (14 oz/ 400gms total) dark cooking chocolate
- Cut through the orange skin as if you were going to cut the oranges into quarters but stop just below the skin. Carefully peel the skin away from the oranges.
- Cut the peel into long thin strips a few millimeters thick.
- Put the sugar into a medium sauce pan and add the water. Heat on medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Add the thinly sliced orange peel. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer peel for about three to four hours, but longer is better, adding more water if the syrup becomes to thick. The syrup should become a lovely rich orange color and be richly flavored. The peel should have become translucent and should taste sweet, not bitter.
- You can shorten the candying time but turning up the heat but you must watch it carefully and add more water as needed.
- Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
- Place two cooling racks onto baking trays to catch the drips. Using a fork or similar carefully lay out each piece of peel onto the cooling rack, leaving a little space between each piece.
- Leave to dry in a well ventilate space until peel is tacky, but still flexible and not to sticky. Overnight is usually fine.
- If you are using a double boiler put the water onto boil.
- Cut the chocolate into small pieces, add to the top of the double boiler and melt the chocolate.
- Be extremely careful not to get water in your chocolate or it will seize. If this happens you have no option but to throw out the chocolate and start again unfortunately.
- While the chocolate is melting line a couple of baking sheets with aliminium foil
- Set up your dipping space with the racks of candied peel on one side, melted chocolate in double boiled with the pot underneath in the middle and foil lined trays. Make sure you have something heat proof under the pot to protect your work surface.
- Drop the candied orange peel into the melted one at a time. Use a fork to flip the piece over, then gently pick it up with the fork, tapping off the excess chocolate and lay it out onto the foil.
- Repeat for the remaining pieces of candied peel. If the chocolate starts to solidify return the pot to the stove for a few minutes to re-heat the water.
- Once the candied peel is all dipped in chocolate and laid out leave to cool until chocolate is full set. Once set gently peel off foil and store in an airtight container.
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