Oh hey, another sweet recipe! You caught me...I've been hit with a raging sweet tooth lately. I blame my dad, he has to eat something sweet after every meal and you just can't hide that DNA forever!
Ever heard of an orangette? Way back before I knew what food blogs were, I stumbled upon a website called Orangette. I was captivated by Molly's writing but I thought her beloved orangettes (chocolate dipped candied orange peel) sounded pretty disgusting.
This is how I know I'm officially old: a candied orange peel now actually sounds good. And because Molly and I were born on exactly the same day (yay Virgos!), I'm pretty sure that makes us some kind of sisters so I should trust her when she says orangettes are delicious.
Additionally, I was having an email discussion with Cassandra today about how Easter (or Passover or whatever spring event you are observing around now) really requires some type of citrus dessert, so our taste buds can really celebrate the emergence of spring. Thus, I decided to give these little guys a test run tonight, hoping they'd be good enough to serve on Sunday.
Orangettes are putzy to make, taking about an hour to boil and another hour for cutting, dipping, and cleanup. But, none of this is difficult or tricky in any way. I gilded the lily a bit on a few of them and added some sea salt from Mexico (I can NOT resist a salty/sweet combo).
The orangettes turned out quite beautiful, and tasted great with a glass of wine. Boy did I feel sophisticated, elegant, and classy shoveling these little French candies into my mouth. As a bonus, I was left with a jar of freshly squeezed orange juice for tomorrow's breakfast, and a smaller jar of thick orange simple syrup that I'll use as a sweetener instead of honey. Nothing goes to waste in this recipe!
Molly has never posted an actual orangette recipe on Orangette, but she advocates trying Deb's version over at Smitten Kitchen, so I did
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate (I used Trader Joe's 72% because it was rated high on Serious Eats)
Slice off the top and bottom of each orange. Score strips around your orange, about 1/8 inch apart. Peel strips from orange.
Note: squeeze your naked oranges and save the juice for later.
Boil orange strips for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse. Repeat boiling, draining, and rinsing. This process should remove the bitterness from your peels.
Bring your water and sugar to a boil and add your orange peels. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring gently occasionally. Remove peels from syrup and cool on a rack or parchment.
Note: save your leftover syrup for a honey or maple syrup substitute.
Heat chopped chocolate in a double boiler, or melt slowly in the microwave (30 seconds at a time). Dip ends of your orange peels and return to parchment to set. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt.
Let cool completely before storing at room temperature in sealed container.
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