Chocolate Covered Orange Peel..

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I first had this delicious chocolate-covered delight in Australia –  my sister-in-law Dorothy made it when we visited one Christmas. I’ve rarely had it since, but it always reminds me of her. It’s the simplest thing ever, except that it’s not! The result is well worth the slight effort required. When I made this recipe today, I was doing 3 other things in the kitchen at the same time, so not a lot of ‘minding’ required.

If you’ve never had chocolate-covered orange peel, you haven’t lived! And although there’s a long-running joke in work about me and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (I hate ’em), this is an entirely different animal..I just hope that I can withstand the temptation and hand these over as gifts before I eat them all!

EQUIPMENT:

  • A medium-large saucepan
  • a sharp knife
  • a wooden spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • a couple of large sheets of grease-proof paper
  • Cooking tongs
  • a cooling rack

INGREDIENTS: See NOTES

  • 2-3 thick-skinned oranges
  • 125g sugar
  • 125mls boiling water
  • 100-200g chocolate – dark, white or milk, as you prefer.
  • Gold or silver edible spray – optional – you’re just gilding the lily here!

METHOD:

  • Carefully score the skin of each orange, without cutting into the fruit.
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My Dad always used to peel oranges like this! Anyone else?

  • Pull each segment of peel off gently, and slice into thin -1/2 cm or so – strips. Tidy up the end if required.

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  • Put the strips into some boiling water on the hob, and blanche for a couple of minutes. Drain the water off, and repeat – this takes the bitterness out of the orange skin.
  • Put 125g sugar and 125mls boiling water into the saucepan and boil until the sugar is dissolved. Add the orange skin and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

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  • Put the lid on the pot and simmer for 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes or so, in case the liquid gets too low towards the end – add a little boiled water if it does.
  • Set one sheet of baking paper under the cooling rack.
  • Once the hour is up, drain the skins, and using tongs, (it’s sticky +++) take each piece out and pop it on the cooling rack to dry – for about an hour or so. See NOTES

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  • Then melt your choice of chocolate – I like to use both milk and white chocolate – separately –  to add a little variation!
  • Using your cooking tongs (although I used a teabag tongs as it’s smaller) – dip each piece of peel into the chocolate until it’s fully covered,  hold it over the bowl to drain for a second or two, then transfer to a sheet of clean greaseproof paper to set.
  • Keep going until you’ve used up all the chocolate.
  • Melt more/different chocolate as you need it..
  • If you’ve followed any of my recipes before, you’ll know that I’m not into ‘fiddly’ stuff, but I got through this bit fairly well. You do need to concentrate though, so pick your time..
  • Transfer the greaseproof paper to a board and chill in the fridge for an hour or so, before packing the pieces into individual boxes for giving away..

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NOTES:

  • INGREDIENTS: While it’s easy to make these, they are a little bit of work, so you might perhaps be like me and want to make a decent-sized batch while you’re at it. In this case, just double or even triple the quantity of sugar syrup, so that the syrup covers all your orange peel.
  • While the orange skins are drying, keep them out of dusty areas as they’re quite sticky. I popped mine into my grill compartment, and put a note on it telling people not to switch on the grill!
  • The orange strips never seem to dry completely, but the chocolate sticks to them perfectly, so don’t worry about that.
  • I’ll be advising people to store these in the fridge  – they’re even nicer chilled!
  • It might not be obvious to everyone exactly how much time it takes to make these, so don’t be tempted to give the whole lot away in one go – If you can vary them with a few Bailey’s Truffles http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/baileys-truffles/ or some of my delicious Christmas Tiffin http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/christmas-chocolate-tiffin-traybake/ it would probably be the best thing.
  • And don’t, for heaven’s sake, forget to keep some for yourself!

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About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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