This is not the answer to life but my only project this week that could be at all considered artistic. It is based on the recipe for sugared orange peel I found in Sugared Orange by Beata Zatorska. Basically I made the recipe and thought, Hey, what if I dipped some of these in chocolate? Would they be as good as the chocolate covered orange peel in Krakowski Kredens? And lo, they were better.
(In case you are wondering, Krakowski Kredens is a boutique grocery store that sells old-fashioned Polish edibles. It's where Poles with a bit of money buy gifts for their friends back in the UK. I am cross with Krakowski Kredens because they do not sell my favourite flavoured vodkas in 100 mL bottles, and thus I cannot bring them back in my carry-on luggage.)
So with no further ado, here is my recipe for chocolate covered orange peel, based on the recipe in Sugared Orange.
Seraphic's Culturally Appropriated Chocolate Orange Peels
330 g/1.75 cups/three-quarter pound fine sugar (e.g. caster)
2.5 cups of cold water
100 g/bar good quality dark chocolate
small sharp knife
2 saucepans (or saucepan and a double boiler)
baking paper/wax paper
tin/plastic storage container with lid
1. Wash oranges to remove any wax.
2. Carefully cut through the oranges so that you cut only the skins and not the fruit. Make four cuts lengthwise on each and then gently peel off the four pieces from each orange. Put skinned oranges aside.
3. Laying each peel flat, carefully cut or scrape off as much of the white pith as possible with the knife.
4. Cut each quarter lengthwise into four strips. You should have 32 equal pieces, but don't sweat it if you tore the quarters while scraping them and so this turns out to be impossible. It's all good.
5. Put the sugar in a saucepan, pour in the water, and stir the sugar constantly over low heat until it is completely dissolved. You'll know this has happened when miraculously the water is clear again. Turn up the heat and keep stirring until the sugar-water starts to boil. Put the strips of orange peel into the sugar-water and turn the heat to low.
6. Leave peels simmering there for two hours. Come back after an hour and half to check up on them. Obviously you do not want the pot to boil dry, but really that shouldn't happen within two hours on low.
7. Turn off the heat. Lift each strip of sweet orangey goodness out of the pot with the tongs or slotted spoon and carefully drop it on the wire rack to cool. (Put something under the wire rack to catch the drips.) Pour what is now orange-flavoured simple syrup into a jug to use or discard when it cools and wash the pot, utensils, counter, stove top at ONCE with hot water. If you don't you will have a very sad time trying to get the sugar off later. (I rinse them with boiling water from the kettle.)
8. With double boiler or one pot on top of another, bring water to boil. Break up 100 g/bar of dark chocolate and put into the top pot. Watch like hawk.
9. Holding onto the end of each now cool but sticky orange peel strip, dip into the melted chocolate until it is covered. Place on wax/baking paper to set.
10. If there is melted chocolate left over, section the orange and chuck pieces into the chocolate pot. Poke them around until they are covered. Put them on the wax paper to set.
11. When set, put the chocolate orange peels in a wax/baking paper lined tin or plastic container and hide it. Eat the chocolate covered orange sections as a reward for your hard work.
12. Serve the orange peels with coffee or tea (e.g. after a dinner party) as an elegant treat for the deserving.