Tuesday 27 December 2011

Candied Orange Slices in Chocolate

Happy Christmas everyone! I hope you had a lovely time with your family, with plenty of delicious food and quality time! Our Christmas was definitely different this year. It was our first Christmas with our daughter! This year we decided that, for various reasons, we wouldn't really do presents for each other - for the little one only, of course! We decided we would MAKE presents! This way it is more personal and, yes, much cheaper! So what is fairly Christmassy and yet delicious and easy to make? Chocolate? Flavoured, maybe? With oranges? hmmm. How about some candied oranges dipped in chocolate? Genius!

Makes between 70-90 (depending on thickness of slices)

5 oranges (good quality)
2 cups of water
31/2 cups of granulated sugar (we used demerara and it worked fine too)
150g of good quality dark chocolate (not too bitter, as you need a bit of sweetness to counteract the bitter orange)

Cut the oranges in half (we found cutting across the navel worked better). Then take each half and place it on its flat side down. Cut slices lengthwise - along the direction of the orange segments (use a very sharp knife so you don't squeeze all the juice out). The thickness of the slices should be between 2-4 mm.Discard the ends that don't have any orange in them.Continue until all oranges are sliced.

Add the water and the sugar to a pan and bring to the boil, making sure you stir to dilute the sugar. Add the orange slices and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave them to simmer for an hour, stirring carefully every now and then, to make sure all slices are in the syrup.

Remove the slices after an hour and lay on greaseproof paper, making sure they are separated and don't stick to each other. You can use the syrup for another dish if you like, or discard. Leave the oranges slices to dry out for 24hours, or place them in the oven on a very low temperature (30 degrees) for a few hours to help them dry out faster.

Once dried (they are still a little sticky and not hard, but there is no liquid running off them), melt the chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water. Dip each orange slice half way in the chocolate and lay on another piece of greaseproof paper to harden - this takes about 2-3 hours in a cool kitchen. Now they are ready to eat or package for your loved ones. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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