Dessert / Gluten Free / Little Work

Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges

Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges are not just for the holidays. Maybe avoid making them on a 90°F/32°C day, but otherwise, why wait? This classic is so easy to make at home, that once you do, you may never buy them again. Candying fruit slices is a way of preserving, so you would think they will last a while. I would like to say they have long shelf-life, but as soon as your eaters discover them, they will be gone. Make a lot is my advice.

THIS RECIPE TAKES 24 HOURS, AS THE ORANGES HAVE TO DRY BEFORE COATING WITH CHOCOLATE

Quality of Chocolate IS important

Ingredients that do not taste good at the start will not taste good at the end. It is imperative to use a good chocolate. There are two grocery store brands that we use in the Bleuberet Kitchen, Scharffen Berger and Ghirardelli. Nestlés is fine for chocolate chip cookies, but I would not recommend it for this. To bump it up a notch, try Callebaut or Valrhona – usually found in specialty stores or possibly Whole Foods (and of course online – click on the text to purchase at Amazon). Click on the photo’s text to purchase (these are affiliate links and Bleuberet earns a percentage of each purchase).

A bit of chocolate’s backstory

Chocolate is grown in tropical climates, dried, fermented, roasted and then different parts nibs, butter, liquor, powder are used. Percentages seen on chocolates are based on the amount and balance of the different cocoa bean parts used. Higher percentage does not equate quality. Different companies and growers go through different processes to produce chocolates with a variety of tastes, textures and feel on the palate. Here I will say it is mostly a matter of preference and you will know when you taste a good one vs a bad one. The ones listed above are the ones that WE like, they may not be the ones that you prefer.

The names semisweet and bittersweet seem to be used for a variety of brands interchangeably. Usually 70% is bittersweet, 60% semi-sweet, etc… So base on the percentage, but learned that there does not seem to be a standard. 70% is not as sweet as 60%, but the numbers do not always correlate with the same names. Buy a few and try them to determine which one suits your palate.

Coating the slices

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave, on the stovetop over a very low flame, or in a double boiler. The one caution on using a double boiler is to ensure that no water gets into the chocolate. If water gets into the chocolate it will seize and become grainy. Seized chocolate can be salvaged, but it takes a little bit of work:

How to Fix Seized or Overheated Chocolate by Elizabeth LaBau on thespruceeats.com

Creating the Sugar Syrup

A typical simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Making candied fruit requires a slightly higher percentage of sugar to water, but the process is basically the same. You will vary the amount actually used based on how many orange slices you are making. This recipe used 5 oranges, and 40oz/1130g to 32floz/950ml water. In essence a 1.25:1 ratio. Could never do math in school, but put food in front of the equation and it all makes sense. Obviously that is what they should have used for examples in the classroom and I would have been fine.

The syrup will seem watery, but as it cooks and reduces, hence candying the orange slices, it will thicken. Save the leftover for ice cream or flavoring a cake.

ALLOW IT TO COOL BEFORE PUTTING IT INTO A GLASS CONTAINER.

Other candied fruit recipes to try:

Chocolate-Dipped Apricots by Elizabeth LeBau from thespruceeats.com

Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges

Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges are not just for the holidays. This old-fashioned classic is so easy to make at home, that once you do, you may never buy them again. Candying fruit slices is a way of preserving.

Ingredients

  • 5 large juice or navel oranges, sliced (seedless are best)
  • 40oz/1130g sugar
  • 32floz/950ml water
  • 16oz/450g semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate,
  • 1 TBSP butter, unsalted

Instructions

1

Bring sugar and water to boil in a large pot. The liquid needs to be deep enough to cover the orange slices and cook for 30-40 minutes.

2

To prepare the oranges: wash, remove ends, slice in half, remove any loose white inner stringy parts, slice into thin slices - see pictures above.

3

Place oranges slices in the sugar syrup.

4

Bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 minutes (may take up to an hour). Reduce heat if the pot starts to boil up. Stir frequently and do not leave the stove.

5

When the sugar syrup has reduced by about half and looks like it is starting the thicken a bit, the oranges are ready to be strained and dried.

6

Arrange parchment paper on sheet pans or on the counter top- as long as it can bear the heat.

7

With a strainer, lay the slices out in an even layer.

8

Allow to sit out overnight.

9

The next day, melt the chocolate and add the butter.

10

Lay new pieces of parchment or waxed paper out for the chocolate covered slices to harden on.

11

Remove from stove and using a fork or toothpicks pick each orange slice and dip into the chocolate.

12

Partial or full coverage of slices is up to you (we wanted more chocolate, and it helps to avoid the stickiness of the oranges).

13

Allow to cool and harden.

14

EAT.

15

May be stored at room temperature, if it is not too hot, in an airtight container between pieces of parchment or waxed paper, for 3-4 weeks.

Notes

VEGAN OPTION: Use carob and coconut oil in place of chocolate and butter.

Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges

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