Orange for chocolate dipped
I'm looking for tips for preparing orange peels to be covered with dark chocolate. Any preference for navel orange or juice orange peels? Also, how do you prevent the sticks from curling?
I've seen recipes for candied peels, simmered in simple syrup, but I wonder if this process will wash away the fragrant orange oils.
Blanching the peels gets rid of the bitterness of the pith; it doesn't remove the aromatic oils. I recently used a recipe from an old edition of the Joy of Cooking--strips of peel covered with cold water, brought to a boil, drained. Repeat this four times --sounds like a lot, but it works. After the final boil, add peels to a simple sugar-water syrup, and simmer until most of syrup is absorbed. Lay peels out on a rack, let dry a little, then toss in gran. sugar. Let dry thoroughly. Made a beautiful, full-flavored, moist-chewy peel. I used organic navel oranges. When I get the energy, I'm going to temper some good chocolate and dip the peels -- my favorite confection!
I have some chocolate-dipped candied orange peel in my fridge right now. I prepared them as I would usually do with candied orange peel (blanched in only one change of water, then simmered in syrup), let them dry a bit on the rack, then shook them in granulated sugar to coat. Some would question whether the sugar is necessary. Then, I dipped one end in chocolate. IMHO, they came out pretty well. Very rich and with a strong orange flavor. I don't think the blanching got rid of too much orange oil, at least not to my taste. Last year I did soak for a while in liquor, but my taster and I did not really think the peels soaked up much of the liquor flavor. I believe I used Grand Marnier and soaked overnight after the syrup step.
Good luck, and enjoy!