Our founder, Katie Tress, shares her favourite festive recipe for chocolate candied orange peel

In our household, as I’m sure with many others, oranges were always synonymous with Christmas, we would make dried orange garlands to decorate the fireplace, Satsuma’s studded with cloves to hang from the tree and, if we’d been good and managed to avoid the lump of coal we were always threatened with, a fresh juicy clementine could be found at the bottom of our stocking come Christmas morning.

I try to recreate many of these traditions still, and one in particular that I always make time for is candied chocolate orange peel, that Ma used to make! Candied chocolate orange peels are beautifully bright and delicate, they look wonderful piled in a bowl in the centre of the table and feel sophisticated, yet are delightfully sweet. Perfect to have in the house at Christmas, when sweet snacks should always be on offer.

Tip: Start making these candied chocolate oranges peels at least three days in advance, as elements of it need time to set.

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges
  • 700g caster sugar
  • 150g 70 or 80% dark chocolate, broken up

Method

  1. Wash the oranges and remove the peel with a sharp vegetable peeler. Slice the peel into 4-5mm wide strips. Place the orange strips in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then drain off the water through a sieve. Put the peel back in the saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and drain. Repeat the process once more (so you’ve done it three times). Then set aside the peel.
  2. Place the sugar in the saucepan and add 650ml cold water. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar crystals, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the orange peel and simmer for 35 minutes. Take off the heat and leave the peel in the syrup overnight.
  3. The next day, drain the orange peel and carefully lay the candied shards of orange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment. Leave to dry out for 48 hours.
  4. Place the chocolate in a bowl and rest it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. When the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat. Cool slightly, then dip the dried orange peel into the chocolate. Place on a wire rack and leave until set.

Tip: You can use the flesh and the cold cooking syrup for a fruit salad later. The same technique works for lemon and grapefruit too.

This recipe was adapted from House and Garden and the image was taken from their website.