Chocolate!

No, you’re not wrong. This is a blog about fashion, however this week, a pretty manic one, has been one of culinary capers. I spent an evening and a day at Brook Hall Cookery School, not far from where I live. I learned how to make artisan bread properly on Wednesday evening and all day Thursday was spent making delicious French and Italian desserts. It was utterly amazing! So with my adrenalin pumping after all this food education, I was eager to make this recipe below from the latest Waitrose Food Magazine. Here are the results. Perhaps you could try it too, mon petit.

Chocolate Candied Peel

Makes:  About 40

Preparation : 30 minutes plus drying

Cook :  1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 large oranges

250g caster sugar

4-6 cardamom pods, bruised

1 tbsp blossom water

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

30g pistachios, finely chopped

30g cocoa powder

How To Make

Slice the top and bottom from the oranges. Using a sharp knife, score through the peel (being careful not to cut through to the flesh) from the top to the bottom of each orange, so you can remove the peel in 4 quarters.

Slice each piece of peel into thin strips about 0.5 cm wide, then simmer in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, then repeat the process with fresh boiling water. Set aside the peel.

Put the sugar in a pan with 250ml water and warm over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange peel, cardamom and orange blossom water and simmer over a low heat for 1 hour, adding a little water if the pan gets too dry.

Once the peel is soft, tender and translucent, remove from the pan and leave on a wire rack to cool and dry out. This will take between 24 – 48 hours (although I only left mine about 12 hours and I thought they were ok)

Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Dip the peel in the chocolate to cover it entirely and place on greaseproof paper. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with the finely chopped pistachios and then, using a small sieve, gently sieve the cocoa powder over the coated peel.

As the magazine states, tie these into bundles with ribbon and pop in a cellophane bag for a lovely present. Which is exactly what I did.

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