Wednesday, October 29, 2014

chocolate-dipped orangettes

Happy Halloween, little goblins!  This post represents a departure for Chena Girl.  I've been called many things over the course of my life.  Heidi, for starters. But, cook, forager, social butterfly, Suzy Homemaker (by my sister Holly), loud (by my brother Erik), fisherwoman, hostess, but...candymaker?  Nuh-uh.  Never. 
Hey! This post is making history!

May I present to you...the world's ugliest kitchen counter!  I'm thinking of creating a Kickstarter campaign for a new kitchen.  Thoughts?
I think it's healthy to push your personal boundaries in the kitchen.  In fact, I think pushing your boundaries is healthy in most aspects of life.  Even if you end up pushing it just a LITTLE too far.  Like the time I was trying hard not to dress too "matchy matchy" last year and showed up to work wearing nearly every color of the rainbow. Blue tights, a red printed dress, and a bright yellow scarf.  I was a walking fashion catastrophe/perfectly dressed for directing construction traffic.  I looked so ridiculous that my secretary called me "the elf" the rest of the day.  True story. 
[In fact, I used to have the photographic evidence to prove it.  But as I flipped back through the pictures on my phone, I realize that my Back to the Future Self must have deleted it in a clear attempt to save Future Self from the public shaming that she surely would have submitted herself to.]
But I digress.

I was home one Saturday folding laundry while watching TV when I noticed a woman making these seemingly easy candied orange peels dipped in chocolate.  I had 3 naval oranges on my counter, and all of the ingredients in my pantry.  So I finished the laundry, and then got to work adding a new title to my resume: Candymaker.
And they turned out GREAT!

In fact, they turned out a little too good.  My plan was to make a huge batch of them, save a handful (5-10 tops) for myself, and give the rest away as gifts to family and friends.
I'm sure my friends and family would have loved them.  Maybe next time.

Chocolate-Dipped Orangettes
(Adapted from Julia Baker)

4 oranges
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3 cups water
1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate
granulated sugar, for sprinkling

(1) Slice the rind off the oranges and slice into desired thickness. Place orange slices in a wide skillet or pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain.  Repeat this process a total of three times. 

(2) Heat the sugar, syrup, and water in a medium-sized pot.  Once the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is warm, submerge the blanched orange peel in the syrup and cover with a lid that is one size smaller than the pot (this way, every peel is completely submerged).  Simmer for 60-90 minutes.  Place a wire cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Remove the peels from the syrup (which you can save for Italian sodas!) and place them on the wire rack- the parchment/foil will catch drips and make for easy cleanup.

(3) Melt 2/3 of the chocolate chips in the microwave, stopping to stir the chips every 30 seconds.  (Be careful NOT to microwave them too long!)  Once the chocolate chips are melted, stir in the remaining 1/3 of the chips (called "seeding" the chocolate, which results in a smoother melted chocolate), and stir until melted and smooth.

(4)  Dip orange peel into chocolate and cool on parchment paper.  Sprinkle orange peel "tails" with granulated sugar, if desired.

xo h

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