I was playing around with a chocolate mousse recipe the other day and discovered the pretty, sweet delight that is candied orange peel - or sugared orange zest, as I more delicately like to call it. The chocolate mousse didn't quite work out (as I always reiterate on the Blog, I just can't get excited about making desserts) but I was left with a beautiful little bowl of sugary strips of orange to use as decoration for cocktails, cakes and, one day, dark chocolate and orange mousse.
2 tbsp caster sugar
1. Carefully peel the zest away from the orange into fine strips using a zester or peeler. I use a sharp potato peeler to remove the zest in as long and curly a strip as possible and then cut into fine julienne strips using a sharp knife. Ensure you do not include any of the white pith.
2. Put the zest in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil.
3. Refresh the zest under cold water and drain. Repeat steps 2 and 3 once more.
4. Return the zest to the pan and add 2 tbsp of caster sugar and 3-4 tbsp water and stir the mixture to dissolve. Bring to the boil and cook until the zest becomes transparent - still orange but resembling a clear boiled sweet or orange stained glass.
5. Leave to cool in the resulting syrup and when cold, separate the pieces and use to decorate winter cocktails, fairy cakes and other treats!
I do hope you enjoy the first of my winter treats - what do you like to make in winter?
You may also like my recipe for Champagne Cupcakes - read it here.