Dark Chocolate Dipped Candied Blood Oranges, Sea Salt

Sweet Recipes, Winter • 12 Feb 2013

I stroll home from the market with a pair of zaftig bags encumbering my weary arms, the cutting wind knocking against my citrus bounty like a pendulum. Kinetic energy releases the spicy, sweet aroma of blood oranges, and it envelopes me like a halo. A heady scent thickens the winter air, the citrus singing a warm, perfumed love song.

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February is the month of love songs and sonnets, cold air and darkness, both contradictory and intertwined. I tend to buck tradition, eschewing the all-encompassing hubbub of Valentine’s Day. But this year I’m feeling romantic inspiration, an oppositional pull from my status quo. Blame it on my beautiful family, or the true tale of unwavering love on my night table. Or simply blame it on the intoxicating fruit, their glowing coral flesh, sanguine interior and aromatic oils. Their sweet and sour pulp, polarizing like the month itself.

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I slice into the deep crevices, the fleshy, pock-marked skin releasing juice and oil into the air.  Slowly simmered in bubbling, thick syrup, the orange slices emerge jeweled, glassy and kaleidoscopic. I dip one end of each round in lush dark chocolate and dust each morsel with sparkly gems of sea salt.

Like February, the candied fruit is slightly sweet and slightly bitter. The crackly salt and velvety chocolate is an ideal love match, a candied orange’s perfect valentine.

Oranges compressed

Dark Chocolate Dipped Candied Blood Oranges

6-7 mini blood oranges, manderines, clementines or other small citrus
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3-4 ounces good quality dark chocolate
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Scrub the orange to remove dirt and wax coating. Using a sharp knife, slice the oranges crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices.

2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for about 4 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Add the oranges and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for about 60-70 minutes, carefully turning the oranges several times to coat, until very tender and translucent.  Reserve the syrup for another use.

3. Remove pan from heat and let the oranges sit in the syrup for about 10 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Carefully remove the fruit from the syrup with a slotted spoon and transfer to Silpat, or a parchment-lined greased cookie sheet. Place the oranges in the oven for about 1 hour.

5. Transfer oranges to a wired rack and let rest for about 24 hours until mostly dried.

6. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Dip the slices halfway into the chocolate. Allow any excess to drip off the oranges and sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt. Allow the candy to harden on a Silpat or parchment paper in the refrigerator.

8. Oranges will keep about to several weeks in an airtight container or in the refrigerator.

Yield: Makes about 25-30 candied orange slices.

2 Responses

  1. Mira

    Blood oranges and chocolate reminds me of Italy and Valentines day combined. … what could be better?

  2. Pingback: thursday night social {14} ~ - bluwaterlife

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