Sure, candied citrus is delicious, but candied citrus with chocolate . . . now you’re speaking my language.
And sure, you can buy candied citrus peel. But it will never be as good as the ones you can make at home. These little citrus strips make a perfect ending to a meal when served with shortbread cookies and strong coffee. But they are just as good diced into biscotti or used as a garnish on a simple lemon cake.
Chocolate-Dipped Candied Citrus Peel
Start to finish: 24 hours
Hands-on time: 1 hour
- 3 lemons, 2 oranges, or 1 grapefruit
- 2 cups [400 g] sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups [360 ml] water
- 6 oz [170 g] high-quality white or dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Coat a wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make four slits along the length of each citrus fruit from end to end, cutting through the peel but not into the flesh. Using your fingers, gently peel the skin from the fruit and reserve the fruit for another use. Cut the peel into thin strips, about ¼ in [6 mm] wide.
Put the peel in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, cover with fresh water, and repeat the process. Drain and rinse the peel.
Combine 1 1⁄2 cups [300 g] of the sugar and the 11⁄2 cups [360 ml] water in the same pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the drained peel, turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the peel is very tender and looks translucent.
Scoop the peel from the syrup with a fork and arrange in a single layer on the prepared rack. Let dry for about 30 minutes, then dredge the peel in the remaining 1⁄2 cup [100 g] sugar (this helps to prevent the peel strips from sticking to each other). Place the peel in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry overnight.
Melt 5 oz [140 g] of the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water; be sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Don’t walk away from it; just stand there and stir. When the chocolate is half melted, remove the bowl from the pan of water and continue to stir on the countertop. It will begin to cool but the chocolate will continue to melt. Once completely melted, stir in the remaining 1 oz [30 g] chocolate, then continue stirring gently until the chocolate is cool and no longer melts. Remove any unmelted pieces.
Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the peel strips halfway into the chocolate and arrange in a single layer on the second prepared baking sheet. Let stand for about 1 hour, or until the chocolate is firm. Store in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment paper, at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Tempering your chocolate will allow it to firm up at room temperature. It will also be shinier and prettier.
This recipe is from Carla Snyder’s citrus-centric book, Sweet and Tart.