When the lovely Claire from ClaireKCreations contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in joining a ‘Foodie Secret Santa’ with other food bloggers from around Australia I squealed with delight. Why of course I’d love to receive gifts in the mail so the answer was yes. She then said its not one present or two, but 3 different presents and I squealed some more!
This was back in November so for the last month I had ideas swirling through my mind as to what I would mail out to my 3 secret Santa participants.
I settled on orange and spice because those flavours remind me of Christmas and decided I’d make dark chocolate coated candied orange peel. I absolutely love orange and chocolate anything and it was so hard not to just polish the plate I had to mail out.
So yes lucky Secret Santa recipient’s, twas I, the Gourmet Wog that made that box of yumminess.
What I didn’t really take into consideration though was the weather and as I was standing at the post office with my 3 goodies all boxed and wrapped up searching through my blackberry to find the email with the recipient’s home address’s is that all 3 were located in the sunny north. QLD. Nice.
My beautifully decorated choc coated orange peel would arrive as one box of melted chocolate mess with orange things floating through it. I’m sure/hope it still tasted good!
I skinned 3 kilos of oranges to get enough peel for 3 participants. It turned out to be just enough and I ended up freezing the actual oranges once they were peeled for later use.
If you’re curious to see what other bloggers received, we tracked our goodies using hashtag #foodiesecretsanta in twitter, facebook and instagram.
What did I receive? Well this lucky gal was just so grateful to receive something other than bills in the mail, and even luckier because all 3 goodies were so delicious. Present one was Bread and Butter Pickles and homemade dukkah, present 2 was home made honey mustard, and present 3 was salted caramel peanut brittle and maple dukkah. Amazing! Thanks Secret Santa!! xx
Dark Chocolate Coated Spiced Candied Orange Peel
- 3 kilo’s oranges, peeled.
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups water
- About 10 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 200 grams good quality dark chocolate
Remove the skin from the oranges (pith/white part too) and cut into strips. If you’re fussed about presentation or OCD you can make square them up and make them all even in size but I went for the ‘rustic’ look (or the ‘I can’t be bothered doing the extra step because I have a crazy cat two year old running amok beside me). Actually, I like the rustic look, it makes them appear home made!
Put orange peel into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring it to the boil for 2 minutes. Drain it, then repeat the process 3 times. This helps reduce the bitterness from the peel.
After you do this 3 times, bring all the listed ingredients (except the chocolate) to a boil and simmer away on a mid to low heat for 1 hour until the peel is translucent.
Remove the peel from the syrup and place on a drying rack for a minimum of 6 hours. I did this step at night and left it to dry overnight for a better effect.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and carefully dip each orange peel into the melted chocolate. Place the choc coated orange peel onto some parchment/baking paper to dry.
Once the chocolate has set, you can store them for up to 2 weeks.