Need a little sunshine, sweetness, and Vitamin C in your life.....especially during the upcoming dark, cold, wintry days of January? I have the answer for you in this simple but elegant, kinda healthy, and delicious bit of goodness.
Different from the usual candied peels, this thin half-circle shape includes some of the flesh which is refreshing with the distinctive bitter note of the beautiful orange chewy rind. Being that my better half is on a restricted diet due to kidney dialysis, I did not bake any cookies or goodies this Christmas but still wanted a little something that was a bit sweet and holidayish. This is a traditional dessert in Provence France and since oranges are coming in for the season, is a perfect winter time treat. Plus a fabulous side benefit, for when it is cooking your house smells amazing. I am pretty sure I have a new tradition starting here at my house and I hope you will try it. It's easy.
3 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 2-3 navel oranges, sliced crosswise, 1/4" thick and
6 oz. good dark chocolate
In a large straight-sided skillet, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add the orange slices and simmer over medium-high heat, turning the slices occasionally, until the liquid gets syrupy. For me, this took about 30 minutes. Lower the heat slightly and continue cooking 10 or so more minutes, until the liquid gets even richer. Transfer slices to a wire rack lined with wax paper or parchment paper and let dry. The recipe said it would take overnight. I found it took longer ( couple of days) and ended up drying mine in a dehydrator. When they are ready, cut circles in half. (you could cut the circles in half before adding to sugar water also) Melt your very good chocolate and dip the slices in, return to the paper and let chocolate harden. Store layers between wax paper in an air tight container. Some sprinkle a little sea salt on them but I didn't. Makes a beautiful gift and So good!!!
I don't recommend using a low calorie/ no calorie sweetener. I tried it, and the oranges did not dry very pretty and were not as tasty. I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers. DO NOT throw away the leftover orange simple sugar syrup that will be left over. It would be excellent to add to baking such as muffins, use in cocktails, a fruit compote, a pancake, waffle or ice cream topping. Many uses....... it's liquid gold. :)