Sticky chocolate orange sweets – think Terry’s chocolate orange but reimagined…
These sticky chocolate orange sweets are the perfect gift to whip up over Christmas and they smell so irresistibly festive!
If you tuned into the Hairy Bikers – Home for Christmas on BBC 1, you may have recognised a familiar face on the programme… yes that was me! I was lucky enough to be invited on to the show to make four festive food gifts, one of which was these candied chocolate orange sweets.
Chocolate and orange is a winning combination in my opinion, especially at Christmas, and if there’s ever a quality street tin being offered around, it’s the chocolate orange cream that I burrow to the bottom of the tin to find. If you’re the same as me then I think you’re going to love these… You can also experiment with different flavours too – try a sprinkle of rock salt on top of the chocolate or, switch navel oranges for blood oranges or limes.
Although you can see how to make the recipe on the show, there are a couple of tips I wanted to share with you which weren’t on the programme, which will ensure when you make it, it comes out perfectly. So here we go…
- 1 large navel orange
- 1 and a half cups (375ml) of water
- 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar
- 100g dark chocolate (I use Lidl's "Fin Carré for 39p)
- Wash the skin of the oranges thoroughly to remove any waxy coating.
- Slice one large orange no thinner than 1/8th of an inch. Aim to get 8 slices out of your orange.
- Measure 1 and a half cups of water and 1 cup of sugar into a sauté pan and bring to a gentle boil.
- Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
- Once dissolved stop stirring as this will make the sugar crystallise.
- Turn heat down low so the water is gently simmering away and gently place the orange slices into the pan.
- Simmer (do not boil) for 40-60 minutes or until the rind is slightly translucent and the sugar water turns syrup.
- Turn the oranges every 15 minutes - after 40-60 minutes they will be ready.[gallery columns="4" type="masonry" link="none" ids="14311,14314,14316,14317"]
- Place a wire rack alongside the hob with a sheet of greaseproof and careful place the oranges separately onto the sheet.
- Leave to dry for 24 hours uncovered and do not put in the fridge. When they are dry and a little tacky they are ready to decorate.
- If you prefer the slices less sticky just sprinkle extra sugar over the orange slices.
- Cut each slice in half - this bit can get a bit sticky![gallery columns="4" type="masonry" link="none" ids="14320,14322,14319,14323"]
- Then melt 100g of chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Ensure chocolate is smooth, not too thin and lump free.
- Using tongs or clean fingers dip one half of the orange segment into the melted chocolate.
- Place the orange segments with chocolate onto a sheet of greaseproof on a wire rack.
- Then pop the rack in the fridge and leave until chocolate has set.
- Use immediately or keep orange slices refrigerated or in an airtight container until ready to use.[gallery columns="4" type="masonry" link="none" ids="14324,14338,14352,14351"]
● When you go shopping look for an orange that seems heavy for its size. The orange should also give quite a bit when squeezed. If it’s too firm don’t buy it. Although it will soften in a fruit bowl in a few days - it won’t sweeten up anymore.
● Use a serrated fruit knife for cutting and sharpen your knives before each use.
● Hold the fruit with one hand and slice gently starting with the heel of the blade and pulling back on the blade with a gentle downward pressure - just like a sawing motion. The key is to slice not chop so focus on a back and forth motion. The gentler you are the neater the slices will be.
● Don't cut the oranges too thin or they'll disintegrate when your cook them.If your sugar syrup is beginning to crystallize just brush the sides of the sugar pan with a wet brush to prevent the formation of crystals.
● Don’t throw the syrup away once you’re done as you can reuse in lots of ways (in meringue, sorbets or my personal favourite use - cocktails!
If you missed the programme you can watch it again here on BBC iPlayer until the 6th January 2018 (I’m featured about nine minutes in). I’d also love to hear your feedback either if you’ve tried the recipe or, watched the show, so please do leave me a comment here or via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The recipes for my three other food gifts from the programme will be posted later on in the week too, so do pop back to find those.