Crystallised chocolate orange slices

IMG_8317If I was stuck on a desert island and could only choose 5 foods to have with me (you never know, it might happen) they’d be:
  1. French bread
  2. Cheese (& butter – they count as one)
  3. Eggs (& Heinz ketchup – life without ketchup isn’t worth thinking about)
  4. Bananas
  5. And Terrys chocolate orange! (TCO)
I LOVE chocolate orange, you can’t beat it. It’s the combination dreams are made of. I’ll always head straight for the orange truffles in any deli. Yes purrrlease! I love Christmas when there are special editions of TCO, popping candy, toffee, mini versions, dark chocolate…. Plus it’s part of a healthy balanced diet, chocolate is the slightly naughty part, and orange is the good part! :) AND it’s probably one of your five a day.
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It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and I’ve been trying to save money recently. My Granny can be tricky to buy for, and the presents she’s been happiest with are usually homemade. So when I came across Snack to the Future’s divine looking chocolate covered orange slices (below) I decided to give them a go.
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She’s perfected the recipe on her blog, but it’s basically 1 cup of sugar, 1.5 cups of water, enough orange slices for 1 layer in a large flat pan, chocolate to finish them off and a smattering of chunky salt.
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When boiling, it gives the kitchen a nice orangey aroma. Remember to turn the slices over every now and again and when the sugary water starts turning thick and bubbling a slightly darker colour…it tastes YUMMY! (Be careful of burning your tongue! I learnt that the hard way) It took my slices about 1hr 30mins until they were ready to dry out.
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I’ve just moved house and didn’t have all my usual baking things to hand, I didn’t have a drying rack so popped them on a baking tray by the window and left them to dry out overnight. Usually they’d be quicker to dry.
I used 4 large oranges (and 3! pans to simmer), which made about 26 slices and can fit around 9-10 in a jar.
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Dipping the sticky oranges into chocolate was trickier than it sounds! I let the chocolate cool too much and it looks a bit lumpy, also the segments are sooo sweet! Maybe I could’ve done with using a tad less sugar, or taking them out of the pan earlier.  I used a bar and a half (270g) of bourneville dark chocolate, and the tanginess of the salt toned down the sweetness.
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I didn’t want to give the orange slices to my G’ma in an old plastic takeaway box (probably smelling of garlic chicken); I bought some mason jars from Poundland (it’s my parents birthdays coming up soon… Guess what they’ll be getting!)
I also thought about wrapping the slices in clear plastic with some nice ribbon, a gift box covered in PVA glue + sequins, or baking paper and hipster twine.
I used a wine glass to cut out some circular greaseproof paper to pop between the slices. The segments last for about 2 weeks in an air-proof container. Voila!
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