Candied Orange Peel with Chocolate

by thomandaimee

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“Don’t you think we’ve lost a bit of what Thom and Aimee was meant to do?”

I stared at Ned for a long moment and pondered on what came out of her mouth. “I guess so”, that was all I could meekly answer. Let’s rewind the clock a little. Before being a foodie was cool, way back to when words like “sustainability, seasonality, local produce, craft, foraging, and farm-to-table” passed everyone’s lips. Essentially, T&A was a platform for Ned to practice her craft. It was combined with our passion for seasonal and local produce, and our love and respect for each and every ingredient.

Ned only made that statement because I was raving about a TV series I caught recently. Chef’s Table featured six different chefs from all over the world, and while they may all serve distinct cuisines and have a unique style of their own. Similarities can be drawn from each chef. Creativity and the willingness to be inspired outside of food is important for a chef to progress. Having a strong identity and the need to make your own stamp (despite challenges) was a clear personality these chefs had. But the most apparent one was their respect for produce: a dish, no matter how skilled the chef is, will be ruined if the ingredients are not at its peak.

Everyone’s a foodie now. It’s suddenly very cool to be seen in the trendiest restaurant on your Instagram. People love eating. We get it. But there’s so much more than nibbling on a piece of avocado toast. Delve into food and you will read about agriculture, environmental and humanitarian issues, food politics, societal and cultural notes, history, and even science and technology. The world of food is so much more than ticking off the michelin guide. Ever wonder where that piece of chicken wing came from? How it lived, how the farm processed it, how it was brought to you, etc?

I’m not saying T&A is about all that. Because essentially, we only have one simple wish. And that is to make good food and treat the earth well at the same time. Ned and I tend to get overexcited at times and lose track of what we set out to do. That’s why we usually have very passionate long chats at unearthly hours. We are meandering back to our supposed path. So, look out for a little change.

Food wastage is something we are trying to minimise at home. It is so easy to toss unused and expired food into the trash, which are still edible and can be made into great dishes. Best way to make use of citrus? Turn the bitter peel into candy dipped in luxurious chocolate. Our last few desserts have made use of tons of oranges, and we decided not to toss them away into the garbage bin.

This is just but a first step to bigger things in life. And sometimes, all it takes is that one little ripple to make change happen.

Candied Orange
By William and Suzue Curley (Pâtisserie)

Makes 750g

3 (750g) Navel oranges
500g water
375g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, spilt lengthways

DIRECTIONS

Bring a pan of water to the boil.

Score around the outside of the oranges in quarters, then gently take off each quarter of the peel.

When the water is boiling, add the orange peel and blanch it for 2 minutes. Drain the peel and discard the water. Refresh under cold water, then repeat the blanching process twice more.

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan with the split and scraped vanilla bean and bring to the boil. Add the drained orange peel to the syrup and bring back to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and continue to cook for 2 hours or until the orange is soft, candied and translucent.

Pour into a container and leave to cool before transferring to the fridge.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

TIPS

Other fruits such as grapefruit, lemon and yuzu can be candied as well. Just use the same weight of fruit.

To make crystallised candied fruit, leave the candied fruit to drain on a wire rack for 3-4 hours, cut into your preferred sizes, then roll in granulated white sugar.

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