Edible DIY: Bitter Chocolate-Almond Orangettes
I'm the kind of person that freezes the rinds of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for soup, makes croutons out of stale bread, and gets every last bit of peanut butter out of the jar (and then repurposes the jar as a salad dressing container). Not only do I hate waste, I love to make delicious things out of the scraps most people toss. Think nose-to-tail eating, but applied to all kinds of foods, not just meat.
That's why I've always loved orangettes, otherwise known as candied orange peels dipped in chocolate. Not only are they très chic, they're also très economical, and a great way to use up something that would normally end up in the trashcan. Since oranges are in season right now, and my supermarket is stocked with perfect, juicy seedless navels, I decided to play around with my favorite orangette recipe.
What I love most about orangettes is the balance of bitter, citrus, and sweet flavors. Make no mistake, they definitely taste like candy, but it's a sophisticated sort of candy. To enhance that sense of sophistication, I decided to dip my orangettes in the darkest chocolate I could find: Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Extra Dark.
Next, I thought about additional flavors that would complement both the orange and the chocolate. The first one that came to mind was almond. Rolling the chocolate-dipped orange peels in crushed almonds seemed like the obvious final step in my recipe, but I wanted to ensure a deep, rich flavor. A splash of amaretto stirred in with the melted chocolate did the trick.
My bitter chocolate-almond orangettes are every bit as delicious as the classic, and then some. The almonds are toasty and crunchy, the chocolate is slick and boozy, and the orange peels are bright and citrusy-sweet. You may think you're only going to nibble on one, but trust me: your hand will be dipping into the jar again and again.
This recipe makes roughly 100 orangettes, which is enough for four or five small gifts. They will keep for about two weeks stored in an airtight container.