March 5, 2011

Chocolate-coated Candied Citrus Rinds (Fruits Confit au Chocolat)




I recently discovered how easy it is to get addicted to a good and healthy dessert, by reducing your waste and saving your money in the process.

The French are masters in cooking and they make this for some special occasions - they call it fruit "confit" or fruit glace (candied fruits). The cakes I make often include candied orange and lemon peels bought from the store with no chocolate coating. But those are more of a condiment for deserts and not meant to be eaten by themselves.

Therefore, don't throw away your citrus peels, instead turn them into exquisite sweets! Use a really fine dark chocolate to coat your peels in, that will make this desert even better. It is combination of flavours and textures; the chewy texture of the citrus rinds and the hard thin layer of dark chocolate. Together, they make this desert so special.

The point of a confit is to preserve. It is an old way of food preservation. It can be done with fruits or with meat. I still remember the story of my great grandmother who survived WWII by preserving slow cooked chunks of meats, in large quantities of pork fat and "burying" it in the ground. She basically made a confit, but that fancy term was not as well known outside of France. A similar process is used with fruits, but instead of fat, sugar is used. Simply put, you have to create some "insulation" for the perishable food to last longer. And that "insulation" could be either fat or sugar coating.

I tried to be moderate with my sugar coating in this recipe so that I taste more fruit and chocolate than sugar.

For a big jar of mixed citrus candied peels you need (approximately, depending on the size of the fruit):

1 grapefruit peel
1 orange peel
2 lemon peels
about 1 cup of sugar (1/2 cup for a syrup and leave 1/2 cup for coating)
1/3 cup of water for syrup
1/2 cup of dark chocolate in chunks (Valhrona or Callebaut)
1 tbsp of good cocoa powder (if you want your chocolate even darker)

Process:
Wash truly and peel your fruits without much of panicking if you cut a pulp. Than slice the peel pieces into a strips 1cm (1/2 inch) wide.

In a large pot, boil the water. Throw your peels in for about 15-20 seconds. Take them out or like me, repeat the process one more time to reduce the bitterness.

Heat a large pan and put in sugar and peels and little bit of water just to cover the fruits. Cook until water evaporates and you get a thick, syrup-like consistence. Cool it off for a few minutes.


In a large flat pan with a table cloth or a foil, prepare granulated sugar to coat your peels. Throw them in and work with your hands to coat each one on every side.

Dry them on a wired rack for couple of hours or until they are dry and cold.


Melt chocolate (add cocoa if darker chocolate is desired) in a bowl over a boiling water pan - bain-marie. Start dipping one half of each peel in chocolate and place them separately on a waxed paper sheet, then in a cool dry place allowing the chocolate to firm.


You can put them in a glass jar and keep them refrigerated for a couple of weeks or eat them right away!

2 comments:

Terrie said...

This sounds easy to make and no waste. I would try to make soon.

Ernesto Salvador Dominguez said...

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Ernesto