Thursday, March 29, 2012

Candied Orange Peel, Bliss and Grand Marnier Chocolates

Grand Marnier Chocolates
Busy. Time to slow down.

I received a beautiful card in the mail from a friend: Thank you. On the front was this quote.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 

-Joseph Campbell


I promptly hung it on my kitchen cupboard.

I walk around most days with ideas just swirling around in my brain of different things I could post about.... then dinner needs to be made, permission slips need to be signed, clothes laundered and then poof... the idea is gone.


The things I want to post about aren't kitchen tips or how-to's. What I want to write about are those fleeting moments of quiet where the puzzle of our existence finally aligns for a brief moment and we are left with a permanent change within ourselves. Click. These are those moments where you are hushed into a reality that forces us to look at something new. Maybe it is just taking an extra moment to care for someone you love or even a stranger. Maybe it is stepping out into the backyard and noticing that another plant is slowly peeking it's way up through the cool spring earth. It could even be responding to someone differently than you normally would.

Watching the chain of positive actions unfold in front of us when we flip our mainstream mindset and choose a different path that the one we highly frequent is one of the most encouraging things in the world.

It is up to each individual to map out a reality that she/he truly wants to live.

I am inspired by all the beautiful individuals in this world who have chosen to follow their bliss. It takes courage to separate from the pack.


How to make Candied Orange Peel - Candied orange peel is a wonderful snack that will disappear quickly once you have made it, especially if you dip it into a nice dark chocolate. Use Organic Oranges as you are only using the peel and nobody needs concentrated fungicides and pesticides in their food. Store in air tight container.

Ingredients
1) Sunshine
2) 6 Oranges (organic navel)
3) 4 and 1/2 cups Organic Sugar
4) 1 and 1/2 cups Clean Water

Directions
Wash oranges. Cut off ends and begin to cut just into the skin of your orange. Work in 1" segment sizes. The photos below will help guide you into successful peeling of your orange.









Fill your pot with water, just covering the peel and cover. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour off the water and start again with cold water, bring to a boil and drain. You should do this 3 times. This will reduce the bitterness and still leave you with a nice flavor in your peel. Remove the peel from your pan.

Whisk the water into the sugar in your heavy bottomed pan. Bring sugar to a simmer. It should reach about 234 degrees (no higher). Add the peel at this stage. Reduce heat yet keep a simmer going. Cook uncovered until the peels become translucent. This make take 45 minutes to an hour. Do not stir, you do not want to introduce sugar crystals into the mix. When translucent, drain syrup into a jar. (You can use this later on biscuits, in tea ... the sky is the limit)

Roll the peels in sugar. They will be hot. Work quickly so the peels in the pan do not start to stick together. Let the peels dry on racks for several hours (4-5). You can store the peel in sugar. This will help absorb any other excess moisture.




Ideas for Candied Orange Peel
Chop up small and let dry out, they are like little hard orange crunchy candies.
Chopped up into muffins
Layered on cakes
Dipped in chocolate of course
Chopped up and thrown into granola or trail mix.
Play around with their moisture content. They will be chewy fresh, but if you let them dry out, they become crunchy and their texture can add a lot to your creation.


The Grand Marnier Chocolates are my latest creation. They were so creamy and decadent. I ran a taste test. I invited anybody who so wished to come over and taste. Those who had no fear showed up at my door, feasted in my kitchen, and were sent away with a box of treats! Thank you to those who came over and provided feedback.  We decided these are a keeper.

Grand Marnier, like many liqueurs, is steeped in secrets. Click on the above link to read about their unique process. It is really cool....

Follow your Bliss... from hugging your kids to making chocolates. xoxo Megan




6 comments:

  1. Mmmm, now these look utterly delicious :) And very pretty!

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  2. so thats how you make them! looks fantastic!

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  3. Megan,
    Glad to see you! These chocolates look and sound amazing, especially with the Grand Marnier! Beautiful pics.

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  4. Thanks for this great recipe! It is very useful!

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  5. Lovely post! I had a moment of bliss today. I was making a simple pasta dish for supper and walked outside and pick some fresh tarragon from the herb garden. It was my FIRST pick of fresh herbs this spring and I just had to take a moment and smell, taste and enjoy! Love candied orange rinds but I've never made them. These look fabulous and relatively easy to make. Love it! Great post!

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