Chocolate Jewels

 Chocolate and dried or candied fruits,what could be better?

Pretty simple to make and very impressive.Your guest would think you got it from a gourmet store.

You will need

Some chocolate Dark,Milk or White (I am partial to dark chocolate)

Dried or candied fruits of choice

Divide your chocolate into 2/3 and 1/3.

Melt 2/3 in the microwave at 20 secs interval,stirring it after 20 secs so it doesn’t burn.

When it has melted,add the 1/3 portion and stir it until very blended (this is called tempering,you have to temper your chocolate so that it will have that nice snap to it and not melt in your hands).

Line a tray with parchment paper and drop buttons of chocolate on it with teaspoons

 Work fast or the chocolate will solidify before you are done.

 I used these dried and candied fruits. You can find the recipe for the candied ginger here and the recipe for candied orange here,I used candied orange peel but you can use candied orange slices. The candied pineapple and candied lemon have similar steps too.

Now arrange the fruits and nuts as you like it,1 per chocolate button

 You can leave it at this step or go a step further…..

 Form a cornet out of parchment paper or use a small nylon/sandwich bag. Cut a little off the tip and drizzle the chocolate over the “jewels”.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt from a height.

Or would you prefer White Chocolate……

You can drizzle it in white chocolate too.

If it has not yet set up,put in the refrigerator until set,probably about 5 mins.

Enjoy!

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Candied Orange Slices

You will need

4-5 Oranges

700g sugar plus more for coating

2 Cups water.

3 star Anise,2 Cinnamon sticks,1 Tbsp Cloves (optional).

A bowl of ice and water

Wash the Oranges,Slice them as thinly as possible(I like to use a serrated knife) and remove the seeds.

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Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the Orange slices,when it starts to boil again,remove with perforated spoon and put the Oranges into the bowl of ice water,this would stop the cooking and firm up the oranges.

Repeat once again.

You can either pour the liquid out or use 1 cup of it and 1 cup of fresh water to make the sugar syrup.

Add the water into the pot after the 2nd blanching plus the 700g of sugar,stir until the sugar has dissolved.add the spices if using.

Let the syrup come to a boil and the add the orange slices,when it starts to boil again,reduce the heat to medium and let it gently simmer.Cook till it’s translucent.

this is not what you are looking for,but it’s almost there.

now,this is what you are looking for.When the orange slices look like this,take if of the heat let cool and then remove each slice,place on a wire rack so the excess syrup can drip off.

Keep the syrup and use it to flavor anything you want.

Once the excess have drained off,coat with sugar.

 and store in a flat bowl covered in the refrigerator,you can also store it in a plastic bag once they are all dry.

there are many things to do with this.You can eat it as it is,incorporate it into desserts,cakes or coat it in Chocolate.

I promise,it’s not too sweet,rather,it’s a bit tangy.If you want to coat it in chocolate,it’s probably best if you don’t coat it in sugar.

                                                                                                                            Enjoy!