Candied orange peel (orangettes)

Adapted from use real butter

If juicy and sweet, orange is one of my favorite fruits. When I eat an orange I tend to play a little with its peel - I squeeze it and watch the pure orange oil mist bursting into the air. I love this refreshing aroma. I also am very much in love with a dark chocolate. I like it pure or slightly salted, but if I feel for flavored chocolate it has to be the orange flavored one.

Chocolate and orange are made for each other. They are a perfect couple. When I’ve bumped into candied orange peel recipe I was thrilled. What a beautiful and easy way to make a candy, completely unique same time, made with only pure ingredients involved. How come I didn’t think about it before? Especially, that candied orange peel is not a novelty to me. My mom used to make it for her cakes. I remember picking it from my piece of cake and throwing away. Yes, as a child I hated it. Now, I love it. People don’t change, but apparently, taste buds do.  

After browsing some recipes, I developed my own method of making it. 

The first thing - collecting the orange peel: If you happen to make freshly squeezed orange juice, don’t throw away the peel! Soak it in water and store in the fridge for 12 hours or more before you use it. It is also perfectly ok to collect an orange peel over some days. Just keep the peel soaked in water in an air-tight container, in the fridge, adding more peel as you consume oranges. I think you should keep it no longer than 4-5 days. Some recipes suggest adding a bit of salt to the water in order to reduce bitterness of the peel and conserve it. I didn’t do it and my orangettes had no bitter taste at all.

The second thing - there is no need to remove the pith (the white stuff under the skin); you can cut some of, especially if you have a particularly thick-skinned fruits. I like to leave most of it on, as it gives a nice bite in the final product. The pith does make the peel bitter, but not if you soak and blanch the peels. And this is what we are going to do.

When you collect enough peel it’s finally time to make orangettes! (four fruits is absolute minimum to bother making this candy; it tastes so good and disappears in no time). There you go:


peel of 4 organic oranges
150 g sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
200 ml water
50 - 100 g dark chocolate (minimum 60%)


1. Cut peel into 3-5 mm strips. Place peels in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat one more time.

2. In a small saucepan dissolve sugar in water. Bring it to boil. Add the orange peel strips. Stir and bring to boil, reduce to minimum. Cover and simmer until translucent, for about 30-45 minutes.
Note: I use very little water and sugar, just enough to be absorbed by the orange peel strips. This requires little bit more attention during the process - checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning, but I don’t mind this extra work as I spare sugar this way and don’t have to worry what to do with the remaining orange-flavored sugar syrup.

3. When there is no more syrup to absorb, remove the peels and put them on a baking paper to dry. They should be dry overnight, but if you are not patient enough you can also dry them in the oven, for 2-3 hours in 100°C.

4. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. If the chocolate is too thick to cover orange peels smoothly, add one teaspoon of water, stir and try again. Repeat if necessary. Dip each stripe in the chocolate, shake off and place on baking paper to dry. I used chopsticks as a support for stripes to minimize chocolate – paper contact. My orangettes have just a touch of chocolate, I dipped only 1/3 length of each stripe. If you prefer more chocolate taste in each bite go ahead and dip deeper! 

Candied orange peel is a great sweet treat, especially in a Christmas season. They taste wonderful and look fantastic, which makes them a perfect gift idea. Wrap them in a baking paper and decorate with a plain ribbon just like I did with pumpkin seeds here. I wanted to do similar styling with orangettes, but they didn’t last, as my boyfriend with big help of our son, managed to utilize them in no time.   


  1. Marta, this looks so so delicious!!! I'm coming to you to have some. I don't think I will have enough energy to play with all this :) and besides, I don't have those polar bears as helpers ;)

  2. You don't have polar bears?! Maybe Wanda can help instead? It's a nice task for a kid, especially licking the bowl, after chocolate...

  3. hi! i came across your blog from a comment you left on another blog.. just wanted to say i love your pictures and recipes and i hope you keep posting! (and your english is great!) p.s. lovely polar bears! :)

  4. Hi Irene,
    Thank you so much for your positive input, it means a lot to me! I certainly plan to keep posting, im writing one now, as a matter of fact and I hope to have it ready this weekend. Its been 6 weeks long posting gap, shame on me.
    Thanks for motivation words. Cheers!