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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Candied Orange Twists

As usual, in the run up to Christmas, I made huge amounts of food to give away as gifts. I made breads, candies, pancake mix, jellies, cookies, and... truffles! I love making truffles. I don't make them super often, because they are a bit of work (although as I do it more, it becomes quicker and more efficient). I originally posted about making truffles in the first few months of this blog. You can check out the "Making Chocolates" posts here.

As you might imagine, I rarely am satisfied leaving well enough alone. I always figure I can make something tastier, cheaper, easier, or prettier. In this case, I was going for the latter. Whenever I make truffles, I make more than one kind. Because I am not a fan of the whole stick a tooth in it to figure out what's inside technique, I like to decorate my truffles in a way that I can give my recipients a key describing what's what. For my usual Grand Marnier truffles, I decided to try and make cute little candied orange twists. They were a smashing success. Not only were they easy to make, but they look like a million bucks and taste great too.

You can make the candied orange peel in advance and keep them, untwisted, in syrup for quite some time. As such, I made a fair amount and am simply keeping the left overs in the pantry. Using a zester, get a bunch of zest strips from a couple of washed oranges. Try to keep the strips at least 2-3 inches long. They're very challenging to knot when they get too short.

In a sauce pan, mix one cup of sugar, two cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup or glucose (or a similar ratio of the three). This last bit is critical if you want to be able to store the twists for any length of time. Without the corn syrup or glucose, undesirable crystallization can occur and make your life very difficult. Simmer the zest on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the zest is tender and translucent. I just keep tasting until it gets to where I like it; it usually takes an hour or two. Cool the mixture completely. If storing, keep the twists submerged in the syrup and store in an air tight container in a cool, dark place.

When you are ready to make the twists, get out a piece of parchment or wax paper and simply tie them loosely into knots. A single loop is plenty and the twists are sticky enough to stay wherever you put them. Let them dry slightly so that they don't ooze syrup all over your pretty truffles.

When you are ready to apply them to the truffles, use a small brush to dab a little bit of melted chocolate onto the top of the truffle and then place the twist in the middle of that blob. Once the chocolate hardens, the twist will be an integral part of a beautiful confection. And the shiny, citrus packed twist not only adds a delicious punch to a tasty treat, but is a gorgeous way to distinguish it from the other flavors you've concocted! In this tin: Grand Marnier, hazelnut, coffee, mint, and plain.

1 comment:

  1. I must say that you are really good in providing innovative ideas and this one is another plus sign in your list of ideas. Thanks for sharing this. I think I must share my fried breads ideas with you.


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