Making Orangettes

Orangettes are a delicious treat for the holidays. They are made using cooked, sugar syrup coated, and then dried orange peels. The final delicious addition comes when they are dipped in bitter chocolate. Find the instructions and photos needed for recreating this recipe here.

In Europe Christmas means citrus, the green grocer's shelves are filled with citrus of every size and shape. The smell of the peel brings back happy memories of Christmas past. For me this is also the signal to do what I love the most; making something out of nothing and making a delicious festive treat to help my friends and family celebrate Christmas. Don't be daunted by all the steps, the ingredients are few and the delicious results and compliments make it well worth spending your time!

Prep Time: several hours

Cook Time: 90 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 35-40 pieces


  • 4 large oranges (the thicker and juicier the skins the better)
  • 1 kg white sugar (you won't use it all, but hard to be precise)
  • 200 g plain, bitter dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids for best results)


  1. Remove the orange peel in scored segments. A large orange will provide 8-10 pieces.
  2. Cover with water in a pan, bring to the boil and boil gently (uncovered) for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the peel into a bowl or measuring cup and discard the water (although it does make an excellent all purpose cleaner and degreaser if you are into non-chemical products).
  4. Cover the peel with fresh water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Drain the peel again, but this time reserve and measure the liquid.
  6. Weigh the same amount of sugar in grams as you have liquid in millilitres.
  7. Return the pan to the stove and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. You have a sugar syrup. Then drop the orange peel into the syrup and bring it back to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, until the peel has become translucent.*
  8. Cool the peels in the syrup then lift them out using a slotted spoon and place them on a piece of baking parchment so they do not touch.
  9. You now need to let the peel dry. You can do this with your oven on the lowest setting or at room temperature (the second will take a little longer). Once it dries the pieces will set and hold their shape
  10. When the peel is almost dry sprinkle over a small amount of sugar this will give you a lovely frosted effect and a nice crunch.
  11. Use you method of choice to melt the chocolate and dip one end of each piece into it and then lay the pieces onto baking parchment, allowing enough space for the chocolate to spread a little.
  12. Finally, when the chocolate is set put the finished orangettes into cello bags. They will keep for about 1 month - but I find they never last that long. They make great Christmas presents and I am always asked for the recipe.

*You now have candied peel which you can use in cakes such as Panforte, Christmas cake or Florentines.

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