A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were in London for the first time. While we tried to do Rick Steves proud, soaking up culture and trying to act like locals, we also spent an embarrassing amount of time at Harrods, gawking at the spectacle of the famed department store. We waded through floor after floor of luxury goods, pondering what it must be like to dress your baby in Gucci or own a Fendi sofa, but I was truly taken aback by the food halls.
In between sharing the tallest, fluffiest english muffin I've ever seen and eating a decadent lunch at the rotisserie counter, we combed through case after case of chocolates, confections, and tea. While there were many stunning options, it was the display of candied bergamot dipped in chocolate that caught my eye. Having never seen bergamot outside of a cup of earl grey tea before, I had to try it, and I threw in a slice of the blood orange and clementine too for good measure. All three flavors were so delicious, I knew I had to figure out how to make them at home. I'm still trying to figure out where to source fresh bergamot in Seattle, so I went with readily available and still stunningly beautiful blood oranges.
My first attempt at candied citrus was a disaster. I couldn't make an even slice to save my life, I didn't cook the oranges long enough, and I couldn't get them to dry enough to dip. Thankfully with a few tweaks, the second attempt was much better. The orange slices came out tender but still slightly chewy and the dark chocolate kept the whole thing from becoming too sweet. These taste like a sophisticated version of the chocolate oranges I loved as a kid. I'll be making more for holiday treats in the weeks to come, but for now I'm content to have a stash all to myself, waiting for me in the fridge.
Dark Chocolate Candied Blood Oranges
2 blood oranges, sliced into 1/4in rounds
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4oz dark chocolate
In a wide pot, combine sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar then bring mixture to a boil. Add blood orange slices, taking care to make sure they are all submerged, and boil for 20 minutes. Flip the orange slices and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook until the oranges are translucent and the syrup is thickened, about 30 minutes.
Using a fork or small spatula, remove orange slices and lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Allow orange slices to dry for 24 hours uncovered. Allowing air to circulate on all sides is essential for getting the slices to dry to the right consistency.
Break dark chocolate into small pieces and place in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave chocolate in 30 second intervals until it is completely melted and stir to ensure chocolate is smooth. Dip orange slices into chocolate and set on a sheet of parchment to dry. Once the chocolate has hardened, gently remove slices and transfer to a container. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
This method can be used with any citrus fruit. Choose fruit that is firm and evenly shaped for easier slicing.