Full disclosure: I have made chocolate candied peel for Ladyland only because I was dying to try out these paper cup packages! Obviously I wanted to share an edible Christmas gift too, maybe something to give to teachers at the end of term next week.
Nowadays, between the teaching assistant, assistant to the teaching assistant, music teacher, ballet teacher, etc, the Quality Street budget is going through the roof! And for those without kids or teachers in their lives, there are many acquaintances, employers, employees, co-workers etc. who may also require some kind of gift.
Cookies or macarons would have been too big to fit in the cups, it needed a bon-bon kind of filling. I thought of chocolate truffles, but I am not a fan, and then I remembered this lovely orange peel covered in chocolate that my grandfather used to prepare each Christmas. In France they are called orangettes and can also be prepared with lemons: let’s call them lemonettes!
Homemade candied peels are not difficult to make and taste miles better than shop-bought ones. However, it requires a little time and organisation as you need a full 24 hours for them to be ready for chocolate dipping. As for my little paper cup packages, they are super easy!
Oranges and lemons
Dark chocolate for the orange peel
Milk chocolate for the lemon peel
1. Chop both ends of your fruit, then carefully cut off the skin, leaving a small amount of pith.
2. Slice the peel into approximatively 5 mm strips.
3. In a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Immediately discard the boiling water and refill once more with cold water. You need to boil with new water a total of 4 times for your orange peel and 8 times for the lemon peel. This removes some of the bitterness.
4. Once the peel has been boiled, cover it in its own weight in sugar, and fill with cold water once more. Don’t use too much water, just enough to cover the mixture. Cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes.
5. Leave to cool in the syrup. Once cold, leave to dry on a cake rack, for the next 24 hours. The peel will dry out and harden.
6. Next day, roll the peel in caster sugar.
7. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (a pan over simmering water).
8. Once melted, dip in each candied peel – you might need to wriggle them and scrape the excess chocolate on the edge of the bowl. Once dipped, leave to set on baking paper.
Now, for the fun part: the packaging!
Paper cups, any design. Ot you could get plain ones and get your kids to draw on them.
Scrap of wool
Pompom maker (optional, you can make them the traditional way with your own cardboard template)
1. Cut off the rim of a paper cup.
2. Snip the edge of the cup at regular intervals to form small strips.
3. Fold each strip over each other.
4. Fill with your chocolate candied peels. You might want to add a small piece of baking paper over them.
5. Tie wool string around the cup, top it with a pompom and voilà! Edible Christmas gifts done.
Words and styling: Clementine Larvor
Photography: Emma Scott-Child and Clementine Larvor