When Jen’s father and son, Isaac, discovered a mutual love of oranges they experimented with different ways to use the leftover peel.  Isaac now makes these for Christmas presents for family and teachers at Christmas – they are a hit with adults and children alike.

While these are not hard to make, they need to be done in a few stages so you do need to plan ahead.


  • 4 large unwaxed oranges
  • About 1kg sugar (you can use any sugar for this but the darker the sugar, the darker the peel – Jen learnt the hard way!)
  • 150g bar of chocolate (dairy-free works very well as does other dark or milk chocolate)


  1. Peel the oranges in segments and cut the peel into strips.  You want each piece to be about 0.5cm thick so you may need to shave off some of the pith if it is very thick.
  2. Put the peel in a pan and fill with enough water to just cover the peel.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Drain and return the peel to the pan.  Add more cold water, again just enough to cover the peel, and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 30 mins.
  4. Drain the peel, reserving the cooking liquid. Put the peel to one side and measure the cooking liquid.  Return the cooking liquid to the pan. For every 100ml of cooking liquid you have, add 100g of sugar to the pan and bring it to the boil.
  5. When the sugar has dissolved, add the peel and simmer until the peel is soft and translucent. This will take about 30 mins.
  6. Leave the peel in the pan to cool.
  7. Remove the peel from the syrup and spread it out on baking parchment on a rack. Leave out to air dry.  This can take a while – even a couple of days – so Jen sometimes put the rack in the airing cupboard.  Dust with sugar if you like it.
  8. When you are ready, dip the pieces of candied peel into melted chocolate. Leave to dry on a sheet of baking paper.
  9. These will keep for several weeks in an airtight jar if you can resist!

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**Always check the ingredients of any food you’re cooking with to make sure it doesn’t contain something you or your child should avoid.