Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Half-Candied Kumquats Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Half-Candied Kumquats Dipped in Dark ChocolateHere's a sweetmeat that will appeal to you if you're smitten, as I am, by the combination of orange and chocolate. Plump little winter kumquats are stewed in a strong sugar syrup, left to dry out for a while, and then half-dipped in bitter dark chocolate. These make a lovely after-dinner nibble, and they go a long way (unlike a bar of chocolate, which in my house is flattened before anyone's had a chance to peel off the wrapper).

I do love the spicy zestiness of kumquats (even though their name is unspeakably rude; read my earlier post about kumquat compote) but they are, I admit, not the most versatile of fruits.

This is an easy recipe, although it takes a little time. I've called them 'half-candied' because they're not truly candied, as traditional crystallised fruits are. In order to crystallise fruit, it needs to be soaked in successively stronger solutions of sugar syrup until the syrup has replaced the fruit's natural moisture, thereby preventing it from spoiling.

Don't discard the zesty syrup once you've drained it off - it's wonderful for making syrup-based ices and exotic cocktails, and delicious poured over vanilla ice cream. Place the syrup in a lidded container and store in the fridge: it will keep for two to three weeks.


Half-Candied Kumquats Dipped in Dark Chocolate

500 g kumquats, washed
water
2 cups (500 ml) white granulated sugar
a little extra sugar for dredging
a slab of good-quality dark chocolate

Half-Candied Kumquats Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Cut the kumquats in half length ways. Put them in a pan and pour in just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain in a colander. Put the kumquats back in the same pan and add one and a half cups (375 ml) of the sugar. Now add just enough fresh water to cover the fruit.

Heat gently, stirring as the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover and allow to sit for three hours.

Now put the pan back on the heat, add the remaining half cup (125 ml) of sugar and heat, stirring now and again, until the new batch of sugar has dissolved into the syrup. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave for another few hours, or overnight.

Place a colander on top of a bowl and pour in the fruit and syrup. Allow the fruit to drain for 30 minutes. Decant the syrup into a bowl and store in the fridge for use in an ice cream or dessert.

Half-Candied Kumquats Dipped in Dark ChocolateArrange the fruit, cut side up, on piece of baking paper set on baking sheet. At this point, you can leave the kumquats in a warm, draughty place to dry out for a day or two, or you can dry them in your oven (this works very well if you have a fan-assisted oven).

Turn the oven to its lowest temperature setting and leave the fruit to dry out overnight. How long you dry the fruit for depends on how chewy you'd like it: mine were perfect after 12 hours in the oven.

Dredge white granulated sugar over the fruit and toss well so that each piece is lightly coated. Melt the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir well. Using your fingers or some small tongs, half-dip (or fully dip!) each piece of fruit into the chocolate. Set aside in a cool place to dry.

The kumquats will continue to dry out over the next few days. I was hoping to tell you how long these kept, but of course, in my house of chocolate fiends, they didn't.

Makes about 50 pieces.

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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

this sounds absolutely devine

Marisa said...

I am as smitten by the chocolate/orange combo as what you are. Do tell where you found your kumquats? I bought some the other day but they were horrid (mealy and disgusting).

Juno said...

Thank you Anon and Marisa. I got them at Checkers.

Oxana said...

Mammamia che buono!! Ti coppio la ricetta! Veramente è molto bello e interessante! Brava!
Un bacione

Nina Timm said...

Man Jane you really do know which strings to pull at...I have such a craving for sweets....

tandysinclair.com said...

this is my type of snack! You could use the left over sugar syrup in a jack daniels cocktail :)

Juno said...

Grazie Oxana, Nina! Vi do un bacione (Thanks, Google Translate). Great suggestion Tandy: I have changed the text to include your cocktail suggestion.

Jessica said...

I love a chocolate and orange combination. In this case though, I don't think I would like these without the kumquat being candied, so I think I'll give them a try. They do look delightful!

jessyburke88@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

It is extremely interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Kate Swenson

Juno said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, Kate and Jessica.

Elizabeth said...

Oh I love kumquats! But this looks like a fabulous way to eat them...chocolate makes everything better...

Kate Liquorish said...

Just delightful, this is such a gem!

Rose&Thorn said...

There is nothing better in the world - chocolate and orange. I have never bought kumquats before. I see them and never really feel inspired enough to try them - you have changed that with this post. Hubby and I are pigs with dark chocolate and thrown in orange and we'll be oinking our way through this in no time!

Jeanne @ CookSIster! said...

OMG that sounds divine!! I never used to like candied citrus but the older I get the more I like it. And beside, I just love saying the word kumquat ;-) And OMG yes I love Tandy's suggestion!!

Hermina said...

That looks really yummy! kumquats, I have never used it in cooking or baking so i am excited to find a recipe on it.
You did good job and i love your blog, I will see you soon again!!!

Anonymous said...

Rather nice place you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

Anete Swenson

The Blue Faerie said...

Hmmm... we have an African grocery store down the street. I wonder if they sell kumquats...

Looks yummy!
dancingspatulawand.blogspot.com

Oxana said...

Ciao Ann,
non è arrivato il tuo pacco;((

Juno said...

Thank you Elizabeth, Kate, Rose, Hermina and Blue Faerie: your comments are much appreciated.

Juno said...

@oxana

Mi dispiace sentire che il pacco non è arrivato. Penso che è stato perso nel post. Ti manderò un pacco nuovo domani.

(Ho usato Google Translate per questo messaggio.)

xx

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Anonymous said...

This is soooo delicious, we have a kumquat tree and usually we make marmalade, but this year mum and I made up a chocolate dipped, candied kumquat recipe that was absolutely divine, however they were slightly too sticky and so I used this recipe for better quantities. FANTASTIC!