Oh, rainy Spring days…
It’s just impossible do anything out of the house with the storm outside. Fortunately, it’s always a great way of me and Mia to make some sweet treats together. Rainy days are not the best thing for my sweet-tooth…I think I’ve made chocolate fudge more than five times since Thursday (without counting the rest of the week), and can already consider myself an authentic “fudge gollum”. There’s more fudge in my stomach than anything else that I’ve been eating, that’s for sure.
Let’s make some cookies then. I always like try to teach Mia good eating habits, even when sweets are concerned, so all these recipes are whole-wheat, with no refined ingredients (including the sugar).
This makes a beautiful garnish for desserts, or just a simple coffee treat. It’s one of those confections that you never think of making at home. But it is possible! I wouldn’t consider this to be the easiest recipe on the book, but if you have a candy thermometer at home, it may be quite simple. For those who don’t (which is my case), I hope your experience will help you. This recipe belongs to Michel Roux, one of my favorite pastry chefs. His works are wonderful, although his recipes are of difficult interpretation for beginners. One thing is positive though: “Só não acontece a quem não faz” (“It never happens for those who don’t do it”)!
Candied Citrus Peel Sticks (Michel Roux)
2 oranges, or 1 orange and 1lemon (any citrus fruit works)
400g (2 cups) caster sugar
Using a sharp, flexible knife, cut off a 5mm sliver from the base and top of the fruit. Starting from the top and following the contour of the fruit, cut off 5 bands of peel, 3cm wide and 6cm long, from each fruit (including the pith). Cut each band into 3 strips, each 1cm wide.
Put the strips in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Refresh, drain and repeat the operation twice more.
Pour the 300ml of water into a saucepan, add the caster sugar and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. As soon as the syrup boils, drop in the blanched citrus peel sticks and cook gently at 90ºC for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Leave the citrus sticks in the syrup until barely warm, then lift out onto a wire rack and leave to drain until cold. If you wish, roll them in granulated sugar. Store in airtight container and use within 3 days.
Note: I didn’t use the exact sizes that are mentioned, because I think we could all do it the way we like most. So don’t worry, you don’t have to be cutting the sticks with a ruler!