You know those chocolate oranges that you whack to unleash the “orange” segments of chocolate, each little slice is rich in dark chocolate and laced with the most delicious orange flavor ever! Some of my best Christmas memories as a kid was reaching into my stocking and finding a chocolate orange. It was pretty much Christmas magic!
Chocolate oranges have been harder and harder to find. I pretty much freaked out when I found them at our Walgreens store that’s three blocks from our house. I immediately bought two of them and then realized that having them so close to my house could be dangerous. After I enjoyed a few slices of chocolate orange I knew what I had to do, it must be done.
I had to make Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Oranges, duh!
The chocolate bark may not crack open like the chocolate orange does, but it has juicy candied oranges (that we made ourselves, high five) on top and chopped almonds and some sea salt for balance. Guys, this stuff is good, it’s reeeeeal good! Each bite of silky dark chocolate is topped with some crunchy raw almonds and some sea salt – because salty and sweet is always the best – every few bites you get a candied orange that is bursting with sweet orange-y goodness. It’s pure bliss!
This chocolate bark is pretty easy to make, however the oranges do need to dry out for at least 8 hours after they have been boiled in sugar water for about 30 minutes. Once the orange slices have dried out and are less sticky, yet are kind of a gummy texture. Next all you do is melt your chocolate, add a little cinnamon and nutmeg for warmth and pour it on to a baking sheet, spread it out. Then you add the candied oranges, sprinkle on the chopped almonds and flaked sea salt. Pop the tray into the fridge to set up for 30 minutes. Then cut into squares, rectangles, or whatever shape and size you prefer. That wasn’t so hard was it?
Honestly, if you have never made candied oranges before it’s kind of fun. It’s amazing what boiling some orange slices in some sugar water for 30 minutes can do. The orange slices turn into little see-through gems. Their sweet orange, gummy texture goes perfect with dark bitter chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Oranges would make a great edible gift for friends, family, co-workers, as stocking stuffers, or to bring to a holiday party for a nice sweet addition to the menu. Just wrap them up in some clear plastic bags with a bow. No need to get fancy, let the beauty of the candied oranges and dark chocolate speak for themselves. Edible gifts are the best, especially when they involve chocolate, don’t you agree?!
If you decide to give this dark chocolate bark with candied oranges as a gift make sure you make a batch of it for yourself. OR steal a few pieces before you gift it, I won’t tell. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this one!
- CANDIED ORANGES:
- 1 organic navel orange (organic when possible)
- 1 ½ cups cold filtered water
- 1 cup organic sugar
- CHOCOLATE BARK:
- 16 ounces dark chocolate bar (I used 66% cocoa. You could use milk chocolate but I recommend the dark chocolate because it's a nice contrast the very sweet candied oranges)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅓ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- course sea salt for topping (optional)
- CANDIED ORANGES:
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or wax paper. Lay a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Grease the baking sheet with cooking spray or brush on oil. Set aside.
- Wash and scrub the orange really well to get off any pesticides and wax. It is best to use organic when possible because we will be eating the entire orange, rind and all. Cut off the very ends, which is mostly the pith and cut the orange in half lengthwise. Slice the orange into ¼ inch thick half moon slices.
- To a medium sized, wide sauce pot add the water and the sugar. Turn the heat on high, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once it is dissolved stop stirring, otherwise the sugar will crystallize. Allow the water/sugar to come to a gentle boil. Add the orange slices. Boil the orange slices for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and use tongs to carefully flip the orange slices over. Boil for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the rinds have become somewhat translucent. Keep an eye on the oranges while they are boiling to make the sugar doesn't burn.
- Once the oranges are done remove them from the heat and carefully transfer them to the prepared cooling rack. Allow them to cool for at least 8 to 10 hours, flipping half way through. They should become considerably less sticky and wet to the touch, although they will still be a little sticky.
- CHOCOLATE BARK:
- Once the oranges have dried out you can make the chocolate bark.
- Line a medium sized rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Break up the chocolate bars into a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 second increments, stirring the chocolate in between each time, until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet lined with the parchment paper. Use your spatula to smooth it out into an even, but somewhat thick layer - it may not reach to all of the sides. Randomly place the orange slices (you may have 2 to 3 orange slices leftover, you can eat them as is or dunk them in more dark chocolate). Sprinkle the chopped almonds around the oranges and sprinkle the sea salt onto the chocolate (sea salt is optional).
- Place the chocolate bark in the fridge for 20 minutes to set up. Lift the bark out of the baking sheet and on to a cutting board. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the bark into whatever sizes or shapes you would like.
- Store the bark in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, maybe longer, although the oranges tend to dry out the longer they sit - the bark is still good but it is better when the oranges are kind of juicy. If the oranges seem really sticky place parchment paper in between each layer of the bark to prevent them sticking to each other.
- If giving this as a gift you could put the bark in a nice clear plastic bag and tie a ribbon around it, or package it any other creative way you can think of.
It’s hard to factor in the nutrition facts because you can cut the chocolate bark into any size you would like. I based the nutrition facts on 16 servings. Please note that what is shown in the pictures are larger pieces than how we actually ate them.