Have you ever tried chocolate dipped Mandarin oranges? If you have, I am sure I don't need to explain further, but if you have not, you've got to try these!
They make such delightful treats that are not only super delicious, but healthy too! After all, it only takes 2 ingredients to make these and that is the oranges themselves and dark chocolate. Easy right?
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges
I made these for the first time over the last weekend. I had quite a number of mandarin oranges at home and wanted to fix a quick treat, so the oranges came in really handy.
Mandarin oranges are available in abundance during Chinese New Year. Though I don't directly celebrate the festival, I always get lots of mandarin oranges from friends and neighbors who celebrate.
And since the New Year was just 2 weeks ago, I still had plenty of these oranges at home and it was a perfect opportunity for me to try out these chocolate dipped mandarin oranges.
Now, making these treats is not rocket science. After all, how difficult can it be to dipped something is chocolate? But here's the thing. Working with chocolate is not always easy, especially if you live in a hot climate country like Malaysia. The last couple of weeks has been extremely hot here, with day time temperature reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius. In this sort of temperature, working with chocolate is almost impossible unless the room is air conditioned. Even then, once the chocolate is brought out to room temperature, it becomes totally helpless to the heat.
And so, instead of using normal chocolate, I used compound chocolate. Compound chocolate is so much more stable with heat and was therefore the only chocolate I could use.
And I specifically chose dark chocolate over white and milk options as it works best for oranges, at least for me.
Here are a couple of noteworthy points in making these chocolate dipped mandarin oranges:
I chose Mandarin oranges over other oranges because Mandarin oranges are so much more easier to peel the skin by hand, and it is also so much easier to separate the segments without the walls leaking, unlike normal oranges where the skin is not so easily peel-able, and it is also hard to separate the segments inside without breaking the walls that surround the juice pulps inside.
Making sure the oranges are seedless is another important point. Its so much nicer to be able to pop one whole orange segments into the mouth and chew without having to worry about chewing into orange seeds.
In peeling the oranges and separating the segments, take extra care not to break the walls that hold the juice pulps in each segment. Even the slightest hole can result in the juice of the orange to leak and dipping these segments not only becomes harder as the juice makes the segments slippery and hard to hold when dipping into chocolate, it is also a messy affair.
Also, when peeling the oranges, remove every bit of the white threads of the skin on the segments so that the orange segments look clean and neat.
Immediately after dipping, place the oranges on a wire rack. This will allow excess chocolate to drip down and not create a pool of chocolate around the chocolate segments. Once the excess chocolate has mostly dripped off, the chocolate dipped orange segments can be transferred onto parchment paper. Parchment paper peels off easily from chocolate and therefore, is most convenient to use. Once the chocolate has set, peel the paper off and arrange in a serving tray without mess.
Place freshly dipped orange segments in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. The short period of refrigerating helps the chocolate set. Do not leave the fruits too long in the refrigerator as that will result in condensation on the fruits and chocolate once removed from the fridge. If you are using compound chocolate, the 'sweat' will not cause the chocolate to melt, but is definitely not aesthetically appetizing to see speckles of water all over the chocolate and the oranges.
If you live and a hot and humid country like me, it is advisable to use compound chocolate instead of normal chocolate. Compound chocolate is so much more stable compared to normal chocolate and does not melt off in hot climate.
Filling melted chocolate into a narrow and deep drinking glass-like container (heat proof) makes it easier to dip the oranges segments as compared to a wide bowl. You would not need as much chocolate just so that you can dip your orange segments in it. If you don't have any suitable deep container, instead of dipping the orange segments into the melted chocolate, you can always bring the orange segments close to the chocolate bowl and use a spoon to pour the chocolate over each orange segment while holding them with the other hand. Shake excess chocolate off and place the segments on a wire rack.
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges
2 Mandarin oranges
100g chocolate (choice of dark, chocolate or white)
Parchment paper and cooling rack
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt it over a pan of hot water (or heat up in a microwave, checking on the consistency at regular intervals. Once chocolate has melted, remove from hot water and allow it to cool slightly.
Separately, peel the oranges and break them up by the segments. Clean the segments of any white orange peel threads. Place in a clean plate.
While waiting for the chocolate to cool slightly, prepare parchment paper and baking rack. Cut parchment paper into small squares (enough to fit one orange segment each) and place the cooling rack over a large plate. The plate is to catch excess chocolate that drips of the orange segments placed on the wire racked after dipping into chocolate.
Once the chocolate as cooled slightly, hold the orange segments at one end and dip into chocolate, just enough to cover the orange segment to desired height. Lift the orange segment out of the chocolate, hold for a few seconds for excess chocolate to drip off and carefully place the dipped orange segment on a cooling rack to allow excess chocolate to continue to drip off. Repeat the process until all the orange segments have been dipped in chocolate.
Next, lift the chocolate covered orange segments and place them on the parchment paper prepared earlier. Arrange on a wide plate and place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate sets.
Remove from fridge and peel off the parchment paper. Arrange the chocolate dipped mandarin oranges in a serving plate to serve.
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges
Wasn't that easy? Try these today and let me know how you like them :)
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