This recipe was inspired by two things: The first being a beautiful Ethiopia Borboya coffee roasted by George Howell that was recently put on the coffee menu at Boxcar Social in Toronto. I've tasted it a number of ways; as espresso, espresso with milk and as a pour over and all iterations are delightful in their own way. Generally we are getting candied lemon, semisweet chocolate and florals—like lavender, but the tasting notes differ in strength depending on how the Borboya is roasted, brewed and prepared. As you can see, developing a recipe for Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemons with Lavender is a homage to this coffee's tasting notes.
The second inspiration for this recipe was a tasting flight I had at Slate Coffee in Seattle. One of the courses featured a hot chocolate paired with a candied orange dipped in dark chocolate. It was an incredible tasting experience and the candied orange took both the flavors and presentation to the next level. If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend you carve out at least 45 minutes to indulge in a coffee tasting at Slate.
The first order of business when candying lemons, is to parboil the lemons twice to soften them a bit and clean them up. Some people prefer to cut their lemons into slices before parboiling them but I like to boil them whole because it's easier to maintain the integrity of their circular shape later. I recommend using organic lemons for a number of reasons, but most importantly because you will be eating the peel.
When you slice your lemons, be careful not to slice them too thin or they will not hold their shape well. It's also a good idea to remove all of the seeds before you boil the slices in sugar.
**this is a very simple recipe but it does take some time and patience—your lemons will have to dry on a rack over night**
- 10 small organic lemons (roughly 1 lb)
- 2 cups sugar
- 200g Semisweet Chocolate
- 1 tsp cullinary grade lavender
- pinch of Maldon Salt
- Rinse off Lemons. Poke a few small holes in the skins of each lemon.
- Place lemons in a pot with water bring to a boil and then dump out boiling water
- Refill pot with room temperature water and bring the lemons to a boil again.
- Once lemons have boiled for a second time, remove the lemons and put them into an ice bath to cool quickly.
- Cut the lemons into slices. Removing seeds and the end bits.
- Place lemon slices carefully in a pot so that they are level and cover them with sugar
- Turn stove on to it's lowest setting and simmer lemons for roughly 1.5 hours or until the skins start to look a bit translucent.
- Using tongs remove lemons from syrup and place them on a drying rack. (If you'd like you can save the lemony syrup for cocktails or baking)
- Leave your lemons on the rack to dry over night. They will still be a little bit tacky - that's ok.
- Use a mortar and pestle to prepare you lavender by grinding it into a 'dust' with a touch of salt.
- Chop up your semisweet chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler/ bain-marie (I used a heat proof glass bowl on top of a pot with water)
- Dip half of each lemon slice in chocolate and then sprinkle with a tiny bit of lavender.
- Put your chocolate dipped lemons in the fridge to set
- Store in a container between layers of parchment paper. Will last for about 2 weeks.
Remember a little lavender goes a very long way be sure to sprinkle it on to your lemons sparingly.