I work on the cupcake on the month about two months ahead of time. I knew exactly what recipe I was using for the cake back in August, but I was toying with the garnish for bit. Then I decided on candied orange peel to compliment the flavors in the frosting.
After researching instructions on it, I decided on Giada DeLaurentiis's method. It was simple and only took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The result is yummy, and my husband requested a whole container of them to snack on.
To garnish eighteen cupcakes I used one orange. Simply remove only the orange peel from an orange. Be careful not to remove the pith. I used a citrus peeler and it worked beautifully. Then cut the peel into thin strips about 1/2 inch wide.
Then bring about two cups of water to a boil and blanch the orange peels for about one minute. Drain, rinse the peels in cold water, and repeat this process.
In a small pot, combine 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water until dissolved. On medium heat, cook the orange peels until they become translucent. About 20 minutes.
This is a great garnish for cakes or cupcakes. You can also dip half of the peel in melted chocolate. Store the peels in an airtight container for a week or freeze for several months.