I posted last week about making Christmas gifts, many of which I can't post too much about this year, as lots of friends and family keep tabs on this blog. This one isn't so sensitive and it's a bit of a brainwave if I say so myself.
Bottled as a gift, or for your own personal enjoyment, this is a relatively cheap and it's very easy.
Whole or dried Oranges
Sugar- Light brown, caster, granulated or dark brown
Add equal quantities of sugar and water to a pan- 1 US cup of each would yield roughly 150ml syrup, stir to help disolve the sugar- I used dark brown sugar for this batch, hence the colour.
Add 3-4 cinnamon sticks, half a teaspoon each per cup/150g sugar of cloves and cardamom pods, 2 star anise pieces and either 2 quarter wedges of an orange or 2 slices dried orange
Set the pan on the lowest available heat and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, leave on low heat for approximately one hour, stir gently every 10-15 mins. Consistency should be like maple syrup or runny honey. Pass through a sieve into a jug, and bottle or jar.
TIP: If putting into Kilner/Mason jars or bottles with seals, pour and seal straight away, as the heat should sterilise the glass at the same time.
Although it's desperately 'festive', we're finding it pretty versatile- firstly, cheating with the mulled wine- 2 tablespoons of this, a 70cl bottle of wine and some low heat mean no messing with weighing sugar, or dry spices.
Also, um hello hot chocolate- a half teaspoon of this mixed through really delivers a Christmas kick to a hot drink and all this before we start talking about baking....