If there ever was a time we needed comfort food it is today. Something sweet to sooth the soul and have you smiling with delight. A jelly roll to the rescue. What a delightful idea. Bake a cake. Spread jam on it and roll it up. Easy, peasy. The ingredients are all there in your kitchen – eggs, sugar, flour, flavouring and jam.
A classic sponge cake is not difficult to make. Simply carefully follow the instructions. The eggs must be a room temperature, or a little warmer, and then beaten with sugar for at least ten minutes, or until thickened, tripled in bulk and full of air. It requires no leavening other than the air that is beaten into the eggs.
RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN BROWN SUGAR CAKE This unprepossessing plant. This long awaited harbinger of spring type of plant. This new darling of avant-garde young chefs. This wonderful rhubarb is the upside-down topping on the most delicious of brown sugar cakes. It … Continue reading →
This is the epitome of decadent desserts. Deeply dark, warm chocolate cake served right out of the oven. Warm chocolate cake has an edgy reputation for being a difficult production. Many recipes have you making the cake, baking the cake, then serving the cake. It is all too last minute and stressful for the hostess in the kitchen preparing the cake while dinner guests wait for dessert.
This is a straight forward recipe. It requires a few ingredients. The very best chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar and flour. The secret to this gorgeous dessert is to MAKE IT AHEAD OF TIME. One refrigerates the cakes for 24 hours before you bake them.
You bake the chocolate cakes for twelve to thirteen minutes. The centers of the cake will feel soft and not quite fully set when you touch the centers. The edges will be firmer. This is the magic moment to pull your spectacular desserts out of the oven
You can serve these little darlings with a tiny sprinkle of fleur de sel (or flaky sea salt). A generous scoop of cherry custard ice cream and you have a deconstructed Black Forest Cake. When I want the dessert to be very very French I pour liberal lashings of my salted caramel sauce over the cake.
Individual soft-centered chocolate cakes prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving. The recipe is easy to make and can be served with ice cream or salted caramel sauce.
2 tablespoons sifted Dutch-process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder , plus extra for ramekins
Soft butter for the ramekins
8½ ounces (250 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (preferably Callebaut or other high quality chocolate) coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons (3 oz/85g) butter, cubed, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (85 g) SIFTED powdered sugar
⅔ cup (90g) all-purpose flour
Sprinkle of sea salt (preferably flew de sel)
Butter eight six ounce ramekins generously and dust them with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.
Sprinkle a little flaky salt into each ramekin.
Place the chocolate and the butter in a bowl of a pot of simmering water and melt until it is nearly smooth. Be extremely careful you do not get any water in your chocolate mixture. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate and set aside.
Whip the eggs and powdered sugar on high speed of a stand mixer for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape when you lift the whip.
Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and sprinkle in the flour and coco Beat until it is just mixed. Do not over beat.
Fold about one quarter of the whipped eggs into the bowl of melted chocolate.
Fold half of the lightened chocolate mixture BACK into the eggs, mixing thoroughly.
Now gently fold in the rest of the chocolate mixture until completely combined.
Divide the chocolate mixture between the ramekins and cover tightly with saran wrap.
Refrigerate over night.
About an hour or two before you plan to bake your cakes remove them from the refrigerator. Remove the saran wrap and let the cakes sit to bring the ceramic ramekins to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 3530F (180c). Set the cakes on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 13 minutes. The centers of the cakes should feel soft and not quite fully set when you touch them in the center. Remove the cakes and let sit for 5 m minutes to settle. The heat of the ceramic ramekins will continue to bake the cakes so it is important that you do not over bake. Usually not quite 12 minute will be perfect, but it will depend on the ramekins you use.
To unmold your cakes carefully run a knife along the inside of your ramekins to loosen the take.
Flip the ramekins on to your serving plates and covering the hot ramekins with a pot holder give them a quick hard shake. They should come out with the first shake. If not do it again.
Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or salted caramel sauce.
Last December I baked this rich fruit cake in a loaf tin. This year I adjusted the recipe slightly and baked it as a traditional Christmas cake. You have lee way as to the size of cake tin you use – any spring form pan between eight and ten inches. Using a cake tin allows the cake to bake more evenly. You simply adjust the oven baking time.
The ingredients are simply guidelines. The recipe calls for candied mixed peel, cherries and dried apricots. You could use dried figs or dates. Pecans, slivered almonds could replace the chopped walnuts. The brandy decanter is empty – substitute sherry or perhaps an exotic liqueur. The recipe is so forgiving.
There is so much pressure surrounding the holiday season. We need to be calm and take a step back. Enjoy our family. Glory in the season. This fruitcake is more than the sum total of its parts. Its very simplicity gives one a chance to take a breath and enjoy preparing food for those we love.
This cake also freezes well.
LIFE IS A FRUITFUL SLICE! MAKE THIS QUICK FRUITCAKE LOAF TODAY. ENJOY IT TODAY.
An easy to make to glazed fruitcake loaf that slices beautiful. Enjoy it the same day you bake it.
1 generous cup halved red or green glace cherries
1½ cups of a mixture of candied mixed peel, dried currants and golden or dark raisins. Your choice.
⅔ cup dried apricots, chopped (about 6-8)
½ cup brandy or sherry
⅔ cups (5.3 oz) soft, unsalted butter
½ cup each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda and salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp each ground allspice, ground cloves and freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or a combination of pecans and slivered almonds your choice
Brandy or Sherry Glaze
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
7-8 tsp tsp brandy or sherry (approx)
Two hours before you plan on baking this loaf combine glace cherries, mixed peel, currants, raisins, apricots and brandy (or sherry) in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat. Cover and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325F. Generously butter a spring form pan - eight, nine or ten inch pan. The smaller sized pan will give you a higher cake, but all are exceptable. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in Vanilla.
In separate bowel whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg until combined.
Stir into the butter mixture just until combined.
Stir the nuts into the fruit mixture and mix well.
Stir the nuts/fruit mixture into the butter mixture in two additions - JUST UNTIL COMBINED.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake until cake tested inserted in centre comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.Start checking your cake about 15 minutes or so before the end of baking time. The smaller springform pan may take a little longer to bake. Don't overbake your fruit cake.
BRANDY (SHERRY) GLAZE
In a small bowl whisk icing sugar with brandy or sherry. Add additional brandy ¼ tsp at a time, if needed, until consistency of very cold thick molasses.
Brush half of the icing over hot loaf and let cool completely in pan. This helps even out the cakes bubbly surface.
Remove the cake from the pan and spread the remaining glaze over the cooled loaf.
Chocolate dark as midnight. Caramel sauce – toffee-like with just a suggestion of burnt sugar. A superb marriage of flavours. CHOCOLATE AND SALTED DULCE DE LECHE TART is a very indulgent and very very French dessert. One sees it on the menu of discerning French restaurants. One adores eating it. But faced with the complex demands of making the perfect crust, the silky smooth chocolate filling and the smoky rich caramel sauce the perfect hostess pops into her favourite patisserie and picks up this tart.
This recipe takes the tears and pressure out of putting this dessert together and you can do it in about twenty minutes. It is an uncomplicated recipe.
Chop up some roasted nuts, chocolate and oat digestive biscuits in the food processor. Mix it with melted butter and press it into a loose-bottomed tart tin(a must). The can of dulce de leche is opened and two-thirds of it are poured over the chilled crust. Use the rest of the dulce de leche and pour it over cake or ice cream. Chocolate and cream are stirred together to make an unbelievably smooth and creamy sauce. Pour this over the dulce de leche and tuck the tart into the fridge to chill. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the finest flakiest sea salt in your pantry. Malden salt would be absolutely perfect.
Keep the tart refrigerated until you are ready to serve it. Cut narrow slices (it is incredibly rich) and quickly slide the tart onto the plate. The dulce de leche will immediately slip out of the cut tart to form a fantastic sauce.
If you are an enterprising cook you could turn this into your own personal production by making the oat digestive biscuits and caramel sauce yourself.
DECIDEDLY DECADENT CHOCOLATE AND SALTED DULCE DE LECHE TART
An indulgent and dazzling dessert. Easily made and impossible to resist. A superb combination of chocolate and caramel.
1 cup (100 g) hazel, walnut or almond nuts.
2½ cups (250 g) oat digestive biscuits(or use graham crackers).
14 oz (400 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa) coarsely chopped. To be divided.
¾ cup (6 0z. 175 g) unsalted butter
¾ cup (200 g ) double cream
¾ cup (200 g) dulce de leche (from a 300 g tin of dulce de leche)
pinch of flaked sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread the nuts on a baking tray and roast in oven for 5 or more minutes giving the tray a good shake halfway through, until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Butter your 9 inch (23 cm( loose-bottomed tart tin ( 9 inch) very well.
Put the nuts, the biscuits and about ¾ cup (100 g 3½ oz) of chocolate in food processor. Pulse until chopped. You want a crumbly mixture, NOT a powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Melt butter in a small pan, then begin to pour into the biscuit mixture. Don't pour it all in at once. You might not need the entire quantity of butter depending on the type of biscuits you use; just enough to hold together when pressed in your tart tin.
Tip the mixture into your tart tin and press into the bottom and up the sides to make a crust. You'll find using the flat bottom of a measuring cup handy for pressing down the bottom of the crust.
Chill in the fridge while you make the filling
Put the cream in a medium sized pan and carefully heat until a few bubbles form on the surface and it threatens to come to the boil. IMMEDIATELY remove from the heat.
Add the remaining coarsely chopped chocolates and stir until the chocolate is melted. If the chocolate is not melted completely put the pan on the still warm burner but DO NOT turn on the heat. Also, be careful not to get any water in your chocolate mixture at any time.
Remove the tart tin from the fridge. Spoon the dulce de leche over the biscuit base and use a spatula to spread out evenly.
Pour over the chocolate mixture and return to the fridge.
After about 20 minutes or so sprinkle the sea salt over the top of the tart. Return to the fridge to set fully.
This is not your usual carrot cake recipe. This is a carrot cake made sublimely rich with butter replacing the oil. The results are a fine, firm crumb that holds and slices beautifully (so necessary in a layer cake). Th cake is not complicated. You can stir it up in one bowl without using your mixer. Use it for the most important of occasions, like birthdays and weddings. One can bake a four tier cake and have an impressive tower of indulgence (held in place with dowling of course). Refrigerated, the cake holds well so you can enjoy nibbling cake over a couple of days (if it lasts that long).
And then there’s the frosting. It is outrageously wonderful. Rich, creamy, buttery and exquisitely flavoured and enriched with cream cheese. It is the light as air volume that takes this cake creation over the top. There is absolutely no doubt. The frosting is sublime. The frosting is uncomplicated and foolproof. You simply beat the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar until is fluffy and smooth. The volume will seem like a lot of frosting, but use every bit. Lavish the frosting between the layers and on the top of the cake. Don’t frost the side of the cake.
Butter replaces oil in this one bowl cake. Uncomplicated to make.
1½ cups (325g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (170g) melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one orange
4 eggs at room temperature
2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2½ cups grated carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
1 cup (110 g) chopped roasted walnuts
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING;
250g package cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup (115g) butter at room temperature
4 cups (580g) sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (55g) coarsely chopped walnuts to decorate your cake
Preheat oven 350F. Grease with butter two 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
Stir the sugar and butter together in a large bowl (or you can use your stand mixer)
Stir in cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and orange zest
Stir in the eggs until well combined
Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda all at once and stir well to combine
Stir in the carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake 30 to 35 minuets or until a cake taster poked into the middle of the cakes comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs still sticking to it. Do not over bake.]
Let cool in pans set on a rack for ten minutes then flip the cakes out of the pans onto the racks, remove the paper, and cool completely
To make the frosting beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy (by hand or in a mixer).
Add the icing sugar all at once and stir until combined.
Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Place one layer on a cake plate and top with about half of the frosting. Spread it right to the edge then gently place the next layer on top. Frost the top leaving the sides bare
Sprinkle the cake with chopped walnuts if desired.
The other day my favourite local grocery store featured organic lemons – twenty five cents each. A bargain. I filled my shopping bag with a couple of dozen of these little darlings to make PRESERVED LEMONS.
PRESERVED LEMONS are one of the indispensable ingredients of Moroccan cooking. I use it not just in tagines or with lamb and chicken I add the lemons to salads and vegetable dishes and use the pickling juice in salad dressings. No matter what some food writers say their unique pickled taste and silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice.
The important thing in preserving lemons is to cover them with salted lemon juice. Preserved lemons are not complicated to make. You partially slice the lemons. Jam them into sterilized jars, add a few spices if desired and freshly squeezed lemon juice, You let the lemons ripen in a warm place for thirty days, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Used pickling juice can be used to make salad dressings and excellent Bloody Marys.
If it important when preserving any type of food that you sterilize your jars and lids, and various tongs and spoons(in this case wooden), Your prep area should be immaculate and you should guard against cross-contamination.
An complicated recipe for preserving lemons in salt. An indispensable ingredient for Moroccan cooking. Delicious with chicken and lemon and salads.
5 lemons (a couple of extra lemons if needed for juice)
¼ cup coarse salt, more if desired
1 CINNAMON STICK
5-6 CORIANDER SEEDS
3-4 BLACK PEPPERCORNS
1 BAY LEAF
FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE, IF NECESSARY
The best way to extract the maximum amount of juice from a lemon is to boil it in water for 2 or 3 minutes and allow it to cool before squeezing.
Quarter the lemons from the top to within ½ inch of the bottom.
Sprinkle the salt on the exposed flesh and reshape the fruit.
Place 1 generous tablespoon salt on the bottom of the mason jar.
Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt, and the optional spices between layers.
Press the lemons down to release their juice and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them add freshly squeezed lemon juice (NOT CHEMICALLY PRODUCED LEMON JUICE AND NOT WATER). Use a WOODEN spoon to force the lemons into place.
Leave some air space before sealing the jar.
Let the lemons ripen in a warm place (your kitchen counter works) and shake the jar daily to distribute the salt and juice.
Let ripen for 30 days. Then refrigerate.
To use rinse the lemons,as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pul if desired
Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year..
You can accomplish this in just five minutes a day. I promise you. It is so simple. You can do this if you can hold a wooden spoon, and have a big mixing bowl or container and two loaf pans.
Step one you mix water, yeast, flour, salt, sugar and oil all together into one easily mixed dough. This is done in a few minutes. No kneading.
Step two you leave the dough to rise on your counter. It rises to heady heights but you don’t punch it down. Step four you refrigerate it and let it have a good rest.
When you are ready to bake your bread you remove a portion of the dough, form it into a ball, then into a loaf shape and sit it in a loaf pan to rise. All that’s left it to bake your bread and then indulge in the joy of home made bread.
This recipe is unbelievably simply. BUT IT WORKS. You can mix and store the dough in the same container using only a wooden spoon. A stand mixer is nice but not necessary. You need two loaf pans (if baking all the dough). And that’s it. You can store the dough for up to seven days in the refrigerator and bake bread when every you like. This bread recipe is so obliging. It’s not messy. It requires little space. Perfect for small kitchens. And even better for vacation cottages when the nearest store is ten miles away.
This recipe makes a fine crumb, dense bread that slices perfectly and stores well. Do not refrigerate your baked loaf.
ZEN AND THE ART OF BREAD MAKING IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY
If desired egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing the loaf.
YOU CAN DOUBLE OR HALVE THIS RECIPE.
MIXING THE DOUGH:
Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and oil with the water in a 6 quart lidded (not airtight) container or a 5 quart stand mixer.
MIX IN THE FLOUR - KNEADING IS U NECESSARY:
Add all of the flour at once, measuring it with dry-ingredient measuring cups or by weighing the ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle until the mixture is uniform. It you're hand-mixing and it becomes too difficult to incorporate all the flour with the spoon, you can reach into your mixing vessel with wet hands and press the mixture together. DON'T KNEAD. It isn't necessary. You're finished when everything is uniformly wet, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes, and will yield a dough that is fairly tacky.
ALLOW TO RISE:
Cover with a lid that fits the container well but isn't completely airtight. If you're using a bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, depending on the room's temperature and the initial water temperature - then refrigerate it and use for up to 7 days. If your container isn't vented, allow gases to escape by leaving it open a crack for the first couple of days in the fridge. After that you can usually close it, but a vented container is best.
You can use a portion of the dough any time after the 2 hour rise. Fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature, so the first time you try this method it is best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf. Once refrigerated, the dough will seem to shrunk back upon itself and it will never rise again in the bucket - that's normal. NO NEED TO PUNCH DOWN THIS DOUGH.
ON BAKING DAY:
Grease an 8½ x 4½ non stick loaf pan with butter. Grease heavily if you are not using a nonstick pan.
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and, using kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it's hot intended to be incorporated into the dough,. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The correctly shaped loaf will be smooth and cohesive. The entire process should take no more than 20 to 40 seconds.
Elongate the ball into an oval and drop it, seam side down into the prepared pan.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 MINUTES. You may not see much rise during this period; must more rising will occur during baking. If you are using fresh dough, that has not been refrigerated, you only have to let it rise 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until medium golden brown and well set.
Remove from pan. If the loaf sticks, waiting 10 minutes and it will steam itself out of the pan.
Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours) preferably on a wire cooling rack, for best flavour, texture and slicing. Cutting into a hot loaf is tempting, but it won't slice well and may seem underbaked if you break into it before it's cooked.
Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded or loosely plastic-wrapped container and use it over the next 7 days.
If you store your dough in the mixing container, you'll avoid some cleanup. Cut off and shape more loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 2 pound portions in an airtight container for about 3 weeks and defrosted in the refrigerator before using.
When it’s not quite winter. Not quite spring. When dingy snow piles up in secret places. When thoughts of exotic get a ways dominate your day. This is the time to ladle out the exotic flavours of Thailand and Malaysia. And this is the soup that borrows from these cuisines and fills your soup bowl with its spicy taste balanced with sweet and sour back notes.
I like this recipe for its ease of preparation and the readily available ingredients. The only time consuming part of the recipe preparation is the julienned carrots. The recipe calls for green beans. When they are out of season I substitute tiny frozen green peas. The recipe is easily doubled.
The coconut milk I prefer to use is AROY-D. I also prefer AROY-D red curry paste. These products are readily available in most Asian grocery stores, of in the Asian food department of major grocery stores.
ESCAPE TO SUNNY CLIMES with SPICY TOFU AND RED CURRY COCONUT SOUP
1½ cups green beans cut into 1 inch pieces or 1½ cups tiny frozen peas
1 (14 oz) package water-packed soft or medium tofu cut into ½ inch pieces
Heat oil in a large,deep sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and ginger and saute lightly for about 30 seconds.
Add curry paste and saute for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly until combined
Add brown sugar and cook for another minute or so.
Stir in the lime juice, zest of lime and soy sauce and give it all a quick stir.
Add the coconut milk and mix well.
Add the broth and scrap up and brown bits in your pan.
Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer gently for l hour. Don't be tempted to shorten the cooking time. The coconut milk releases the rich cream and combines with the red curry paste during the low low simmer.
Add your carrots and cook for 6 or 8 minutes.
Add beans and cook for 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and tender.
If you are using green peas add them with the tofu and cook for 2 minutes.
I will never forget the first time I tasted home made marmalade. I was visiting relatives in Scotland. They lived on a sweet farm just outside Dumfries. A behemoth, ancient Aga stove dominated their kitchen. Several large pots simmered away and filled the air with the perfume of oranges. Knives flashed and turned the knobbly peel of Seville oranges into fine, slender slices. Batches of the most perfect of preserves, homemade marmalade, cooled in small jars.
The season for these sour oranges is short. Just a few weeks in late January and February. Sometimes you can still find them in stores as late as March. Every marmalade aficionado know the best marmalade uses Seville oranges. Their thick, bitter peel holds the secret to this most heavenly concoction. It is this peel and pits that supply the necessary pectin. One can buy marmalade but it never tastes quite as delicious or gives us the same satisfaction of making it ourselves .
Making Seville orange marmalade is a two day process. However, it is not difficult. You juice the oranges and thinly slice or finely chop the rind the first day and have it sit quietly over night. The next day you add the sugar and cook the marmalade. You do need a good size pot and a candy thermometer. Absolutely no pectin is added.
One does not refer to marmalade as jam. Jam is made with fruit and even vegetables, but marmalade is always and only made with citrus fruits. The name is Portuguese in origin and refers to a preserve made with quince.
A classic recipe for a popular spread. Seville orange marmalade requires no added pectin. Lavish its rich citrus flavour on toast or biscuits. This recipe takes two days.
6 Seville oranges or other sour oranges (2 pounds /1 kg total weight) preferably organic
1 navel orange, preferably organic
10 cups (2.5 liters) water
pinch of fine sea salt
8 cups (l.6 kg) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) cognac, whiskey or Grand Marnier (optional)
Sterilize jars (see chef''s note)
On day one halve the oranges and squeeze out the juice and seeds from each half into a mesh strainer set over a medium sized bowl.
After all the oranges have been squeezed place the seeds on to a generous piece of double layer cheesecloth. Gather up the sides and tie securely with kitchen string.
Cut each rind in half and then slice as thinly as possible. If you are having problems slicing the orange peel thinly try using a very sharp serrated knife.
Put the oranges slices into a large pot or a large Dutch oven. Add the orange juice, water, the bag of seeds and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Be sure to maintain this medium heat and not let the temperature drop to low.
Remove from the heat and cover. Let stand overnight at room temperature.
The next day stir in the sugar and set the pot over high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil then decrease the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture is not burning on the bottom until the marmalade reaches the jelling point. Depending on your like your marmalade your candy thermometer should register 217F (110C) for a thick spread, or if you want a runny marmalade take it to slightly before those temperatures.
If white sum occasionally rise to the top, skim it off with a large spoon.
Stir in the spirits if using and remove the bag of seeds squeezing it with a pair of tons to extract as much marmalade from it as possible.
Ladle the marmalade into the sterilized jars and cover tightly. Let cool and refrigerate.
The marmalade will keep for at least 6 months in the refrigerator or 1 year in the freezer.
You can sterilize your jars in the dish washer or your oven but I prefer to to boil my jars for 5 minutes. I also sterilize my tongs and spoons. It is important when doing any type of preserving or caning that you do no cross-contaminate your product.