Moroccan spiced oranges make an easy Moroccan dessert recipe. Looking for recipes for fresh oranges? We feature two easy versions of Moroccan spiced orange.
You would be wrong to assume that Moroccan spiced oranges doesn’t sound that exciting. You will find them everywhere throughout Morocco and if it is good enough for a well-regarded cooking school to feature it, then I think it is fairly safe to assume it is good enough for us.
Our main recipe for Moroccan spiced oranges requires only three ingredients, takes only five minutes to prepare and you can make it beforehand, making it perfect if you are hosting a Moroccan-themed dinner party, especially if the entrees or main courses are rich. A Moroccan spiced orange is a lighter touch to the end of a meal.
Enjoying ripe oranges in Morocco was very easy because they were extremely tasty. Along with Spain, Morocco is the place I have most enjoyed oranges. Which makes sense as you can see Morocco from Spain and there was Moorish influence in both countries.
Before we move on to our spiced orange desserts, I’ll briefly describe some of our favorite Moroccan dessert recipes and where we tried them.
Moroccan Desserts You Can Expect in Morocco
Let’s just back up a second and remind readers that Morocco did not gain independence from France until 1956. This isn’t a political statement but to make the point as to how much French, and to a lesser extent Spanish, influence there still is in Moroccan cuisine. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to Moroccan dessert recipes. It’s also worth mentioning desserts eaten by tourists in restaurants are not necessarily those eaten by the Moroccan people in their homes. That said, here are some of the desserts we enjoyed in Morocco and where we ate them.
We enjoyed chocolate crème brulee, as well as chocolate fondant, both from La Table Madada in the seaside town of Essaouira. Both these dishes were sublime and were as good as any other versions I have previously tried.
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Peach pana cotta and prickly pear ice cream from the Salt Restaurant in Marrakech. No that is not a mistake and it was simply divine. You can read more about the Salt restaurant and Marrakech here.
The two, superb desserts we enjoyed at Palais Armani in Fes were the baked stuffed apples with almonds, raisins and orange blossom and the buttermilk and almond basbousa with orange and cardamom syrup. Both these desserts were beautifully spiced and honestly to die for.
Another highlight in Fes, were the two desserts we enjoyed at Dar Roumana. The bitter dark chocolate tart with strawberry coulis and caramel ice cream. Just as good was the Sephardic bitter orange and almond cake with lemon sorbet and yogurt. As you can see recipes using fresh oranges feature heavily in Morocco.
We also enjoyed our fair share of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. The bottom line is if you enjoy a good dessert then you won’t be unhappy when it comes to Moroccan dessert recipes.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is the most common Moroccan dessert recipe is a fruit platter. We saw more of those than any other dessert in Morocco.
Common fruits include apples, bananas, clementines, grapes, kiwi fruit, persimmons, plums and pomegranates, and, of course, oranges.
Rather than serve plain oranges, here are two versions of Moroccan spiced oranges you can prepare and serve in a few minutes. Now you have a couple of recipes for fresh oranges. Hint: Valencia oranges work well for recipes using fresh oranges.
Moroccan Spiced Oranges Featuring Orange Blossom Water
The Moroccan orange is a high-quality product. If visiting Morocco, you will no doubt discover this yourself when enjoying orange juice at your hotel for breakfast. Or, you might take our advice and go for a Moroccan spiced orange as a dessert.
If you are looking for an easy Moroccan dessert recipe, here are two versions of Moroccan spiced orange. The first recipe features oranges, cinnamon, sugar, mint and orange blossom water, which is the “secret sauce” for this version.
Orange blossom water is also known as orange flower water. Strangely enough, it is a by-product derived from bitter orange blossom when extracting their essential oils. It is now quite commonly used in various western cuisines. It is naturally very popular in Morocco and features heavily in the local cuisine.
The following, short video shows how simple it is to prepare this Moroccan dessert recipe. All credit for the recipe goes to the Palais Armani Cooking School in Fes, which featured it as its dessert.
If you don’t have orange blossom water, don’t fear as we have an another version of the recipe featuring cinnamon and toasted sesame seeds.
An Easier Moroccan Spiced Orange Recipe
Don’t be fooled by the rather short list of three ingredients for these Moroccan spiced oranges. As for which type of orange to use, it doesn’t really matter. Go with whatever is your preference. In this recipe, I used navel oranges as they were in season and they are seedless, which is very convenient if you are intending to slice the oranges and have them on display on a plate. Valencia oranges also work very well.
I have elected not to use sugar for two reasons. The navel oranges were beautifully sweet, and not bitter at all and, yes, we try to minimize our use of processed sugar. However, sometimes oranges can be on the bitter side and sugar does help to tone the bitterness down. So, if your preference is to add sugar then go right ahead. As you can see above, the orange blossom water version does indeed use sugar.
The third ingredient we are using is ground cinnamon. Many of you will probably have this popular spice at home. Along with cumin, it is heavily used in Morocco.
- 1 tsp sesame seeds toasted
- 2 oranges Navel oranges are seedless, Valencia also good
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- Dry toast the sesame seeds by heating a small pan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir continuously until they change color to a golden brown. Remove the sesame seeds from the hot pan to a saucer or small bowl.
- Cut the orange into half inch (1.5cm) slices, leaving the skin on. Then cut each slice in half vertically, as pictured. Arrange on a plate. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon. You can optionally refrigerate the sliced oranges until ready to serve.
- Just prior to serving, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the sliced orange and serve.
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