HeyHomie (Hi Rasta!) Fresh orange peel is so much tastier than dried because of the oil in the citrus peel. If ya look at the skin of an orange, you’ll see little dots; they contain the favorful oils ya want. By zesting, or lightly scraping with the fine holes of a cheese grater, you release the oil. If you do it on a cutting board, you’ll lose a good deal of oil.
My MO: get a bowl big enough to accomodate a grater (faster than a zester, but a zester makes nice decorative curlies for garnish), and lightly grate around the perimeter of an *uncut * orange. You can then juice the orange. Zesting an already juiced orange is a mess. The bowl will have caught a lot of the oil on its side. Take a wee bit of Hot water-to dissolve the oil- and swish it with the peelies. Voila! A nice potent orange flavoring. Zest of citrus fruit adds a lot of flavor without the acidity of juice; richer and more intense.
The dried peel has lost a lot of it’s flavor because the oil was lost by evaporation. If you use dried peel, add a bit of boiling water to it to soften it and release what oil is left. If you want the flavor in a quicker form, orange oil (not the cleaning kind!) is the way to go, but measure it in drops, as it’s quite concentrated. Orange liqueur would do as well.
As Daniel said, chocolate and orange oil are a perfect match. (Nice brownie lagniappe, DW!. I’ll try it!) For a wonderful chocolate sauce, add some orange zest/oil/liqueur to the heated chocolate, and a dab of vanilla extract. The high note of the orange balances the bass of chocolate, with the vanilla singing harmony. MMmmm, now I’m all kindsa hungry. Hope this helps.