Chocolate Covered Cherries

  • Serves: Makes about 60-65 cherries
  • Views: 14926
  • Comments: 13



I always use this recipe when making chocolate covered cherries. I love the fondant recipe; it always wins taste tests around here! The recipe has to be made the day before so the fondant has a chance to rest. I use a good quality dark chocolate for coating the cherries with! I love to finish my cherries with a white chocolate design!
The centers of the cherries will liquefy if allowed to sit for a week or two. Have you ever wondered how this happens? I  explain how this works.
CANDY RECIPE HELP

MSBREEZ, Premium Member, Says: "The chocolate covered cherries disappear in my house within the first 3 days! Let us see your beautiful chocolate covered cherries when you've made them!"

Sarah's
Secrets

How does this work? The "liquid" is actually fondant which is what is the white layer wrapped around the cherry. The juice from the cherry acts on the sugar causing the fondant to liquefy, and only after being encased in something like chocolate! 

INGREDIENTS
Fondant Ingredients
1 pound (approximately 4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted; measure and then sift
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter; softened if mixing by hand, or cold, if using stand mixer and cut cold butter into 10-12 pieces
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cherries
2 jars of maraschino cherries in light syrup
1 cup liqueur of choice or rum, optional
MSBREEZ SAYS: I use stemmed maraschino cherries

Chocolate
12-ounce (2 cups) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips; MSBREEZ SAYS: I like to use Ghirardelli brand dark semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening; do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil

INSTRUCTIONS
STEP I: MAKE THE FONDANT

1. Place powdered sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in butter pieces, corn syrup and vanilla.

2. Mix together on low until the butter softens and mixture clumps together, taking about 20 - 30 seconds. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl with a large rubber spatula.

3. Then mix on medium speed until smooth and the mixture forms a soft paste, taking about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Seal well in plastic wrap and place in an resealable airtight plastic bag or container, and then chill overnight.

STEP II: PREPARE THE CHERRIES
1. Drain cherries from jar at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight in a colander placed in the refrigerator.
MSBREEZ SAYS: Note to self: use a bowl under colander to catch juice!

Or, optionally, soak cherries in liqueur or rum for 1 to 2 hours and then drain at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight in a colander placed in the refrigerator.

STEP III: ENROBE THE CHERRIES IN FONDANT
1. Cover two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper or foil or grease with butter and set aside.

2. Empty colander with cherries onto paper towels and pat tops of cherries with extra paper towel to ensure dryness.

3. Take the fondant from the refrigerator and pinch off a a piece - about 1 teaspoon for each cherry - from the chilled block.
Make sure the fondant stays chilled while you are working. If your kitchen is warm, pinch off enough to make six cherries worth at a time and refrigerate the rest; if the fondant becomes too soft, it will become too soft to work with and form around the cherries. Keep the unused fondant covered with plastic wrap at all times.

4. Press the fondant piece between your fingertips to about 1/4-inch thickness and large enough to be able to cover your cherry with.

5. Wrap your pressed fondant piece around one dry cherry.

Then quickly roll the cherry between your fingertips to smooth the fondant.

Try not to use your palms to roll the fondant covered cherries with as they are the warmest part of your hands, and will melt the fondant easily. I also wear confectionery gloves so the fondant doesn't stick to my hands. The gloves also help keep my hand's heat from melting the fondant!

6. Place the fondant covered cherry on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the cherries and sheet loosely with plastic wrap.

If your kitchen is warm, keep the fondant covered cherries in the refrigerator; you do not want to fondant on the cherries to soften. Make sure you cover the baking sheet and the cherries with plastic wrap.

7. Repeat the cherry fondant covering process, Step 3, Enrobe the Cherries in Fondant, #s 2 - 6 with the remaining cherries!

STEP IV: COVER THE CHERRIES IN CHOCOLATE
If you use refrigerated cherries, allow them to come to room temperature a few hours before dipping it in the melted chocolate. If you use cold fruit, condensation will form and that will prevent the chocolate from sticking.
MSBREEZ SAYS: The easiest way to cover the fondant covered cherries is to dip them in melted chocolate chips. I am all for easy! Tempered chocolate does work best, and "I got it right this year (08). No re-dipping required and no pooled chocolate."

1. Cover two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper or foil or grease with butter and set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening until ALMOST melted in a double boiler or in a bowl over hot water. Make sure you stir slowly the entire time. Remove from the heat and stir the chips until fully melted.
 
3. Hold the cherry by the stem. Dip cherry in melted and slightly cooled chocolate chips, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the pan. Then, shake the dipped center over the bowl of chocolate or tap it on the side of the bowl to get rid of the excess. This is so the chocolate won't pool or foot when placed on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper to dry. If the melted chocolate becomes too thick, it is probably too cool. Simply place over a bowl of hot water and stir until fluid, again.

Keep stirring the melted chocolate in an "S" motion with a heat-proof spatula, each time before you dip your fondant covered cherry or when not in use.

If you have cherries without stems and don't have dipping tools, you can use a plastic fork with 2 center tines removed. I did this though and I think it leaves too big of marks on the bottoms. That's why I also prefer using cherries with stems attached as opposed to dipping tools!


Here's what it looks like when the chocolate pools at the bottom. I find that it works to re-dip the bottom so it is covered in chocolate again (when using melted chocolate, tempered chocolate sets better). But, remember that right after dipping, shake the dipped center over the bowl of chocolate or tap it on the side of the bowl to get rid of the excess.

3. Place dipped cherry on buttered baking sheet in at room temperature or place in refrigerator ONLY until chocolate has set. Do NOT store cherries in the refrigerator.

STEP V: OPTIONALLY DECORATE THE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES
MSBREEZ SAYS: After dipping the fondant covered cherries and the dark chocolate coating sets, I like to decorate mine with white chocolate!
1. I use Ghiradelli white chips and melt them in a disposable pastry bag in a pan of warm water, making sure the bag is watertight!

2. Remove the bag from the water and dry the outside of the bag well with paper towels. With a pair of kitchen shears, snip about 1/8-inch of the tip - to start - and go to town: swirl, swagger, dot, line...or whatever designs you like! You can cut the tip larger, if desired!

STORAGE
Store cherries in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature for the best flavor. If you keep them stored for about 1 to 2 weeks, the centers will turn to liquid.

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