Liquor-Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries

By dancingintheraine

December 15, 2009

Category: Uncategorized

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I absolutely looooooove chocolate covered cherries. Did you know that there are so many different types? There are even some that have ground coffee (not Folgers) on the outside of the chocolate! Be experimental… in life… in chocolate 🙂

There are some easy ways to form the shape of the finished candy… some people buy candy molds, and others use a medium artist paintbrush (I’ll get back to that later). You can use whatever sort of chocolate you want, but many of the more experienced home candy makers use wafers.

There are two different recipes in this one. Please take the time to look at both. Depending on your preferences, you may find one easier than the other.

If you need to find certain things to help you make your special items, you can go to this website for inspiration and items: Wilton

Recipe #1

Reasonably priced project that will take about 2 hours. The two hours is about what it takes me to fondant dip and chocolate dip 75 cherries.

You Will Need:

1 Maraschino Cherries jar

White, Dark, And Or Milk Chocolate Melted And Tempered

1 Liquor your favorite

1 Candy Fondant recipe, your preferred fondant

Jars To Soak Cherries In

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1. Grab your preferred bottle of liquor, drain your maraschino cherries, and put them into a glass jar that has room for one to two cups of liquor.

Since I can I have the 32 Oz mason jars handy.

Put cherries into jar and cover with your liquor. Many use rum or bourbon, but feel free to explore!

Put into the fridge and let soak any where from 24 hours to a year. (yep some people soak them that long)

2. Fondant is a key ingredient in most chocolate covered cherries recipes. Fondant is made from sugar, water and corn syrup. You can make it at home, or buy ready-made fondant or powdered fondant mix in stores that specialize in cake decorating. If you make your own fondant, it will need to sit for 24 to 48 hours before using, so plan accordingly. With fondant, you can add different flavorings to and dip into chocolate.

Here is one recipe for fondant, and there is another one at the end you may like as well.

Melt your 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, add your can of sweetened condensed milk, add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (this helps the sugar crystals reform smaller crystals resulting in a smoother fondant)then work in your two pounds of powdered sugar.

You end up with a nice ball of fondant. It should be pliable, but not super sticky, if it is, add a bit more powdered sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 24 hours if you are patient enough.

This is enough fondant to make lots of cherries, or some cherries and other goodies.

3. Ok, it has been a week, look at how nice and red the liquor got!! Drain your cherries.

DON’T THROW AWAY THE LIQUOR, WE WILL USE SOME OF IT!

If I am going to make more of the same type of cherries, I will add a bit more liquor to the jar before adding the next batch of cherries.

4. Now while your cherries dry, you break off a piece of your fondant, if you are doing about 24 cherries, the piece of fondant should be a bit larger than your fist. You can always melt more, but I always end up melting more than I need. Better safe than sorry.

There are commercial fondants you can buy and add the liquor to, or you can make your own.

The fondant will liquefy over time, or you can help it liquefy quicker if you add a drop or two of invertase to the fondant when you melt it down to dip. Once you add the invertase you have to use the fondant, because it will break down into a syrup. Invertase (systematic name: beta-fructofuranosidase) is a sucrase enzyme. It catalyzes the hydrolysis (breakdown) of sucrose (table sugar) to fructose and glucose, usually in the form of inverted sugar syrup.

Dig out your double boiler, or put a metal bowl on top of a pan with simmering water, not boiling, keeping the pan on low heat, put your fondant into the top of your double boiler, break it up and it will melt faster.

Add three to four tablespoons of the reserved liquor you soaked your cherries it. It will help melt the fondant and make it a pretty pink.

You want the fondant melted enough to dip your cherries in.

If take a cherry and dip it, if it coats the cherry and you can see a bit through the fondant you are in business. Sometimes I rush it and it is a bit too thick. But I am impatient somedays.

If you are using invertase, now is the time to put it in, stir well.

5. DO NOT DIP YOUR CHERRIES ALL THE WAY TO THE STEM IN FONDANT. IF YOU DO YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEAL THE CHERRY TO KEEP THE JUICE FROM LEAKING OUT.

6. Now break up your chocolate, at least 24 ounces. again I always tend to melt more than I need, but if I don’t use it all I just retemper it and use it next time.

Use simmering NOT boiling water in your double boilers, and gently melt the chocolate, depending on what type you choose, will depends on the tolerance to heat. It’s best to use a double-boiler to melt chocolate. Double-boilers consist of two pots that fit together. Water is placed in the lower pot and the steam provides heat to the pot on top. Double-boilers help prevent accidental overheating of delicate foods such as chocolate or butter.

If you don’t have a double-boiler, you can use two pots that fit together easily. If you don’t have two pots that fit together, then heat the chocolate over low heat and stir constantly until melted. It will only take a few minutes, so do not leave the pot unattended or the chocolate could scorch.

White chocolate is very delicate when it comes to heat, then milk, then bittersweet.

I use all three types. People like variety.

Yes, I temper my chocolate, if you want to temper yours, this is a good resource:

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/155/Tempering-Chocolate

Tempered chocolate gives you that nice satiny sheen.

Now that all you cherries are covered in fondant, put them in the fridge and let them set for a good 20 minutes or more.

7. Hold by the stem and dip your cherry.

Make sure there is no moisture on the cherry or stem, if there is, your chocolate will seize and it will be good for making sauce and that is about it.

To keep your chocolate at a good melted temperature, take a flat heat pad and place the pan with the chocolate in it on the heat pad set on low to medium, depending on how hot your pad gets. Be sure to dry off the bottom of the pan first.

8. Completely submerge your cherry. I like to dip to at least 1/2 way up the stem, to make sure it doesn’t leak the juice out when the fondant starts turning liquid.

9. Again, make sure you dip half way up the stem.

Hold the cherry and let it drip off, gently scrap the bottom of the cherry along the edge of the pan, or the bottom of a spoon.

Don’t scrape too much off or you will have no bottom on your cherry.

Some people use a wafer for the cherry to sit on, to help give it that commericalized square bottom… you can find those here: Wafer

Candy wafers are small discs of chocolate, which melt easily. They have a rich taste and a smooth texture, and are available in a variety of colors and flavors.

10. Keep dipping until you are done. Now ideally you let these sit from 24 hours to a week, but I’ve “tested” them as soon as they were solid.

But letting them age, give you that nice liquid center.

Recipe #2

Makes 48 candy pieces

Ingredients:

1 – 14-ounce bag of chocolate candy wafers – you can use milk or dark chocolate

2 – 12-ounce jars Maraschino cherries, drained, stem removed

1 cup basic fondant

Directions:

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of Maraschino cherry juice to basic fondant and stir well. Fondant should be a medium consistency and slowly drip off the spoon. If it’s too thick, continue to add cherry juice until it becomes the consistency you prefer.

Pour chocolate candy wafers into the upper portion of the double-boiler pan; melt over medium-low heat; and gently stir until wafers are melted.

Using a teaspoon, fill each candy mold half-way with melted chocolate. Using a medium artist brush, paint the sides of each mold with the chocolate; making certain the inside of each candy mold is coated all the way to the top.

Place one Maraschino cherry in each mold. Add approximately 1/4-teaspoon of fondant to each cherry.

Pour approximately 1/4-teaspoon melted chocolate over the top of each cherry and using the bottom of the spoon, gently spread chocolate over the top to ensure that there is a seal over each candy mold.

Place cherries in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Remove cherries from the freezer and flip molds upside down on top of the wax paper. If the candy does not easily release from the molds, flex the molds a bit until the candy pops out.

Place each chocolate covered cherry into a paper candy cup or wrap individually in foil, and place into a gift box or airtight container.

Chocolate covered cherries should be stored at room temperature to retain the liquid center. If you refrigerate or freeze them, allow them to return to room temperature before eating them. Otherwise, the center will be more of a nougat consistency, which depending on your taste could be a good thing!

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Ok, it is really easy to do, but can take up a bit of time, but so worth it when you see them charging $25 a pound for them, and they aren’t even soaked in liquor!!

Chocolate covered cherries should be stored at room temperature to retain the liquid center. If you refrigerate or freeze them, allow them to return to room temperature before eating them. Otherwise, the center will be more of a nougat consistency, which depending on your taste could be a good thing!

Bon Appetite!

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If you didn’t like that fondant recipe, here’s one. You will need:

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

2 Tablespoons of the reserved maraschino cherry liquid

3 Cup Powdered Sugar

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In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons reserved cherry liquid until it is smooth and velvety. Turn the mixer to low and slowly sift in powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix until well incorporated. If mixture is too sticky, add a bit more powdered sugar, and if it is too stiff, add a bit more cherry juice. You should end up with a pale pink mixture the consistency of slightly soft butter. This is your fondant filling.

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