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Chocolate-covered Cherries


arc
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I am looking for a bit of guidance on making chocolate-covered cherries.

My initial crack at this was an unmitigated disaster. After sifting through dozens of recipes online and elimating ones that contain parrafin wax (that can't be a good sign, right?), I settled on a recipe that included marinating the cherries in rum, making a thin fondant, covering them in high-quality chcolate, and then letting them "mature" in the cellar for about 3 weeks.

The horrors! The cherry tasted like it was plucked from a 70's wreath, the fondant never broke down inside the chocolate shell, and the shell itself became a nasty, crackly, whitish ghost of its former Callebaut glory.

I have some specific questions:

(1) Did I do something wrong, or does this have the tell-tale signs of a bad recipe?

(2) Are there special cherries that one can buy for this purpose? I used a high-end Spanish cocktail cherry, but it still wasn't very good.

(3) How can I balance the moisture of the cherry and the amount of fondant to ensure that the centers get that wonderful liquidity?

Thanks all,

Andrea

Edited by arc (log)

Andrea Castaneda

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You'd need to add some invertase to help the fondant break down and liquidize. And usually maraschinos are used. If you can't find invertase, there's also Fermvertase which is a natural product to change fondant from a solid to a cream.

Or if you can't get any, just add some spit. :raz::laugh:

Edited by kew (log)
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Chocolate-covered cherries are covered in-depth in the Jean-Pierre Wybauw book - in fact, there is a whole chapter on fruit-in-liqueur chocolates.

There's too much detail to try to reproduce here, but there are several different recipes as well as complete instructions and a description of the chemistry. Invertase is an important part of all of the recipes.

:Clay

Clay Gordon

president, pureorigin

editor/publisher www.chocophile.com

founder, New World Chocolate Society

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Last summer I got a bunch of tart cherries at the farmer's market and put them up in cognac and sugar. Kept them refrigerated. A couple weeks ago I decided to chocolate dip some as a garnish for a dessert. I rolled them in cocoa powder and dipped them in melted Sharffenberger chocolate. They turned out fantastic, but I only made one per person and I thought I was going to get hung when I said I didn't have any more!

The cherries were quite juicy and everyone said they were the best they'd ever had. I've used the cherries in other desserts as well as just as a garnish in the glass of cognac. I need to make alot more this year, for sure.

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Interesting mklynch! It sounds so...deliciously unsophisticated. The invertase strand had me a bit concerned, especially the requirement of "one drop per pound of fondant". I mean, I like chocolate covered cherries and all, but can't imagine working my way through a pound of fondant.

A

Andrea Castaneda

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Interesting mklynch! It sounds so...deliciously unsophisticated. The invertase strand had me a bit concerned, especially the requirement of "one drop per pound of fondant". I mean, I like chocolate covered cherries and all, but can't imagine working my way through a pound of fondant.

A

Most of the recipes I have seen would make me think that the ratio is 1 drop to 1 pound of fondant sugar - which might be more reasonable.

I like mklynch's approach a lot, but it strikes me as something that should be made a la minute or within a few hours of being served at most, otherwise the alcohol in the cherries, even with the cocoa powder coating, might start deconstructing the chocolate shell. Drying the surface of the cherries is important also, I imagine, otherwise there is the chance of the chocolate seizing (even with the cocoa powder coating).

I have an event I am doing shortly and I am going to do these a la minute for dessert (at this point probably using store-bought cherries in liquor). I will bring out the temperer, but get really messy and "roll" the cherries like I might a conventional ganache center in chocolate in my palm. Might get some of my guests to help me on this one - tasting the "rejects" sounds like a lot of fun.

:Clay

Edited by chocophile (log)

Clay Gordon

president, pureorigin

editor/publisher www.chocophile.com

founder, New World Chocolate Society

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I like mklynch's approach a lot, but it strikes me as something that should be made a la minute or within a few hours of being served at most, otherwise the alcohol in the cherries, even with the cocoa powder coating, might start deconstructing the chocolate shell. Drying the surface of the cherries is important also, I imagine, otherwise there is the chance of the chocolate seizing (even with the cocoa powder coating).

I have an event I am doing shortly and I am going to do these a la minute for dessert (at this point probably using store-bought cherries in liquor). I will bring out the temperer, but get really messy and "roll" the cherries like I might a conventional ganache center in chocolate in my palm. Might get some of my guests to help me on this one - tasting the "rejects" sounds like a lot of fun.

:Clay

I have made these several hours in advance (4ish) just shaking off the alcohol as they come out of the jar, and sans the cocoa powder, without any problems. take mklynch's warning though and make several per person to avoid rioting in the dining room ;->

I did them impromptu the first time to work around someone's food allergies to my main dessert, and they are now part of my regular repertoire.

We call our cherries soaked in alcohol & sugar "Happy Cherries", and the chocolate dipped ones are even "Happier" :biggrin:

I've been meaning to try the same thing with my "happy raspberries" but I'm afraid they won't be strong enough to hold together though the dipping process. any Tips that might help?

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I also did a version of a Rompotf last year. As each berry variety became ripe, I added a layer to jars with Maker's Mark and sugar. The results are wonderful. The raspberries fall apart, however. They do impart a great flavor though, so I'll use them again just for that effect. As with the cherries, I need to triple my production as the end is coming much too soon!

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