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Old 11-06-2004, 08:38 AM   #1
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Bourbon-Soaked Chocolate-Covered Long-Stem Cherries

For those of you who wanted to know how to make cherry cordials, but were afraid to ask, here's my technique. The bourbon can be very easily omitted altogether for a cordial with much less of a punch! And it looks a lot more complicated than it is.

I'll warn you, though: If you do ever make these and hand them out as gifts or serve at parties, you'll be constantly begged to bring them over and over again... And, yes, these will get your attention.


Bourbon-Soaked Chocolate-Covered Cherries

About 100-125 medium long-stemmed cherries
About a cup of really good bourbon
Fondant (recipe below)
1 pound of tempered dark chocolate

Drain long-stemmed pitted cherries and dry them well on paper towels. Then place them stem-side up in a Tupperware container and cover the cherries with bourbon. Allow them to soak at least 24 hours, but the more you soak, the “merrier”…

Remove the cherries and set aside to drain well on paper towels and reserve the bourbon (it is cherry-flavored, though).

Fondant

1 ½ cups water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
4 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Set aside a 9”x13” glass baking pan.

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup sugar and salt. Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a full boil. Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer and cook, without stirring, until the mix reaches 240 degrees F. (soft-ball stage).

Remove from heat and, without stirring or scraping the pan, pour the fondant into the baking pan. Leave it alone to cool to room temperature (about 6 hours).

When the bottom of the pan is no longer warm, begin stirring the fondant with a wooden spoon. This will be a slight workout, as the mixture eventually (after about 10 minutes) begins to turn white and thicken. Continue until the fondant becomes creamy white and firm, usually about 15-20 minutes.

Gather the fondant up into a ball and wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and allow it to rest 45 minutes or so to soften, or place into a heavy-duty Ziploc and allow to rest on the counter at room temperature overnight. (It will also store for weeks in the fridge, and practically until the end of time in the freezer...)

This makes enough centers for about 125 chocolates.

To make the cherries…

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. (This will hold the dipped chocolates.)

Divide the fondant in half and place half in the top of a double boiler. Over medium heat, melt the fondant, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Add about ¼ cup of your reserved bourbon and stir gently to incorporate. Clip on your candy thermometer and bring the fondant up to 150 degrees F. (It will be necessary to repeat this stage with the remaining fondant to complete the rest of the cherries.)

Using one cherry at a time, dip the cherry into the fondant, allowing the fondant to come almost to the top of the cherry, but not all the way to the stem. Set aside on waxed paper to harden.

While those are drying, it’s time to temper the chocolate

Chop chocolate blocks into small pieces or use chocolate wafers.

Fill bottom of double boiler so the hot water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan. Do not let the water boil. Stir the chocolate while melting to ensure even heating. Try to avoid creating air bubbles. Heat chocolate to 120 F. to 122 F.

Replace the hot water with 70 F. water, no cooler. Stir until the chocolate cools to between 79 F. and 80 F. It may occasionally be necessary to add additional cool water to the bottom of the double boiler.

Now replace the 70 F. water with warm water (about 92 F. to 93 F.) and raise the temperature of the chocolate to between 88 F. and 89 F. for dark chocolate or 84 F. to 86 F. for milk chocolate or white cocoa butter coating (white chocolate). Maintain the appropriate temperature while dipping. If the chocolate exceeds 90 F., it will be necessary to repeat the tempering process.

Once all the cherries have been dipped and the fondant is hardened around them, using one cherry at a time, dip each cherry into the melted chocolate and be sure to completely cover the cherry – all the way to the stem – to completely encase the fondant. Set aside on waxed paper to harden.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The cherries will need to “cure” for about two weeks for the centers to completely liquefy. Of course, test-tasting along the way…just to be sure…is always recommended.

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Old 11-06-2004, 12:07 PM   #2
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audeo, do you have a favorite brand of chocolate? It's hard for home cooks to get some of the chocolates that are recommended by various other forums and magazines. I'll make the effort to get the 'better' chocolates if the rest of the recipe warrents it or I'm using top quality/fresh/expensive/timeconsuming recipes...don't want mediocre choclate keeping a great dessert from being all it can be. I'd like a source for the times when this is an issue. honestly about once a year I get geared up in that regard, and this is it. thanks.
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:28 PM   #3
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Audeo, if Santa brings me a candy thermometer, I will definitely give these a go! They sound luscious.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:03 AM   #4
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Bug, they're addictive...be carefull!

Southerncook, after quite a few years of trial and error (and when you get down to it, the differences are rather small), I now use Guittard's Columbian Varietal or the Sur del Lago Varietal dark chocolate Coventures, both of which are a 65% cacao. The Columbian is a little less acidic, while the Sur is quite acidic and downright reddish -- I prefer it for dipping these cordials. These both, as most do, come in a 1kg. sectioned brick (or 2.2 lbs).

Scharffen Berger makes a delicious 70% bittersweet that I also very much like. I have not tried their 85% Extra Dark, but perhaps someone else here has. I absolutely love their semi-sweet -- it makes such a wonderful coating!

In a separate thread, Darkstream described an 85% cacao Lindt that I am going to try.
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Old 11-07-2004, 03:00 PM   #5
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Audeo...with great looking recipes like this, I can see Texas is going to be famous for more than Dr Phil...lol....I gotta try these!!! Thanks Pst :D
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:38 PM   #6
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LOL, pst!!! Hope you enjoy them!
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:57 AM   #7
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Bump. Another great recipe Audeo! Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2004, 06:30 PM   #8
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Re: Bourbon-Soaked Chocolate-Covered Long-Stem Cherries

O.K....some hints when you make these the first time. I asked audeo about the cherries, get the marachinos and drain them before soaking in the burbon. also LOOK at them. most jars of cherries are stemless, especially the store brands. The recipe calls for stems on. I'd love to make this w/fresh but I'd have to wait too long.

"When the bottom of the pan is no longer warm, begin stirring the fondant with a wooden spoon. This will be a slight workout, as the mixture eventually (after about 10 minutes) begins to turn white and thicken. Continue until the fondant becomes creamy white and firm, usually about 15-20 minute"

This is an understatement!! be prepared and have back up hands available and use the best wooden soon you have. The wider the bowl of the spoon, the more you stir at one time, when your dealing with candy like this bigger IS better!
Make fondant a day or week before making the cherries. have little paper cups on hand (candy cups) so you don't have to handle the cherries more than once. Use high quality chocolate. Temper the way you know best keeping audeo's temps. An automatic (like for meats) temp/timer works beautifully with candy, and it'll beep when the fondant comes up to temp so you don't have to stand over it. this step also takes time.
If your chocolate freezes up there are ways to save it, those facts are worth looking over before you start especially if your using the good stuff.
Once you have everything in place to begin dipping the cherries, consider making some choc. ganache. You can pipe this into dried mission figs and dip in the chocolate for some variety (these go for 6/28.00$ in ws). I'm also going to stuff the glazed apricots with a whole almond and dip those. I wish those tempering machines were'nt so darn expensive!!!! question to you guys...would you blanch the whole almonds first and remove the skins? would roasting the almonds be better??? richer flavor maybe???I'm not doing those until the weather clears up, which may be never...
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:28 AM   #9
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The tip of using the largest wooden spoon in the house is an excellent one, southerncook!

LOL! You're not kidding about the workout! I knew I'd get some feedback on this subtle hint of mine once someone made the fondant!!! :twisted: But the difficulty, I find, depends upon the humidity, as well. "All hands on deck!" has been called in my kitchen more than a few times...!

Allowing the fondant to ripen is also important...it just gets better with age. I made a huge batch of the stuff several days ago. Some of it had bourbon incorporated and went on cherries (!), and the rest will be made into truffles or incorporated into fudge and the like later. And some will go into the freezer for making more cherries on the fly.

I'm curious: how do you use the candy paper cups? Do you put fondant in those, or do the finished cherries go in?

I love dipping fruits and your idea of piping ganache into figs, then dipping them is fabulous! As far as almonds go, I have both blanched and toasted them. I like the flavor more of the latter, but both techniques IMO yield a tender almond. I'd say try both and see which you prefer!

Such great advice here! Good job, southerncook!!!
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:34 AM   #10
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They sound like a huge effort and I have just the kitchen for lot's of hard work.
I am bookmarking this thread for future use.
Like when the kitchen is once again, operational.
Man oh man, I have a friend that adores chocolate covered cherry's like from out of the box with that runny creamy stuff inside. I think she'd give me all 3 of her kids if I made her these. AND I WILL
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