Jan 31, 2009

Chocolate Cherries

If these candies are not made carefully, with the cherry completely covered, the action which turns the fondant into the thin juicy syrup will not be complete. The chocolate coating will then be affected- causing granular chocolate and leakage of the syrup.

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoon of water

  • 1/4 cup margarine

  • 60 canned maraschino cherries with stems and already contain corn syrup

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

  • Crisco for greasing the pan and the cookie sheet or parchment paper.


Line 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy medium saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir gently over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup comes to a boil.

Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 F (soft ball). Immediately pour the hot syrup into the prepared 9 X 13-inch pan. Let the syrup cool undisturbed until the bottom of the pan feels lukewarm to the touch.
Using a heavy wooden spoon, stir the lukewarm mixture -until it forms a ball. Some of this fondant may stick to the 9 X 13-inch pan. The fondant may also seize into a very hard ball that is impossible to stir.

Drain maraschino cherries well and keep them on a terry cloth towel for several hours to dry as thoroughly as possible. Place prepared fondant into upper part of double boiler, with cool water in lower section. Bring water to boiling, then lower heat and stir fondant, over water, until it is completely melted. Heat fondant to 160 F. for dipping cherries.

If a thicker coating is desired, let fondant cool to 150 F. Use candy thermometer for testing. Keep fondant over very hot water (about 200 F.) during dipping process. If fondant becomes too thick for dipping, a few drops of hot water may be added, or reheat over boiling water. Dip cherries, one at a time, in thick fondant, using fork if possible. Turn each one over quickly into a wax-paper-lined pan.

When fondant-covered cherries are SET and COOL, check for any tiny holes in the fondant. Dip candies into your melted chocolate which has been allowed to cool to about 88 F., and turn over onto waxed paper, and when dipping is completed, let candies stand in a cool room (55 F.) for about 1 hour, then dip bases only again into the chocolate, to prevent leakage and increase keeping quality.

Do not eat right away. allow at least three days for ripening. Hint: If fondant does not cling to cherries, it is too thick. Reheat fondant or thin with a few drops of hot water. If fondant does not harden on cherries within 10 minutes, it was undercooked, or too much water added. If fondant on cherries breaks before an hour, it was too thin. To prevent leakage, dip fondant-coated cherries into chocolate within an hour after coating them, due to the reaction taking place. (However, any holes in the fondant must be repaired with more fondant before dipping into the chocolate.)

Seal the ball of fondant into a 1-gallon plastic Ziploc bag, removing as much air from the bag as possible. Let the fondant rest 1 minute before continuing. With the fondant sealed in the plastic bag, roll the candy with the heel of your hand, pressing down toward the counter. Continue this light kneading motion until the fondant looks smooth and creamy and feels like a firm cookie dough, about 10 minutes. Set the fondant aside, wrapped in plastic, while you prepare the cherries. The fondant can be made up to a week ahead of time and kept well wrapped in the refrigerator.


Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Place the cherries on paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. Butter a large cookie sheet. Line it with wax paper and set it aside. Place the fondant in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, simply place the fondant in a. medium bowl that fits snugly over a pot of simmering water. Stir the fondant until it melts.

Rest a candy thermometer in the melted fondant and continue to stir gently, working around the thermometer, until the fondant reaches 150 F. Turn off the heat. Stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of the reserved cherry liquid to give the fondant a pink color and a mild cherry flavor. Should the fondant fall below 150 F, turn the heat on low and bring the water back to a simmer just until the temperature of the fondant rises back to 150 F.

To dip, hold one cherry by the stem and quickly dip it into the melted fondant to cover the cherry. Avoid getting fondant on the stem. Place the dipped cherry on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining cherries until all are dipped. Stir the fondant occasionally. If the fondant becomes too thick as you dip, add more cherry liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thinner consistency is reached. Set the dipped cherries aside while preparing the chocolate for dipping.


Melt 12 ounces of the semisweet chocolate in the top of a clean double boiler set over hot water. If you don't have a double boiler, simply place the chocolate in a bowl that fits snugly over a pot of hot water. When the chocolate has melted completely, remove the top part of the double boiler or the bowl from the hot water.

Add the remaining 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Insert a candy thermometer or chocolate thermometer into the melted chocolate. Its temperature should be 88 to 90 F. If the chocolate is too cold, place it back over the hot water until the temperature reaches 88 to 90 F. If it is too hot, let it cool until the desired temperature is reached.

Hold one fondant-covered cherry by the stem and dip it into the melted chocolate to cover the pink candy coating. Repeat the process with the remaining cherries until all are dipped. Stir the chocolate occasionally.

Let the cherries sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Place them in the refrigerator overnight, and the chocolate will harden while the centers liquefy. Store the cherries in a single layer in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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