Chocolate covered cherries...with fresh cherries?

I’m SO happy to have found where all of my sugar experts from Chowhound landed. I posted this over there but obviously didn’t get much of a response. So, HOs, please help (btw, I love calling people 'hos!)!

I’m planning some candy making for the holidays and I was wondering if any of you have ever made chocolate covered cherries - the type with a fondant and gooey cherry center, specifically. I loved this type of chocolate covered cherry as a kid, but as I’ve gotten older I find they are far too sweet for me to enjoy. However, I had a thought - could they be made with fresh sour cherries? All of the recipes I have seen call for maraschino or other candied/preserved cherries, which makes sense since you want the candy to be somewhat shelf stable. However, I would imagine that the fondant coating would preserve fresh cherries reasonably well, right? Have any of you candy makers ever tried this before?I was also thinking that soaking them in booze for a few weeks before making the candies would do a good job of preserving them (and possibly make them taste even more awesome!), but again, not sure, and I don’t want to risk anyone biting
into a moldy cherry! Please advise if you’ve ever tried this - thanks HOs!

I’ve only made them with the maraschino cherries. I would imagine you could use fresh cherries but I doubt they would last very long, as in not a good idea for gift giving. Not sure where you would get fresh sour cherries this time of year.

I made them once and dipped in tempered bittersweet chocolate which cut down on the sweetness.

I have loads of sour cherries in the freezer from this summer’s haul, so no problem there. I decided to give the alcohol thing a try and put three dozen of them in 80-proof kirschwasser to soak the other night - I figure they’ll be well-preserved within a couple of weeks. I have a feeling that they’ll get eaten quickly regardless, but surely the alcohol soak and sugary coating will preserve them adequately for a while.

I have previously boozed up cherries (step one to your process, sounds like).

Poking holes in them isn’t necessary, but is kind of fun. More than five years later, I still kinda remember opening the fridge and seeing them smile out at me. :smile:

The booze soak should help. You do want the cherries preserved in some manner, whether in sugar or alcohol. A fresh or frozen cherry surrounded by fondant is not the same as a sugar-infused cherry, you would still have a wet, low sugar environment in the center of the cherry that could mold or ferment.

Yes, that’s what I was afraid of. Apparently the booze also helps the fondant dissolve somewhat (I understand that invertase is usually used to make that happen), which presumably should create a high sugar, high alcohol liquid that will get inside the cherry and keep things safe for a while.

You could also try dried sour cherries soaked in liquor to soften them. Not the same juicy texture, but you wouldn’t have to worry about water content. Yes, invertase is usually used to soften the fondant, because when you are capping the bonbons, you want the fondant firm enough to not ooze out under the weight of the chocolate. If the fondant (or ganache or caramel, or whatever your filling is) is too soft, capping becomes a challenge, and not the fun kind of challenge.

I thought about dried cherries, but they tend to be pre-sweetened as well, which is what I’m trying to avoid. I’ll keep your advice about the fondant in mind, though, and make sure it’s plenty firm!

Well, I made these tonight - I tasted one out of the kirschwasser soak and it seemed pretty thoroughly preserved, so I decided to forge ahead. Made a fondant out of butter, powdered sugar and a bit of sweetened condensed milk, wrapped the cherries and froze them, then enrobed them in 72% dark chocolate. DH ate one and said it was delicious, but I’m going to wait until the fondant has a chance to soften a bit.

Butter in fondant? Hmmm, ok… fondant is usually just sugar… you made “fondant” :smile: Did you use invertase, or are you just counting on the liquid from the cherries being absorbed by the powdered sugar? I’m sure they’ll be delicious no matter what, I hope they work out the way you want them to! But I’m wondering if the butter coating the powdered sugar would interfere with it absorbing the alcohol. Time will tell.

If you want to get serious about technique, check out Peter Greweling’s book ‘Chocolates and Confections’, it’s nicely comprehensive and also has troubleshooting guides and good explanations of how various confections work. He also has a newer ‘at home’ version of the book. The original version that I have has three formulas for cherry cordials - starch molded, dipped, and shell molded - using fondant, brandied cherries, brandy, invertase and chocolate (no butter or SCM).

Yes, I know I made “fondant” - this recipe appealed to me in that I like a bit of a creamy center, and I figured if I made the real deal and used invertase, I’d just end up with liquid. We’ll see how it goes! Thank you for the book recommendation, though - I would love to get a little more serious about chocolate and it sounds like this would be a great intro!

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