Happy Valentine's Day...I'm giddy!
I know the anti-cupids say that this holiday is
just a wo/man-made conspiracy...
A hallmarking free enterprising day for making cha-ching
Bumping sales of greeting cards, roses, candies, jewelry and more...
A way to force the people in our lives to say I LOVE YOU
Should that really be a hard thing to do?!!
It's NOT...look, I promise, it's not...I LOVE YOU!!!
See---now was that so hard?
And so I brush off the nay saying and offer to you the most scrumptious way to bring on some serious love to this day or any day:
why... by making chocolate covered cherries of course!
I taught my candy-making class 2 nights ago and it was a great success. I've been working really hard over the past 3 weeks to find and tweak the perfect recipe and now I'm passing it along to you. Be prepared, this post will be lengthy...but hey...can't you just feel the LOVE? :)
The key to the most wonderful chocolate covered cherry (in my opinion anyway) is in creating the creamiest, most mellow fondant possible for pillowing those sweet little cherries within. If you are new to candy making, the fondant is the white gooey sweetness that partially turns into the yummiest drippy pink syrup when you bite into the chocolate. These cherries will require eating with 2 hands--one for placing in your mouth and one for catching the lovely pink syrup. These pictures are designed to help you in creating your own beautiful confections.
Make fondant and chill overnight
Drain maraschino cherries (make sure they are dry on the outsides but still have a little juice in their centers--this juice mixes with the fondant to form the pink syrup once the chocolates are dipped and rest for a few days)
Temper Chocolate (Here is a great online video that will show you how to properly temper chocolate) and here is where I bought my chocolate thermometer (a must for any serious candy maker)
It is also helpful to have some chocolate dipping tools but if you are handy with needle nose pliers and crafting wire, it's not difficult to make your own.
Now...for the pictures. Let's get to work!
Begin by making the fondant in the above recipe and allowing it to rest for a day in the refrigerator.
With a little powdered sugar on your hands to prevent sticking, roll a small piece of fondant into a ball that is about the size of a cherry.
Flatten the ball into a small disk and use your thumb to make a cherry size indentation in it. You may need to dip your fingers in the powdered sugar a few times depending on how sticky your fondant is.
Place a cherry into the middle of the disk and carefully pull the sides of the fondant up and around the cherry, pinching the fondant closed. Make sure the cherry is fully covered and there are no leaky spots.
Roll into a ball-shape again and place fondant-covered cherries onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and put baking sheet into the refrigerator or freezer to chill cherries until very firm.
Using an easy-t0-read thermometer, make sure that your tempered chocolate is at optimal dipping temperature (30-32 degrees Celsius or 87-89 degrees Fahrenheit).
Place the cherry into the dipping tool flat side up (your cherries will have flattened a little on their bottoms while chilling). Making sure they are in the dipping tool flat side up will make it easier to drop them onto their flat sides once dipped into the chocolate.
Dip the cherry into the chocolate to fully cover and then raise the tool, tapping gently on the side of the pan to get rid of excess chocolate.
Quickly invert cherry onto its flat side on a wax-paper lined baking sheet. If properly chilled, the cherry should drop easily. Use a toothpick or other pronged dipping tool to remove the cherry if it sticks. Having the cherries fully chilled and working quickly to dip and drop make this process much easier. Allow your confections to properly chill until the chocolate is hard and shiny. You can use candy making gloves and a paring knife to trim the excess chocolate from the bottoms if you are persnickety like me.
Box these babies up however you see fit and enjoy. They are best when allowed to rest for at least 2 days. When kept in a cool place and in a covered container, they will last for a few weeks---if they manage to stick around that long!
So...now can you feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel the love? I sure can. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment. I'll be happy to oblige. Now, it's like you all came to my cooking pod. Thanks for coming.
Ps. Off to get sushi and some other Valentine's yummies with my sweetheart (I LOVE YOU ROB!)
I hope you are all enjoying the day with a special person you love.