Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Today is National Chocolate-Filled Cherry Day!

Today is National Chocolate-Filled Cherry Day! And, I admit to some confusion. I searched high and low for a "Chocolate-Filled Cherry" with no success. Now, on the other hand, one of my favorite treats kept taunting me: Chocolate Covered Cherries!

(image from www.sanderscandy.com)

On CooksRecipes.com, I found this fantastic recipe for Chocolate Covered Liqueur Cherries. Make these for your next gathering and see how long these could last!

(image from www.laurelvfinechocolates.com)

Chocolate Covered Liqueur Cherries

At least 2 months in advance:

1 (16-ounce) jar plus 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems
Brandy, rum or desired flavored liqueur
Drain liquid from cherries and cover cherries with brandy, rum or as desired. Store in refrigerator for two months or longer. There is no "shelf-life", these last forever.

To Make Chocolate Covered Cherries:

3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels or preferred chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Drain about 50 cherries; pat cherries dry on absorbent paper towels and set aside. Reserve remaining cherries for other uses.
Combine butter, syrup and salt, stirring well. Stir in powdered sugar and knead in bowl until smooth.
Shape 1/2 teaspoon fondant mixture around each cherry. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; chill about 2 hours or until firm.
Melt chocolate and shortening in top of a double boiler over simmering water. Dip each cherry by the stem into chocolate. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; chill until firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 50 confections.

And for a different spin on the Chocolate Filled (Chocolate Covered) Cherry concept from Epicurious:

(image from www.epicurious.com, photo by: Noel Barnhurst)

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Cherries
Bon App├ętit, February 2001

Yield: Makes 2 servings
Try any leftover sauce on ice cream.

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, halved, thawed, undrained
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup kirsch (clear cherry brandy) or regular brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Powdered sugar
Fresh mint

Preparation:

Combine cherries with juices, 1/2 cup sugar, kirsch, and cinnamon in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until sauce thickens and is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove 1/4 cup cherries from sauce; drain well. Transfer to work surface and chop coarsely; reserve chopped cherries for cakes. Set aside cherry sauce.

Butter two 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Whisk cocoa and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; whisk in cocoa mixture. Whisk in egg yolks, then whole egg and flour. Fold in reserved 1/4 cup chopped cherries. Divide batter between prepared ramekins. (Sauce and cake batter can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cakes uncovered until edges are set but center is still shiny and tester inserted into center comes out with some wet batter attached, about 22 minutes.

Warm sauce over low heat. Cut around cakes to loosen; turn out onto plates. Spoon sauce alongside. Sift powdered sugar over; garnish with mint.



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