Sunday, June 17, 2012
SoCo Cherry Cordials for Dad
My dad doesn't eat many sweets, but he can't seem to resist the Queen Anne Cherry Cordials that come out around Christmastime. I whipped up a batch of homemade cherry cordials to bring him for Fathers' Day, and boy are they delicious! I opted to bathe my cherries in a bit of Southern Comfort, but you can choose any liquor you like.
Things I learned by making chocolate cherry cordials:
- Some food is just magical! I was skeptical, but the thick fondant really did liquify, and within a day at that.
- Fondant burns hurt like you would not believe. I'm currently nursing a wicked blister on my right pointer finger, which has made note-taking a little more challenging than usual.
- Scraping fondant is quite the workout!
And a few notes:
- I could not find maraschino cherries with stems, so I dipped my cherries with a toothpick.
- It helps to have an extra set of hands around during the fondant-working and chocolate-dipping stages.
- You will get tired while working the fondant. It's okay to take a break!
- I found these pictures of the fondant-making process very helpful, although this recipe produces a fondant with a pink hue due to the inclusion of cherry juice. (Remember, it's okay to take a break!)
- The longer you soak your cherries, the stronger a liquor flavor they will have. I soaked mine for two hours and the flavor comes through well but is not overpowering.
- Make sure that there are no holes in your chocolate covering, or the liquified fondant will leak out. You may find it necessary to remelt some chocolate and fill in some gaps as they dry.
From Serious Eats
To soak the cherries:
24 maraschino cherries with stems
3 tablespoons Southern Comfort, or liquor of choice
For the Fondant:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons liquid from maraschino cherry jar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
To Dip the Cherries:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1. Place cherries in small bowl with liquor. Cover and rest two to twelve hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Place cherries on paper towel lined pan to dry, standing each cherry upright. In small saucepan, combine sugar, water, cherry juice, and light corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When mixture comes to boil, stop stirring and continue to cook until mixture registers 240°F on instant read thermometer, occasionally brushing edge of pan with water to dissolve crystals.
3. Pour sugar syrup onto a rimmed baking sheet set over a towel, and let cool until just barely warm, about 25 minutes. Using a pastry scraper (or sturdy metal spatula!), scrape syrup up and over itself. Continue this motion while moving mass of thickened syrup back and forth across pan. Syrup will begin to thicken as it cools. Use offset spatula or to remove buildup from pastry scraper as needed. Continue working fondant until mixture begins to turn from translucent to opaque, about 15 minutes.
4. Continue to work mixture back and forth across baking sheet until it begins to thicken considerably, to the point of becoming a thick paste, about 15 minutes more. Transfer fondant to small saucepan and set over low heat, stirring until just melted. Remove from heat.
5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Holding cherry by the stem, dip in fondant to coat, and set on prepared sheetpan. Remelt fondant if it thickens before cherries are finished being dipped. Let fondant dry onto cherries, about 10 minutes.
6. Place chocolate in heatproof bowl set over pan of barely simmering water. Stirring gently, heat until about half of chocolate is melted. Remove bowl from heat and continue to stir chocolate until completely melted.
7. One by one, dip fondant covered cherries in chocolate, covering completely and then allowing excess chocolate to drip from cherry. Set each cherry back on parchment lined sheetpan. Chill at least 48 hours before serving. As the cordials chill, the fondant will liquify into a sweet syrup.