As lovely as they are addictive, chocolate-covered cherries are a festive sweet to be enjoyed on the holidays or anytime you need a treat. These perfectly round goodies accomplish the balance of tangy and sweet with a combo of cherries, chocolate and sugar. These delicious and adorable sweets are even more enjoyable after learning how they came to be!
The History of Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate covered cherries, otherwise known as cherry cordials, date back to eastern France in the 1700s. Cherries were a local crop in the Franche-Comté region, and their abundance led to the creation of a dessert called a griotte, the name of the local cherry species. A griotte was made by dipping the sour griotte cherries in chocolate and kirsch, or cherry brandy. Unsurprisingly, this delicious concoction was a hit, and these yummy round treats eventually made their way to America.
Liqueur chocolate cherries quickly became a beloved sweet treat in America. Other cordial candies were created, but chocolate covered cherries remained the most popular. These tasty balls of joy evolved over time and eventually were enjoyed with a sugar syrup instead of liqueur, a similar concept to maraschino cherries.
These days, chocolate covered cherries can be made in a variety of ways, one being the use of a shell mold. Chocolate is poured into a mold to become a shell, and then cordial or sugar syrup is added along with the cherry. They can also be enrobed, which involves pouring liquid chocolate over the cherries or dipping them into melted chocolate.
Most mass-produced chocolate covered cherries are made with a solid filling of a cherry and solid sugar. An enzyme called invertase converts the sugar to liquid, and then chocolate is added. No matter the candy-making method used, you can't go wrong with a combo of cherries, chocolate and sugar.
Making Chocolate Covered Cherries
Chocolate dipped cherries are the perfect sweet for Christmas or Valentine's Day, since they are classy in appearance and beloved by all. They can be made with dark chocolate or milk chocolate depending on which you prefer. (I always go the dark chocolate route). You typically need cherries, fondant, semi sweet chocolate chips, confectioners/powdered sugar and corn syrup. These sweet treats are also full of health benefits like potassium and antioxidants, making it easy to justify eating them to your heart's content.
If you've ever made truffles or chocolate-covered strawberries, you're familiar with the race to dip something in chocolate before it hardens. The first time will likely end with a kitchen covered in chocolate, but the mess is worth the yummy result! To make chocolate-covered cherries, you need to melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip each cherry in, placing on a baking sheet. It's best to cover the cookie sheet in parchment paper or wax paper to catch any excess chocolate.
Here's a full recipe to make this classy treat for yourself!