Here is a stripped-down recipe for the cherries based on the more detailed instructions and observations in these entries: Chocolate-Covered Cherries, Part One and Part Two. If the fondant sounds like too much of a pain, see the first of these posts for an alternate version involving powdered sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
1 36 oz. jar maraschino cherries
1 recipe Cherry Fondant (recipe follows)
reserved cherry syrup, as necessary
1/4 teaspoon invertase
2 – 3 pounds coverture chocolate
- Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Set the cherries in rows on a cooling rack lined with a double thickness of paper towels, discarding any stemless cherries. Let dry for at least one hour, preferably more.
- In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat the fondant until it reaches 160° F, stirring as needing. Reduce the heat under the pot to low. If necessary, thin the fondant with some of the reserved syrup to a consistency that allows easy dipping. Add invertase to the fondant and stir to combine.
- Keeping the fondant over the hot water, dip the cherries by their stems, dragging them back and forth and side to side. Cover each cherry completely, but in as few passes as possible to avoid building up too much fondant on the cherry. Raise the cherry over the bowl, touching it to the surface of the fondant in the bowl once or twice to encourage as much excess as possible to drip off. Place the cherries on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper or a Silpat. When the fondant has set, twist any fondant that has cooled around the cherries’ stems off.
- Temper the chocolate. Pipe small, flat discs of chocolate on parchment or a Silpat, leaving ample room between them to accommodate the cherries once they’re covered in chocolate. Allow the discs to set. Dip the cherries in the chocolate in a similar way as they were dipped in the fondant, and set each one on a chocolate disc.
- Store cherries at room temperature. They will be ready to eat in three to four days with the invertase, but they make take up to two weeks to liquefy without it.
adapted from Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner by by Peter P. Greweling
500 g sugar
100 g reserved syrup from maraschino cherries
100 g glucose syrup
Combine all ingredients and bring them to a boil while stirring constantly. Once the syrup is boiling, stop stirring and heat the syrup to 243° F. Pour the syrup on a Silpat-covered marble slab and sprinkle with cold water. Let cool to 120° F, then begin folding the edges into the warmer center by raising alternate edges of the Silpat. Once the fondant is cool enough to handle, start pulling it and working it until turns opaque and short-textured and generally looks crystallized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then let rest overnight if possible.