Chocolate covered cherries are a holiday favorite and they’re fairly easy to make at home as well. Here’s our favorite liquid center chocolate covered cherries recipe.
The trick to these delicious confections is to allow them to ripen for about 2 weeks so the centers have time to completely liquefy, otherwise, you’ll have more of a fondant cream center consistency.
How to Achieve a Clear Liquid Center
There are a couple of different ways to achieve a clear syrupy liquid center. It can be achieved by adding invertase, which is an enzyme that liquefies the sugar. Invertase works by splitting sucrose into two parts, fructose and glucose by hydrolyzing the bond between the two. This is how bees are able to break raw nectar down into honey. Chemically speaking, invertase is derived from bees or yeast and is also naturally produced in our saliva.
Invertase can be purchased in candy making supply shops or online. Alternatively, the cherries can be soaked in rum or brandy, which will also produce a mostly clear center (after 2 weeks of curing).
How to Make Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials
First, prepare the fondant mixture that will become the delicious liquified cherry cordial. In a medium bowl combine butter, confectioners sugar, sweetened condensed milk, cherry juice, almond extract, and invertase (or rum), mixing well. This creates the fondant that the chocolate covered cherry cordials will rest in until they liquefy.
In a double boiler or chocolate melting pot, mix the chocolate chips, unsweetened bakers chocolate and shortening until smooth. If using a double boiler, this should be done over low/med heat and the chocolate should be properly tempered. Failure to do so will result in chocolate bloom. Chocolate bloom is when a white coating appears on the surface of the chocolate. It’s caused by the changes in fat crystals in the chocolate. It can also be caused when moisture evaporates and leaves a gritty surface of sugar crystals.
Temper the Chocolate
Tempering chocolate is achieved by melting solid chocolate high enough to break down the crystals in the cocoa butter. If you’re not familiar with tempering chocolate, it means that you warm chocolate over hot water (not boiling water), stirring constantly until the chocolate reaches between 110°F-115°F, then remove from heat and allow the chocolate to cool to 95°F-100°F. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until melted.
Add a small amount of chocolate to each mold, spreading to the top using a candy paintbrush.
Allow it to harden for a few minutes, then add a bit of the fondant filling to each chocolate cavity of the chocolate bon-bon mold.
Press a maraschino cherry into the fondant.
Finally, spoon some of the melted chocolate over the top, sealing each cherry. Transfer the mold into the fridge until the chocolate sets. Unmold.
Place in a very cool spot for a couple of weeks to set. They can be eaten right away, however, it will take approximately 2 weeks for the centers to completely liquefy to clear liquid fluid.)
If you’d like to prepare these cherries without a mold, you will need to find Stemmed Maraschino cherries. Roll out the fondant, cut into small squares, wrap the entire cherry. Dip in the chocolate as directed above. Let set until semi-firm, dip a second time. Allow the cordials to set at least one week to fully liquefy the centers.
There are a couple of ways that you can test to see if the chocolates are ready. You can sample one every day, starting after a week or so, which is certainly yummy. Alternatively, simply place a cherry and a teaspoon of the fondant in a very small bowl or shot glass and cover it tightly. Check it daily to see when the filling inside has liquified completely.
The chocolate covered cherry molds are available online, but I highly recommend that you ensure the dimensions of the cavity is 1″ deep. The molds that are only 3/4″ deep aren’t quite deep enough to get enough fondant inside.
Liquid Center Chocolate Covered Cherries Recipe
2 Tbs Butter, melted
2 Jars Maraschino Cherries drained & Juice Reserved
1 lb Confectioners Sugar
2 tsp. Almond Extract
1 Tbs. Maraschino Cherry Juice
1/3 of a Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 tsp invertase OR 2 Tablespoons of Rum
1 – 12 oz pkg Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 oz Unsweetened Bakers chocolate
3 Tbs. Crisco shortening
- Mix butter, confectioners sugar, sweetened condensed milk, cherry juice, almond extract & rum to make a fondant filling, set aside.
- In a double boiler or chocolate melting pot, mix the chocolate chips, bakers chocolate and shortening until smooth. Temper the chocolate.
- Add a small amount of chocolate to each mold, spreading to the top using a candy paintbrush. Allow it to harden for 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 tsp fondant filling to each chocolate cavity of the chocolate bon-bon mold. Press a maraschino cherry into the fondant.
- Spoon chocolate over the top, sealing each cherry. Place in the fridge until set, about 10 minutes.
- Unmold, then transfer to a covered container between layers of wax paper.
- Rest, untouched in a cool spot for 10-14 days to allow the centers to fully liquefy.
If you’d like to prepare these cherries without a mold, you will need to find stemmed Maraschino cherries. Roll out the fondant, cut into small squares, wrap the entire cherry. Or mold it with your fingers around each cherry. Dip in the chocolate as directed above. Let set until semi-firm, dip a second time. Let Cherries set 2 weeks to fully liquefy the centers.
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