Ok, I confess, it took a few batches to get this recipe “just right,” which for me means a couple of things.
First, I had to get these babies to to look decent, edible, desirable even. Let’s just say my first attempts were rather inept. I tried to make a rich and gooey sauce with cherries and then dip this cherry goo into melted chocolate. So Mensa of me –as you can imagine, the result did not look entirely appetizing. And I think candy should look appetizing. Very appetizing.
For my second attempt, I dropped globs of cherries and their sauce onto a parchment lined baking dish and then dripped chocolate over them. I did not exactly achieve a professional outcome utilizing this method.
My later attempts unfolded this afternoon, as my younger son and I had a pre-Valentine’s day candy making extravaganza. While my older son lay on the couch reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, my little guy and I melted chocolate and put it on everything we could think of. Lots of fun.
In search of perfection, I made another batch of candied cherries and during the process, recalled that I actually own candy making molds. Happily, I took them down from the far corner cabinet of the kitchen and found the appropriate mold for making chocolate covered cherries. It looks like this.
When I finished up my fourth batch of cherries and gave my son a taste, he said, “Mom, these taste just like the ones from the store.” I was happy, though slightly surprised that he had eaten those disgustingly sweet super duper artificial sugar infused chocolate covered store bought cherries. Oh well, what can you do? At least (according to him) I had achieved parity with “store bought,” which to me means success.
So, on to the recipe. Beware, these are pretty darn sweet. If you want to experiment with something more adult-like and less cloying in nature, you could try cutting back on the agave, adding some stevia and maybe some liqueur, or orange (or lemon) zest for extra flavor.
I haven’t tried this myself (as you can see, I was quite busy just figuring out this recipe), so feel free to carry out your own trial and error process. Just be sure to leave a comment and let us know the results!
- In a medium saucepan, heat cherries, agave, vanilla and almond extract to a simmer
- Combine arrowroot and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to form a paste
- Raise heat a bit and stir the arrowroot paste into the cherry mixture
- Stir for about 1 minute until mixture thickens, scraping bottom of the pan with spoon, to evenly distribute the arrowroot, which can tend to settle on the bottom of the pan
- Remove cherry mixture from heat and set aside
- Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat
- Spoon scant 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of the candy molds
- Spoon one cherry (with some of the sauce) on top of the chocolate
- Cover with another scant teaspoon of chocolate
- Place in refrigerator to set, about 20-30 minutes
- Remove from refrigerator, pop candy out of molds
This is a photo of the first scant teaspoon of melted chocolate in the candy mold.
The cherries and their sauce have been spooned into the mold and here I am spooning the second scant teaspoon of melted chocolate over the cherry mixture (while snapping a photo) pretty pro, eh?
I cleaned the kitchen (there was chocolate everywhere) while I waited for the chocolates to set in the refrigerator. This is how it looked straight out of the fridge. It was kinda challenging to get the chocolate out of the molds. I had to really bend and work the mold to force the chocolate out.
It was well worth the work. These chocolate covered cherries are delicious. I plan on making them with milk chocolate or white chocolate for my boys on Valentine’s Day.