Soaks some fruit in booze, it's romantic. —Jackie Dodd
fresh, sweet dark cherries (Stella or Bing)
1/2 to 3/4 cups
Bourbon (Buffalo Trace or similar)
8 wt. ounces
dark chocolate (60% cocoa) from a good quality, shiny bar of chocolate
Pit all thirty cherries and place then in one tight layer on the bottom of a loaf pan.
You can pit them like a normal person, with a pitter and some patience. Or, if you lean towards the flare for the dramatic when it comes to culinary endeavors, you can take a sharp paring knife, make a small X on the bottom and use tweezers to pull out the pit, all in order to keep that stem in tact to satisfy the afore mentioned dramatic food urges. (Full disclosure: I did both and very much preferred the lovely stemmed drama of the later method).
Pour the bourbon on top of the cherries.
You want the cherries to be sitting in the bourbon, mostly covered.
Refrigerate and allow to soak for 12 to 24 hours.
Remove cherries from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place cherries on a plate that has been covered with 3-4 paper towels. Allow to drain and dry for about 15 minutes.
(Reserve the bourbon for a cherry bourbon cocktail, no need to waste good bourbon)
Temper the chocolate. Chop the chocolate. Place a little more than half in the top or a double boiler (or a metal bowl placed over a pot of gentler simmering water) set heat to medium-low. Stir constantly. Use a food thermometer to measure the temperature. You want it to be between 115 and 120 degrees
Once the right temperature is reached, remove the bowl from the heat, add a bit of the remaining chocolate and stir like the crazy stirring fool that you are. Add more chocolate and stir, stir, stir. Continue to stir until the temperature has reached 90 degrees.
While dipping the cherries, keep the temperature between 88 and 91 degrees. If you have a programmable heating pan, this works like a miracle.
Add the cherries in batches (about 2 to 3 at a time) roll them around in the bowl and remove with a fork.
Or if you are a food drama nerd, not unlike myself, you can grab those suckers by the stem, dip them in the tempered chocolate and allow the excess to slide off before placing on a sheet of wax paper to set. Allow chocolate to set in a cool dry place, about 2 hours.
Jackie Dodd is a Los Angeles-based recipe developer, photographer, food writer and cookbook author. She runs two recipe websites www.Domesticfits.com, which combine original recipes with “how to” cooking and baking tips, and www.thebeeroness.com that focuses on cooking and baking with craft beer. Along with both websites, she also juggles several freelance writing positions, photography jobs, and motherhood all while suppressing her gypsy like urges to wander around Europe with a film Nikon, a Led Zeppelin t-shirt and a vintage Triumph Bonneville. For now, you can find her in Southern California. Jackie’s first cookbook, The Craft Beer Cookbook (Adams Media) is due for release in October 2013.
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