When it comes down to it, not every dessert needs to be complicated. I think I fall into the trap of making certain things much harder than necessary, so this time I decided to keep it simple. Chocolate covered cherries. I call these cherry bombs because there is an extremely hot kick hiding inside some of the chocolate coatings. Also I don’t like the candy coating that some chocolate cherry recipes have, so this recipe is just chocolate coating, spices and cherries. Nothing else.
If you have ever melted chocolate to make a chocolate coating, then you may have experienced the wonder and randomness of chocolate polymorphs. To put it simply, melted chocolate has the potential to form six different crystalline structures. Each of these forms have completely different physical properties. If you’ve ever noticed chocolate that appears greyish white at the supermarket, then you are experiencing one of the polymorphs of chocolate.
For the purposes of chocolate coatings, one of these polymorphs is more useful than the rest. This polymorph creates a shiny coating that melts in your mouth and provides the perfect snap. Chocolate is tempered to obtain this desirable polymorph.
There is a way to avoid tempering chocolate that allows for a shiny coating. Before I get into that, let me ask you this question. Have you ever noticed that when you bake cookies, the chocolate chips are always shiny in the final product? Something about cookies produces the desired polymorph in chocolate chips. That something is fat. The exact mechanism isn’t entirely known, but the presence of other fat sources propagates formation of the desired chocolate form. However, fat does reduce the snap of chocolate.
1 lb of cherries
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of milk
½ tsp of vanilla
2 serrano peppers
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
- Rinse and dry the cherries
- Combine chocolate, butter, milk, seeds of the serrano pepper, cayenne, and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds then stir. Then heat using 15 second intervals until the mixture is melted and incorporated. (Stop after the ingredients are melted, do not overheat.) If mixture begins to seize, add milk in teaspoon increments until it is smooth again.
- Stir the vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture.
- Prepare two large plates or a baking sheet by covering with wax paper
- Using the stem of the cherries, dip the cherries into the chocolate making sure to completely cover the cherry. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off of the cherry. Then place the cherry on the prepared wax paper. Repeat until all cherries are covered.
- Chill the cherries in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. At this point the chocolate will be a shiny, thick coat.
Makes about 40 chocolate coated cherries.