CHERRY CHOCOLATE--Delicious Little Sweet Things
I like small things. Small things are usually pretty and neat. These chocolate treats are exactly that – small, but secretly rich tasting, with a slightly mysterious flavor – and perfect for cool weather. A little bite of this cherry chocolate reminds you that spring is coming, or at least will warm you up like a sunny day.
It is obviously not fresh cherry season in North America right now, but using preserved sour cherries can bring that captivating taste all year round.
Recipe adapted from La Maison du Chocolat, by Robert Linxe
Makes about 45-50 chocolates
1 pound (440 grams) bittersweet chocolate (ordinary bittersweet)
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons kirsch
2 ounces cherries (preferably sour cherries or cherries in light syrup), pitted, plus extra (unchopped) for platter garnish
Small paper candy liners/cups
Chop the chocolate finely and put in a heatproof mixing bowl. Set aside. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the cream boils, remove from heat. Add the vanilla, wait 20 seconds, then stir and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for a few seconds, then whisk to combine in a circular motion, starting from the center and working out. As soon as chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is homogenous, stir in the butter. Mix for a few seconds, then add the kirsch and stir to blend. Refrigerate, loosely covered, about 3-4 hours.
To assemble: Finely chop the cherries and set aside. Soften the chocolate mixture in the top of a double boiler set over low heat. Remove from heat and beat with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe into the paper cups/liners, filling about three-quarters full. Sprinkle chopped cherries over each and then cover with a final rosette of piped chocolate. Set aside to harden before serving.