I was always told by my mother, “Eat it all at once or you’ll be sorry.” Sure enough, upon taking a bite of this luscious cherry covered in chocolate, my chin and t-shirt was quickly covered with the white creamy liquid center of the chocolate.
Chocolate Cherry Cordials were originally a French invention—chocolate covered Kirsch-soaked, marinated whole cherries which became liquid centers—soon found their way to the United States. In 1864 Cella’s Confections of New York started making liquid center cherries. In 1929 they began large scale production, but The Brock Candy Company (later renamed Brach’s) was well positioned to become a major competitor and steal the market share away from Cella’s.
During the 1930s, Brach’s introduced its own version of chocolate covered cherries, which quickly became a nationwide favorite. That particular candy not only helped the company survive the lean Depression era but would remain one of its biggest sellers for the next 60 years. Eighty years later Choclatique reinvented this famous confection using the original French recipe.
In this 1952 photo of the Brach’s Candy Company in Chattanooga fondant-covered cherries receive the bottom coating of chocolate.
Making Chocolate Cherry Cordials isn’t all that difficult. You don’t have to have a lot of equipment and be a sophisticated candy maker and you don’t have to take a small syringe and inject the creamy liquid inside the chocolate. That’s accomplished by making a sturdy fondant to wrap around each cherry and then dipping them in chocolate.
This home version of our Chocolate Cherry Cordial recipe is the very best I’ve tried and is similar to how we make them here at Choclatique.
I like to marinate my cherries in brandy, Kirsch or Grand Marnier for a minimum of 2 days—longer is much better. I like to wait 3 to 4 weeks before eating them to allow the enzymes to work their magic and liquefy the fondant. For the best results, please follow the recipe exactly as stated.
50 marinated maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
4 cups of brandy, Kirsch or Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brandy
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 pounds dipping chocolate couverture, Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%), or Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate (33%).
- Prepare in advance: In a strainer, drain the maraschino cherries for about 2 hours; then marinate them with the liquor of your choice for a minimum of 2 days (longer is better).
- Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, corn syrup, salt and brandy in a large mixing bowl blending until smooth; about 5 minutes. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and mix well for another 5 minutes to create the fondant. Knead the fondant by hand until smooth, silky and shiny; wrap in wax paper and chill for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain the cherries. When the fondant has set, carefully shape a flattened marble-size piece of fondant around each cherry; place on wax paper-lined tray. Chill the wrapped cherries until firm, about 2 hours.
- Melt the chocolate and temper accordingly. Holding the cherries by their stems, dip each cherry in tempered chocolate and place on a wax paper-lined tray. Store in a covered container in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 weeks to fully “ripen” and to attain the “liquidy” center.
Be sure to get a head start on the holidays as it take several days for the centers to become liquid. If you don’t want to go to the trouble and wait for the centers to liquefy you can purchase Chocolate Cherry Cordials directly from our website.