Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cordials
Invertase, a liquid enzyme that's found in small bottles at most candy-making supply stores, is used in these candies to liquefy the luscious fondant filling.
Yield: makes 30 candies
- 1 1⁄3 cups sugar
- 3 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp. kirsch or brandy
- 1⁄4 tsp. invertase
- 30 maraschino cherries with stems attached, drained, rinsed, and patted dry with paper towels
- 1 lb. dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- Make the fondant: Whisk together sugar, corn syrup, and 1⁄4 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 238°. Remove pan from heat and pour syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle; let sit, undisturbed, until mixture cools to 120°. Turn mixer on medium speed and mix until fondant is white and no longer glossy, at least 10–20 minutes. Scrape fondant into a medium heat-proof bowl; stir in brandy and microwave in 30-second increments on high heat, stirring in between each heating, until fondant is smooth and an instant-read thermometer reads 160°. Add invertase and stir until smooth.
- Working with one cherry at a time and holding it by the stem, submerge cherry in the fondant; shake off excess fondant and transfer cherry to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; repeat. If fondant becomes too stiff, return it to microwave for a few seconds but do not heat higher than 160°. Let fondant coating on cherries cool and set, about 20 minutes.
- Combine chocolate and shortening in a medium heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from pot and let chocolate cool until an instant-read thermometer reads 89°. Working with one cherry at a time, dip cherry into the chocolate. Gently shake off excess chocolate and return cherry to baking sheet. If chocolate cools below 86°, set the bowl over the pot of simmering water and heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to 89°, then continue dipping cherries. Let chocolate coating cool to room temperature and set before serving. Serve immediately or, for better results, let candies sit at room temperature in a covered container for 10 days.