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. Once you've made the cordials, it will take about ten days for the filling to liquefy. We based this recipe on one found in Peter Greweling's Chocolates and Confections (Wiley, 2010). For more Valentine's Day recipes, check out our guide.
- 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.