3/4 cup dark chocolate (chips or chopped from a bar)
30 fresh cherries (with the stem)
3 ounces dried cherries (un-sulfured unsweetened)
Ice Cube tray(s)
Melting chocolate seems intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. When making your own chocolates it allows you to take control over the type of chocolate and individual ingredients, and you can create a healthier indulgence. This way you can avoid added sugar and unwanted ingredients and/or preservatives. You can use totally dark bitter chocolate and add your own vanilla, you can use white chocolate or milk chocolate. I used a high quality semi-sweet dark chocolate.
Prepare all of the necessities beforehand. Wash and dry the fresh cherries completely, cover a cookie sheet with wax paper, and make sure the ice trays, metal bowl and spatula are totally dry.
Take a small pot, fill with water, bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. You don’t need much water- just enough to make sure the water level will maintain and won’t steam off or be so high as to bubble over into your bowl of chocolate. You’ll need a metal mixing bowl that will fit tight and snug on top of the simmering pot.
Once the water is simmering, place your metal bowl with chocolate bits on top of the pot, use one hand in an oven mitt to hold the chocolate bowl in place. You will almost immediately see the chocolate begin to melt. Use a plastic spatula to stir up the chocolate as it melts. Note: do not let water enter your chocolate bowl, and do not place your chocolate into a bowl or pot which rests directly on the fire or stove heat. You want the steam from your simmering water to gingerly heat your metal bowl of chocolate bits.
In less than five minutes your chocolate will be melted. No need to wait until all of the chocolate bits are completely melted as the residual heat will melt the rest. Remove your chocolate bowl from the top of the pot and begin to dip. It’s that easy.
Just dip your cherries into the chocolate then place onto wax paper. Once you have completed this step place the cookie sheet directly into the refrigerator and leave them until just before serving or gifting.
I had melted chocolate leftover so I decided to make dried cherry chocolates too. Use dried cherries which do not have any additives- just dried cherries. You can easily find some at Trader Joe’s. Place the dried cherries into an ice cube tray, then just drip the melted chocolate over the top. Give the ice cube tray a little shake, or gently use the countertop to help the chocolate settle into place. Pop them into the fridge.
After about 20 minutes of cooling time your handmade homemade with love chocolates will be ready to serve. They can stay fresh in the refrigerator for three days or more depending, especially the dried cherry treats!