Yield: 3 Servings
|2 \N||Bottles maraschine cherries|
|\N \N||With stems|
|½ \N||Recipe fondant (follows this|
|\N \N||Recipe) flavored with Grand|
|\N \N||Marnier or kirsch|
|12 ounces||Dark couverture or compound|
Drain the cherries and pat as dry as possible with paper toweling, then place them on a candy or cake rack covered with paper toweling and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Place a small pile of cornstarch on the counter and have handy a bowl of water and paper towels for wiping your hands. With cornstarch-dipped fingers, pull off a small portion of fondant, flatten it a bit, and pat and wrap it around the cherry. (Be careful to leave the stem intact, but if it falls off, simply stick it back down into the cherry and the chocolate will eventually hold it in place.
Place the fruit on the cookie sheet. Continue covering fruit in this manner. The cherries will need to be chocolate coated no later than 45 minutes after being covered in fondant, or the fondant will begin to melt. It is best not to do too many at once.
Melt the chocolate. For the most professional job, place cherries upside down, with their stems hanging downthrough the wires of the rack. Press the fondant into a rounded shape if necessary, then coat the bottom halves of the cherries by brushing them with thick chocolate. Place the rack in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to harden chocolate.
Place wax paper on a baking sheet. Turn the cherries right side up on the rack. Place a fork under a cherry and dip the fruit in the chocolate. Place cherries on the paper lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate the tray briefly.
To double-dip the cherries, spoon chocolate over the upright cherries and swirl the chocolate around the step in a pretty whisp of a patter. Then take a pastry brush and coat the stems with chocolate.
When chocolate is hard place cherries in a covered container and keep in a cool place for 2 weeks to mellow. At the end of thi time, the fondant will have melted and transformed itself into a liquor.
Basic Fondant Servings: 1 pound 4 cups sugar 1½ cups cold water ¼ tsp. cream of tartar Kirsch or Grand Marnier
Clear a large space on a counter or marble pastry slab. Splash it with cold water, and have a cup of cold water and a clean pastry brush near the stove. Place sugar and wate rin a saucepan. Stir over very low heatuntil the sugar has melted and the liquid is clear. Turn up the heat and continue stirring until the syrup reaches a boil.
Stop stirring and add the cream of tartar. Dip the pastry brush in cold water and wash down the sides of the pan, then immediately cover the pan and let the syrup boil bigorously for 3 minutes. Uncover, insert a thermometer, and let cook rapidly to soft-ball stage (240F) Immediately take the saucepan to the counter or slab. Run a wet hand over the moist surface to redampen any dru spots, then carefully pour out the syrup onto the counter. Do not pour out the last bit of syrup and do not scrape the pan clean (That would add overcooked, crystallized sugar.) Let the syrup cool. To work the syrup most effectively, have 2 scrapers at hand. Start scraping the outer portions of syrup into the center and keep turning the mass over and over itself until it starts stiffening and lightening in color. Keep working the sugar until it is perfectly white and so thick that it can be kneaded. Knead briefly, then divide into 2 portions Flavor half with kirsch or Grand Marnier to taste (sprinkle on the flavoring and knead it in). Leave the other portion unflavored. Wrap both fondants tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a covered container. Moisten 2 sheets of paper toweling and fit them over the fondant. Cover the dish with the lid and let the fondant mellow inthe refrigerator for at least 4 days before using.