Berries and Cherries Month on March, 2024: Making trufflesbonbons. Is it ok to cover fresh berries in chocolate?
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Because of the moisture content of the fruit, fresh berries dipped in chocolate, even if they're fully enclosed, will eventually "sweat" and slough off their chocolate coating. I've never tried to make chocolate-dipped fresh fruit last past the day it was made, but the experts say 24 hours is pretty much the outside limit.
So if you want to use fresh raw berries to make your bonbons, I recommend you get up early in the morning the day of the bake sale to do it (or depending on how many you intend to make, pull an all-nighter). If you're using a truffle mold, make sure both the top shell, sides, and bottom layer of chocolate are thick; if you're just dipping the berries, dip them repeatedly to build up a thick coating which will make them last longer. (Dipping will also require that you use something like a spoon to avoid bare spots where you were holding the berry to dip it, but then you still have the challenge of avoiding an unsightly puddle of chocolate beneath the berry which may also break off when you try to lift the berry off whatever you set it on to harden.) You should in any case clearly label the bonbons as having raw fruit inside and be sure customers know how perishable they are.
A simpler solution, especially if you do have some of those plastic or silicone molds for chocolate-making, may be to turn your fresh berries into "cordial" fillings. Just make a batch of simple syrup* for each type of berry, and simmer the berries in the syrup once all the sugar is dissolved. If you've already coated the mold with chocolate for what will be the top and sides of the candies, you can then put one berry each into the molds, top off with some of the syrup (but don't fill the chocolate shells all the way up, as that can prevent a good seal, and nobody wants a leaky bonbon) and then add more chocolate to enclose the fruit cordial. Having used fresh fruit will make a difference -- I've had cordial cherries made this way, with fresh cherries, and they were incredible -- compared to buying fruit already preserved in syrup. And the resulting candies, while they won't last forever by any means, should stay good for at least a few days longer than raw fruit.
*Simple syrup is called that because it's so simple both to make and to remember the recipe for. Just measure equal amounts of sugar (I like to use unrefined, "raw" sugar or evaporated cane juice, but white sugar is fine too) and water in a saucepan, and heat it slowly over low to medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. That's it! If you want to flavor simple syrup, you can add anything from a cinnamon stick or other whole spice, to fresh herbs, to ...fresh fruit, and then bring the syrup to a simmer before turning off the heat and allowing the syrup to cool to room temperature. Plain simple syrup will last at least a month in the refrigerator. (A nice twist is to replace up to 1/8 of the water with rosewater or orange blossom water; this doesn't change the flavor but does give the syrup -- and anything you add it to, such as lemonade or iced tea -- a heady aroma.)
Fresh fruit bonbons are a fantastic, healthy idea for a bake sale, and a nice change from the usual fare. I hope the sale goes well, whatever you wind up donating!
cherry berry chiller recipe?
Looks like there are no copycat recipes for that cherry berry chiller recipe yet. Just google it once a month and it will turn up eventually.
Yes you will need all the equipment used to make home made wine from grape. These items can often be found at you local feed store. It seems that to make it worth the effort it will take 10 or more pounds of berries to get enough juice.
Fruit wine making is no more difficult than making wines from fresh grapes. The basic process is the same, and consideration is given to the same aspects as when preparing grape juice for home winemaking.
Grape juice is naturally well-suited for wine making and needs little adjust- ment prior to fermentation. In many parts of the world, California included, wine making grapes supply enough sugar and are low enough in acid to produce stellar wines without doing much of anything to them except to let them ferment, but none the less they are still checked and at times slightly modified.
With fruits other than grapes, adjustments are almost always necessary during the wine making process but are very easy to accomplish:
the amount of fruit used per gallon needs to be determined,
the amount of available sugars needs to be tested and adjusted.
the fruit juice’s acidity needs to be tested and adjusted.
While this may seem like a lot to concern yourself with, in fact it is very easy and requires little time to do. The trade off is it allows you to take just about any fruit you can imagine and produce a notable wine that quite often will surprise the winemaker who made it.
I would consider making a Liqueur with your Cherries. A good Liqueur does take time, but very little effort. It makes a great gift that has that home made touch. All fruit Liqueurs are great over ice cream.
Cherry Liqueur Recipe
Cherry liqueurs are among the easiest liqueurs to make at home, and it is also easy to obtain a flavor which is comparable with commercial cherry liqueurs. Homemade cherry liqueurs may be served with ice, and may also be used for making cocktails.
1 lb. (450 g) sour cherries
3 cups (710 ml) vodka (or 1 1/2 cup pure grain alcohol + 1 1/2 cup water).
1 1/2 cup (350 g) sugar (I use pure corn sugar)
Wash and check the cherries and remove stems. Place them in a jar, add vodka, cap with tight lid and mix. Stir daily during the first days, later at least once a week for 3-4 weeks.
Add sugar, and stir until most of it has dissolved. Stir again at least once a week for 3-4 weeks. Filter the mixture of berries and alcohol and transfer the liquid to a bottle. After three months strain the liqueur thru a cloth. Add some more sugar if necessary. The liqueur should mellow for at least 4 months before drinking, preferably for 8 months.
The color of the cherry liqueur is ruby-red and the flavor is delicious. This recipe can also be used with sweet cherries, but the flavor will then be slightly different.
If you wish to make a liqueur with a stronger hint of almond flavor you should pit 1/3 of the cherries, brake them with a hammer, and add the broken piths together with pitted cherries and whole cherries when making the liqueur.
I have made pear, apple and lemon but never cherry liqueur, I hope what ever you try turns out great.