'Why do we need more cherries?' Peter asked when I stopped to buy two large packs of plump cherries from sellers at the Capital Region Farmer's Markets on Saturday. After our recent weekend in Young for the Cherry Festival, you might think that I'd had enough of the fruit. Not so... despite de-stoning and preserving about four and a half kilos (and devouring another kilo or so fresh from the hand, I am still merrily playing with them in my kitchen.
For a deliciously fun, festive indulgence, try dipping some cherries or strawberries in melted chocolate. Chill them until ready to serve, and there you have it... little choc-cherry ballerinas waiting to dance on your taste buds.
CHOCOLATE DIPPED CHERRY BERRY INDULGENCE
500g cherries or strawberries, washed and gently patted dry, stems intact*
125g good quality dark chocolate+
Melt the chocolate in Pyrex bowl or a double boiler over a saucepan of simmering water. Lay a sheet of baking paper onto a platter or tray. Holding the fruit by the stem, dip the cherries or strawberries into the melted chocolate and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place onto the prepared tray and pop into the refrigerator to set. Serve chilled with a suitable dessert wine. Will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator.
* Use plump fruit in perfect condition. You can de-stone the cherries if you like, however you will need to use a tool to remove the stone from the side, rather than top to bottom. If you choose to leave the stones in, the cherries will still taste lovely. Just make sure you advise your guests. Nothing worse than a cracked tooth!
+ If there's any chocolate left over, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to melt again and dip more fruit. It will keep a day or so in the refrigerator.
The process in pictures...
What's your favourite indulgence during the festive season? What good things will you be cooking?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.