I am a nervous cook. I read and reread a recipe ad nauseum. I set out the required ingredients before I start. I am more that a bit compulsive. Seriously people, I was well into my 20s before I stopped measuring the water required to boil Kraft macaroni and cheese. I am all about keeping it simple. When baking I tend to go for the bar and drop varieties of cookies; they require less hands on time and you can’t mess them up too bad.
Back in September when I came across a recipe for chocolate-covered buttercream cherries, just perfect for the yearly Christmas party I co-host, I never dreamed I would actually make them. I printed off the recipe and let it collect dust on my kitchen counter. So it was with some surprise and quite a lot of trepidation that I found myself in the kitchen Monday morning, cherry recipe in hand with all the ingredients newly purchased and ready to go.
- Step one: pat cherries dry with paper towel. Sounds easy. Oh, gosh, don’t pull the cherries out of the jar with their stems. Crap. I over patted that one and this one is still sitting in a puddle of it’s own juices! How did I miss this one?
- Step two: prepare buttercream and refrigerate for 1 hour. Powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt (ha! I didn’t even measure the 1/4 teaspoon salt – what a rebel I am!) And look, the recipe says not to worry if it is crumbly and reassures me that it will come together after a few kneads and it was right.
- Step three: roll dough into 1/2 inch balls, flatten into circles and wrap cherries then back to the refrigerator for another hour. Ok, this took forever! I mean, how could it not if you want perfectly uniform balls (I could put in a joke here but will show some self restraint.)
- Step four: melt chocolate and shortening until smooth; dip cherries, set on waxed paper in refrigerator until hardened then store, covered for 1-2 weeks before serving. Ok, chocolate is nicely melted and then, what the… The chocolate is clumping and every time I stir it gets worse! Is it too hot, not hot enough – argh!! Damn you cherries, you shall be dredged instead of dipped. Ouch! Burning hot, melted chocolate under my thumbnail – must . not . lick . fingers.
And so it ended. I had my 60 mostly chocolate covered buttercream cherries which looked nothing like the pictures from the blog where I found it. Husband sampled the one that parted from its’ stem during the non-smooth chocolate dredging catastrophe and declared them good.
I would show you some pictures but, really, no one wants to see that. Instead I suggest you go to Bakergirl’s blog for some lovely pictures and while you are there you can snag the recipe.
Oh, and if anyone knows what went wrong with the melting of the chocolate I would love to know.