If you wander through the markets in Australia in December you’re sure to hear a fruit seller booming “The cherries are ripe!” across the stalls. Boxes of cherries line the aisles, ready to be given as Christmas gifts or simply to adorn the table in decoration, given their seasonally-appropriate hue.
Cherries are synonymous with Christmas and the relaxed living we assume during the Summer break. They are a fruit that encourages slowing down, given the whole pip situation, and the relatively little reward you get from each fruit. On a hot day, working your way through a bowl of cold cherries from the fridge, perhaps while watching the cricket on the TV, is an excellent past time if you’re in need of some peace.
I think we all need a little peace on Christmas Day, or at least a break from the heavy, rich food that is sure to be on the table. These chocolate-dipped cherries will provide both.
Cherries possess a floral, fruity flavour as well as a hint of nuttiness, from the almond-scented seed. This fruit and nut combo is a natural partner to creamy chocolate, and dunking the glossy, ripe fruit into a pool of molten white chocolate is a very satisfying brokering of that relationship.
I chose white chocolate to keep within the festive palette and added silver sugar pearls as ornamentation, because what’s a Christmas dessert without some bedazzling?
The chocolate-dipped cherries will look beautiful on the table during the meal, and can be served alongside other desserts as a decorative yet delicious accent that won’t weigh everyone down. I can also attest that they will be well received during morning tea at work.
Cherries Dipped in White Chocolate
Serves 6-8, takes about 20 minutes
2 big handfuls of cherries
150g white cooking chocolate
1 packet of silver sugar pearls
Line a baking tray that will fit in your fridge with baking paper.
Melt chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water. White chocolate can be trickier to melt than milk or dark, so watch it carefully because once it starts to burn, there’s no going back.
Dip the cherries into the melted chocolate a few times then place on the baking tray. While the chocolate is still wet, drop tiny pinches of sugar pearls onto the chocolate. You may have to pick up the cherry to get good coverage, though there’s no need for precision.
Place the cherries in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
Serve with an empty bowl, ready for the discarded pips.