Keeping today’s post short and sweet since I’m officially in CRUNCH TIME for #weeknightbakingbook! My manuscript is due next week (my stomach just did a cartwheel as I typed that) and I’m down to the wire — I’m working on what’s known as “front matter”, a.k.a. the stuff that everybody ignores before they plow straight into the recipes and photos of the book, lol. It can be a little bit heartbreaking to pour so much time and energy into something you know most people will skip, but it’s important to me because I learned so much in the front matter of my favorite baking books (seriously guys — it’s worth reading this section, especially if you own Momofuku Milk Bar or The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book) and want to do my own book the same justice. *shrug emoji*
And since we’re on the subject of cookbooks (and will likely be for the next few weeks, sorry), I have a stack of books that I’m working through one by one. One of those books is Shelly from Vegetarian Ventures‘ newish cookbook, Platters and Boards, which is dedicated to building beautiful charcuterie and cheese boards. It’s such a fun and original book, with tons of ideas for different themes and holidays — think: Flower Power Platters, S’mores Smorgasbords, and a Winter Solstice Platter. I’ve been super into it because we had spell where it was 90+ degrees every day and all I wanted to eat was cold salad and cheese, lol.
Anyway, Shelly has a recipe for dark chocolate covered strawberries that I’ve had bookmarked since receiving her book; unfortunately I sorta dropped the ball and just missed strawberry season in Portland!!! Now all the farmers markets are selling cherries, which I guess I can’t complain too much about since cherries are pretty dope. I decided to substitute the strawberries for cherries in her original recipe and it worked so well that I wanted to share it with you guys today. Shelly’s special twist includes sprinkling a colorful layer of pistachio nuts and freeze dried raspberries over the chocolate. Enjoy!
Some maker’s notes:
- Trader Joe’s sells a variety of freeze-dried fruits, including raspberries; I also recently saw that Whole Foods started carrying a variety. In a pinch, you can also order freeze-dried raspberries online.
- I used Stemilt’s Skylar Rae cherries, which are incredibly sweet with a firm and crisp texture, perfect for coating in chocolate and other toppings. I left my cherries unpitted because I found it easier to dip the cherries if the stems were still intact — you can use the stems as a sort of handle to dip the cherries in the chocolate and other toppings! Just be sure to serve with a pit bowl, similar to how you would serve olives.
Chocolate, Pistachio, and Raspberry Dust Cherries
- Special Equipment: a food processor
- a candy thermometer, preferably digital (I use this one)
For the Chocolate, Pistachio, and Raspberry Cherries
(makes around 36 cherries)
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries
- 1/4 cup shelled raw pistachios
- 2 ounces dark chocolate at least 60% cacao, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces ripe cherries washed and patted dry
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries and 1/4 cup shelled pistachios. Pulse until finely ground, around 10 seconds. Transfer to a shallow dish and set aside.
- Line a sheet pan with wax paper and set aside.
- Add about 2 inches of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and place a double boiler or heatproof bowl over the water, ensuring that the bottom of the boiler or bowl does not touch the water), and add three-quarters of the dark chocolate. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until most of it has melted. Keep a candy thermometer in the chocolate and remove bowl from the water if it gets warmer than 90 (F). Keep stirring until almost all the chocolate has melted. Add the remaining one-quarter of the chocolate and continue to stir until completely melted and glossy.
- Holding a cherry by its stem, dip it into the chocolate, and immediately roll it into the raspberry and pistachio mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the cherries. Set aside and let harden completely before serving, about 1 hour.
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