See note at the bottom for vegan/dairy-free stuffed cherries.
I recently acquired a cherry/olive pitter, so I’ve been eager to give stuffed cherries a go. This particular recipe is from “Taste of Home”, but there are tonnes of ways to spin it – I found one recipe that stuffed the cherries with a blanched almond and then covered them in chocolate. A quick Google of “Stuffed cherries” will give you endless ideas, so feel free to get creative!
• 3 dozen cherries
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1 tablespoon ground almonds or hazelnuts
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1 cup white chocolate chips
• 1 cup milk or dark chocolate chips
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• Pit cherries through the sides, leaving stems intact.
• In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in ground nuts and syrup. Pipe into cherries.
• In a microwave-proof bowl, mix a tablespoon of oil into the white chocolate. Microwave in 10-20 second intervals on medium power, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is melted. Repeat with the milk/dark chocolate.
• Holding the stems, dip a third of the stuffed cherries into the melted white chocolate and allow the excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper and leave to stand until set. Repeat with the remaining chocolate, dipping half in white and half in milk/dark. Leave them to stand in a cool part of the house if necessary but don’t refrigerate them at this stage or the moisture will cause the chocolate to sweat.
• Once the chocolate is set (and reheating the remaining chocolate if necessary), drizzle white chocolate over milk/dark chocolate-dipped cherries, and vice versa. Leave to set, then store in an airtight container. They can now be refrigerated, or frozen for later.
There are many ways of doing vegan or dairy-free stuffed cherries. Two examples include:
• Stuffing with a blanched almond and covering in vegan dark chocolate.
• Mixing maple syrup, ground almonds and coconut cream and piping it into the cherries before covering in chocolate.
Remember to pit the cherries sideways, to keep the stem intact: it makes it much easier to coat in chocolate, and looks more aesthetic.