Beer Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries
Last week I was able to sit down with a guy, who in just two years went from a home brewer who was opening the doors to his first bar, to owning three bars and the fastest growing craft brewery in California.
If you live in Los Angeles, and you’re a craft beer fan, I’m certain you have heard of Tony Yanow of Golden Road. If you haven’t you are going to want to acquaint yourself with him and what he’s building. Here is my article for your craft beer research indulgence.
He is also the man who helped create one of my favorite IPA’s. Golden Roads, Point The Way IPA.
As I’ve hammered into you several times before, IPA’s make terrible cooking subject, which is why I rarely use them. This is a recipe that doesn’t require cooking, and the tart hoppiness of the IPA is a great compliment to the cherries.
And, as a salute to my fellow beer lovers who happen to be vegan (more vegan beer fans exist than one would expect) this is an easy recipe to veganize.
IPA Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries (vegan option)
2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted
1 cup IPA
8 oz Dark Chocolate (60%) (For vegan, use vegan chocolate. Most higher end brands are vegan at 60%, but make sure to check if you want to make sure)
Pit the cherries and add them to a loaf pan in one tight layer. Pour the IPA over the cherries and allow to soak at room temperature for 2 hours and up to 6. Drain and allow to dry for about 20 minutes (they need to be dry before chocolate gets involved).
To temper the chocolate: (*Note. Tempering chocolate makes it shiny and gives it a nice snap. If you don’t care so much about that, you can just add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted)
In a double boiler melt the chocolate over medium heat. If you don’t have a double boiler, add a metal bowl over a pot of water, making sure the bottom of the metal bowl does not come in contact with the water in the pot.
Chop the chocolate into chunks and add about half to the top of the double boiler. Heat the chocolate to 115 degrees (use a clip-on candy thermometer to do this). Add the rest of the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has melted and is now down to about 90 degrees.
A few at a time, add the cherries to the chocolate with a fork, roll around until coated, remove with the fork and allow to drain a bit, then place on a piece of parchment paper to harden. Repeat for all cherries. Chill until ready to serve.