A cherry cordial is a confectionery treat made by enclosing a preserved cherry inside a chocolate shell. The cherry is typically preserved in cordial, a sweet liqueur, or sugar syrup for a non-alcoholic version, and the result is a very sweet candy treat with a faint bite from the alcohol. Numerous other fruits can be used to make cordials, although cherries remain especially popular, and the chocolate shell may be made from milk, dark, or white chocolate, depending on the taste of the confectioner.
The liqueur used inside the filling of the cherry cordial is made from crushed whole cherries which can been steeped in a sugar syrup with alcohol, and then strained. The result is a very dense, syrupy alcohol with a strong cherry flavor, courtesy of the crushed fruit and pits. Cherries are preserved in the liqueur by being halved, pitted, and heated briefly in the alcohol mixture before being preserved in cans or jars for use in cherry cordials. As an alternative, halved and pitted cherries can be cooked in sugar syrup and jarred for an alcohol-free version of cherry cordials.
These chocolates are especially common during the holiday season, with many markets carrying an array around December. They may be given as gifts or set out at holiday parties with other sweet treats, and people may pair cherry cordials with brandy or another alcohol as an after dinner treat. Beyond the holiday season, it can sometimes be challenging to find a cherry cordial in some regions of the world.
Cooks can make cherry cordials at home, assuming that they have access to candy molds. Making cherry cordials will require a supply of preserved cherries in syrup or cordial, and chocolate suitable for candy making. The chocolate is melted and carefully brushed into the molds in layers to create a shell, and the shells are filled with a single cherry each, along with a dollop of syrup, and topped with a layer of melted chocolate which will seal to create a closed confection.
The term “cordial” is also used specifically to refer to a family of fruit liqueurs made from crushed fruit, sugar syrup, and a fortifying alcohol. As a result, “cherry cordial” can mean both a filled chocolate, and a type of alcoholic drink. The drink is usually too sweet and intense to be consumed in large amounts, and it may be offered with an array of cordials either before or after dinner so that people can experience a small taste. Cherry cordial may also be blended into various mixed drinks.