Cherry and chocolate is not as good and commonplace a combination as berries with chocolate, but it still works. Granted that many instances where chocolate goes well with cherries cannot be replicated at a home kitchen, but it’s still a good idea to know about the different combinations.
It’s important to understand the overlapping of tastes. Ripe cherries and chocolate both bring sweetness to the table, but their secondary taste characteristics don’t match well. Cherries are sweet and sour, while most chocolates are sweet and bitter. So you have to be a bit careful when combining chocolate with cherries.
Liquid Chocolate/Chocolate Covered Cherries: Regardless of the type of chocolate, the most common example you might find of the cherries and chocolates going together well is when cherries are covered in chocolate. They are usually available in stores, but you can also prepare them at home. And you would have a lot of flexibility with the combination, and a decent variety of additives can be used to enhance the combination.
Three example recipes you need to look into:
It’s important to note that even though the final product in most of these recipes is solid (solid cherry covered in a solid layer of chocolate) and even the white chocolate used to accentuate the flavor is solid, the key ingredient and the soul of the combination would be liquid chocolate.
You can simply dip fresh cherries in liquid chocolate and consume them as a tasty, healthy (questionable) snack.
Let’s see how cherries might work with the most common types of chocolates:
Milk Chocolate With Cherries: Milk chocolate and cherries can be consumed separately (though coming from the same bowl), and they also come in a variety of commercially available combinations. Milk chocolate is also the most commonly used liquid chocolate for chocolate-covered cherries, thanks mostly to its mild flavor and flexible consistency. You can try to replicate the recipes of the most common commercially available milk chocolate cherry desserts (like milk chocolate cherry cordials), but you might have a difficult time finding exact directions.
Dark Chocolate With Cherries: Dark chocolate and cherries are not as common a combination as milk chocolate, and the reason being the secondary characteristic of dark chocolates, i.e., bitterness. The sweetness in most dark chocolates is relatively less pronounced compared to milk chocolates, and the bitterness is more noticeable, and if you combine it with sour cherries, you might get the worst of what both have to offer. However, you can combine perfectly ripe, sweet cherries, with milder dark chocolates, in different combinations. This combination is also used for chocolate-covered cherries.
White Chocolate With Cherries: White chocolate and cherry combinations are surprisingly more varied than cherry combinations with other chocolates. The reason being that white chocolate is made with cocoa butter, not cocoa solid, which gives the chocolate its characteristic brown color. This reflects in the taste as well, which is richly sweet, leaning more towards vanilla than chocolate, and has almost no bitterness associated with other types of chocolates.
You can go with classic white chocolate-covered cherries, or you can get more inventive with this combination. You can make a fudge that combines both white chocolate and cherries into tasty delights, where cherries can also be used as toppings. Another great way to combine the two is in shortbreads. You can also combine the two into cookies.
The variety is quite extensive with this cherry and chocolate combination, thanks mostly to the sweetness overlap.
Four example recipes where white chocolate and cherries go well together:
Ruby Chocolate: If you are feeling exotic and wish to combine cherries with chocolate aesthetically as well as taste-wise, you can look for ruby chocolate and cherry combinations. Ruby chocolate is patented chocolate made from a specific type of cocoa beans that result in a natural ruby color. There are significant differences in the taste of ruby chocolates compared to other typical brown chocolates as well. You can combine the two in coated cherries and a few other dessert recipes, though the combination will be more a novelty than functional.
Raw Chocolate: Raw chocolate, as the name suggests, is completely unprocessed. It’s more “chocolate” than many other chocolates, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending upon the use you wish to put it to. However, it does give you more flexibility to adjust the “sweetness” level, despite being as chocolate-heavy as you wish it to be. Raw chocolate goes with cherries in a few different dessert recipes (mostly cakes). The two are also combined in ripe bars, along with coconuts.
A few desserts where raw chocolate goes well together with cherries are:
The principle of combining chocolates with cherries is simple, the more you can control the sweetness of the mixture and undermine the bitterness of chocolates, the better.