Intro

 

It’s nearly impossible to return from the market without baskets and baskets of berries in various forms this time of year. I’m not the only shopper in the family who falls for their brilliant hues and sweet perfume that lures you in from yards away, my husband is easily wooed too – I adore that about him.

Last week it was blueberries. He had just returned home from the store when I spotted a heap of large, tight-skinned berries on my counter. My immediate thought was cake. No, wait – pie! No. A crumble! Yes. A crumble. Hmm. But a cobbler would be nice too. Then I ate one thinking it may further help seal their fate. It did, but not in the way I was expecting. I stood there in the kitchen eating those berries until there were only a few left, stopping for the sake of my berry-loving children.

It is often my instinct to see something like a pint of fresh berries and to immediately concoct an elaborate plan. Most likely these plans involve butter, a lot of butter. But as I stood there in my kitchen shoving blueberries into my mouth I couldn’t have imagined a better way of enjoying them. Covered in a smooth, firm skin, crowded with little leaves and soft stems, still warm in a just picked sort of a way with an endearing tartness that I adore.  Sure, a pie would have been nice but often simplicity has a way of showing off one’s true character. It’s honest, unpretentious and gratifying. There will still be cakes, pie, crumbles and crisps but it is great to be reminded that sometimes eating berries straight out of their green composite container is really the best recipe.

Days later a large wooden crate of cherries arrived at my doorstep (a gift from a local farm). I’m not (too) embarrassed to say that I took the crate in its entirety with me to the couch where I sat there and stopped just shy of eating its entire contents. This time is was the fear of not sharing these beauties with you people that caused the cherry feasting to end. I didn’t think you’d be satisfied with a recipe that instructed you to eat cherries alone on a couch (or in bed – I ate them there too). But I couldn’t bring myself to poach, roast, bake or even pickle these berries. They were far too perfect in shape, flavor and color. The best way to enjoy them was just out of the crate.

That is until I decided to give them a bit of a dip in melted white chocolate blended with a fragrant vanilla bean. Still simple but dressed up enough to be called dessert. Everything I loved about these cherries remained intact – a crisp bite of a pinkish skin that yielded to a bright, tart interior. As a young girl in a dress suddenly stands up taller with a bit more confidence and grace as she instantly feels more like a princess so were these cherries in their sweet, vanilla scented dress. A gentle and subtle addition to accentuate their honest beauty and simplicity.

 

 

Classic Amaretto Sour

Newly married, Amaretto Sour was our drink of choice. I think it made us feel grown up then. Now we drink them because they taste so darn good. We’ve matured in many ways over the years with one of them being the banishment of pre-made sweet and sour. With only two ingredients this cocktail mixes together (a little too) quickly and easily. These vanilla and white chocolate cherries add a layer of sweetness and invade your senses before you even taste the cocktail. Each drink really should have two – one for eating immediately and the other for lingering until the last sip.

1 ounce Amaretto

juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 white chocolate dipped cherries

 

Rim an old fashioned glass with lemon and dip into sugar. Shake the amaretto and lemon juice then pour over ice. Garnish with cherries.

*These cherries were gifted to me. I received no payment or had no obligation to tell you about them – I just couldn’t help it. Cherries this good must be shared.
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White Chocolate Covered Cherries

White Chocolate Dipped Cherries with Vanilla Bean

The cherries I dipped were a rare type called Orondo. Darker and sweeter than a Rainier, lighter and tangier than a Bing. Really, the perfect cherry. If you can’t get a hold of these beauties I’d take Rainier over Bing any day. 

This recipe is quite rough. Essentially you melt white chocolate, stir in vanilla seeds and dip cherries. I gave rough numbers for those who like them.

 

6 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped

1 pound cherries

 

In a small bowl melt chopped chocolate in a microwave or over a bowl of simmering water. If using the microwave only heat for 20 second intervals, stirring in between each. Once melted, stir in vanilla seeds. Reserve the bean to add to you sugar jar or simmer in simple syrup for cocktail or lemonade making.

Dip the clean cherries into the melted white chocolate. Place on a parchment covered tray and refrigerate until firm or ready to eat.

49 Responses to “White chocolate covered cherries”

  1. Laura Dembowski

    Love this story. You write incredibly well. I totally agree with you: baking with fruit is amazing but there’s nothing like eating it as is. I’ve read about those cherries one other place and would love to find them here but they are nowhere to be found.

    Reply
  2. sara

    how I get a delivery of those gorgeous cherries on my doorstep?!?! Lucky you! I need some. They look so tasty and I love the quote you open with. xo

    Reply
  3. Courtney @educatedderelicts

    What a good idea to mix vanilla seeds into the chocolate! I’m always reluctant to do anything with fresh cherries other shove them in my mouth as fast as possible – this I might have to try!

    Reply
  4. lizzie

    Beautiful photographs. Love cherries, will be looking forward to summer this year, to give this a try. Great for Christmas cocktails down under.

    Reply
  5. Margherita

    Love it! Cherries (my favorite fruit) and white chocolate (may fav chocolate). This combination is a total win-win for me!

    Reply
  6. Lorna

    Oh Ashley – I loved this post – you make my heart soar with joy every time I read a new post from you. The da Vinci quote is perfection. Have a wonderful day sweet Ashley – and thank you for brightening mine week after week :) With love and thanks XXX

    Reply
  7. Andrea

    OMG, I need to know the colour of that wall!

    Love from Ms. Refurbishing the livingroom, Norway

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Andrea – Oh I wish I knew the name of the color. Just looking at the wall you’d think it was white but when white sits next to it you can see that it is softly blue.

      Reply
  8. Mallory

    Oh my, cherries are just fantastic right now! Great idea with dipping them in while chocolate…so elegant and simple!

    Reply
  9. Shalini

    Hi Ashley, I’m going to look for those Orondo cherries. How perfectly shaped and coloured they are. Beautiful analogy of the young girl in the dress standing up taller, and I love looking at the photo of the cherry covered in the vanilla-bean flecked white chocolate.

    Reply
  10. Shanna

    OK, can I tell you, we literally *just* picked up Orondo cherries for the first time ever this weekend and loved them. Loved them so much in fact that we were reading up on them on their website. And then I see this! Great choice to cover them in chocolate. Lovely!

    Reply
  11. DeAnn @ TheSIPproject.blogspot.com

    Good gracious! If you wrote a cook book with little stories about the recipes I think it would be the first cook book to get read, they way other books are read, you would find it on peoples nightstands and in their kitchens. I love chocolate covered strawberries it’s one of my fave desserts their is just something synergistic about the pair. I love the idea of cherries and white chocolate the addition of the vanilla bean really takes it up a notch. In a drink never would of thought to go there! As always great work!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      DeAnn – Wow. Thanks for this very generous comment. You pretty much just described my dream – to create a book that is feels as home in the kitchen and on the nightstand.

      Reply
  12. alison

    Ashley, I’ve been eating cherries like a maniac. i can’t wait to dip them in chocolate now!! yum yum

    Reply
  13. Calantha

    With fresh summer fruit I always feel the need to eat my first batch straight-up, without adornment, before I can begin to consider baking or poaching etc. And usually that turns out to be an entire bushel/basket/crate. No shame.

    And I love the parallel you draw between the little girl, confident in a nice dress, and these ‘dressed-up’ cherries. Lovely imagery.

    Reply
  14. Ashley

    I just cannot get over the simple but eye-catching colors in this post. I bought my fair share of berries this week and had great intentions of creating a few new recipes. Well, my strawberries are 100% gone and the blueberries aren’t close behind and the only place they’ve made it to is my mouth. :) It’s just so hard to not enjoy them in their crisp, juicy, raw form! Thanks for the always inspiration photos + recipes. Your daughter is a doll!

    Reply
  15. Andrea

    Beautiful cherries! You’ve inspired me to try more than just my usual Bing cherries! Also, do you have a favorite brand of white chocolate? I used to dislike white chocolate until I tried Green &Black’s–so good! I think it might be the vanilla they add.

    Reply
  16. Cory

    Thank you for your great post! The photos are delicious! The Orondo Ruby wrapped up its harvest a couple weeks ago but they may still be available in stores. Check your local Kroger store (QFC, Ralphs, King Soopers), Whole Foods, Safeway or Sams club.

    Reply
  17. Kaitlin

    This is such a relatable post. I have been trying to retrain myself to see fruit as more than just an ingredient. I’ve always loved it plain, but there are just so many enticing options when it comes to baking!

    This recipe seems like a happy medium. The vanilla seeds in the white chocolate are so lovely! I hope I can find cherries like that around here. They sound wonderful!

    Reply
  18. Biz @ mess of greens

    oh. wow. this is my first visit to your site and your sense of color and composition is AMAZING. I have so much to learn! I’ll be checking back often to sit at your feet!

    Reply
  19. Lisa

    All your stuff is way too gorgeous and yummy looking!! Good thing I’ve linked back to you from my own blog–will stop by often ;)

    Reply
  20. Christy

    oh man, i love amaretto sours! thank you for pointing out that it’s totally not necessary to use the sour mix. (can’t believe i still do!)

    beautiful pictures, and as someone just starting out with a food-photo-heavy blog, yours is a nice one to get inspiration from :)

    Reply

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