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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Canning Chocolate - Yes we Can!

In honor of National Canning Forward day I thought I would repost!

It may not be bricks of Cocoa or one of your favorite brand names but you can do chocolate another way and make is safe for canning. We can use powdered Cocoa. It is amazing the kinds of flavor you can get pairing this with fruit. On a previous post I did the recipe from the canning book, "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving", which by the way was done it Canada,  for Chocolate Raspberry Topping and it was so good. When Teresa from my Facebook page said something about using Cherries I got very excited about the prospect of using the cocoa again.

Last night I finished the recipe and it is better than the raspberry but for a different reason. The dark cherries are more firm and difficult to breakdown like the raspberries so the sauce has half and parts of cherries in it. That was bonus in this recipe. The "bite" of the cherry was more a blast of fruit flavor in your mouth like biting into a chocolate covered cherry. Amazing is all that my niece could say! Thanks again Teresa for the "Black Forrest" idea!

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Black Cherry Sundae Topping
(Adapted Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

Makes about 6 (8 oz) half pints – also fantastic to put into 4 oz jars for gifts! 

1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1.75-oz pkg Ball Original Fruit Pectin
4-1/2 cups black sweet cherries
*6-3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice

(*If you used Ball flex batch low sugar/no sugar pectin you can reduce the sugar significantly.  I used only 1 1/2 cup sugar. Make sure to taste the recipe after the first cup of sugar and increase by ½ cups until the flavor is sweet enough. Use 3 T. Ball flex batch low sugar no sugar pectin.)

Directions:
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Combine Cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.
Combine cherries and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan.  Using a potato masher crush the cherries as best you can. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once (taste if you are using the low sugar method but do not boil till you have correct sugar ratio) and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot sundae topper into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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