News 8 Eye Piece: Candy Man

Learn how chocolate-covered cherries are made at The Sweet Shop

Saturday is Valentine’s Day and News 8 Photographer John Schmidt has a sweet treat for our viewers.

He shows us how chocolate-covered cherries are made at The Sweet Shop on La Crosse’s north side.

Sweet Shop Manager Chad Johnson said the start with 2 ½ lbs of sugar and turn it into the base, or the bob.

“It’s the start of a batch of candy,” Johnson said.

Next, they take the copper kettle and set it on a 65-year-old stove to begin the cooking process.

“Fondant is just sugar and corn syrup cooked to 240-degrees,” Johnson said. “It’s then blended in a special ball beater machine, which creates – it almost turns white – into a harder paste. Which then is added back into the main batch to create the crème-filled center.”

Johnson said they like to use an older style of candy cooking.

“We still use all old copper kettles, wooden spatulas, old molding starch molds that are from the turn of the century. Each batch, being hand-dipped and homemade takes quite a bit of time. Every piece is homemade. It’s a taste of La Crosse. A lot of history goes into each piece.”