A favourite dessert with a grown up twist. Soak the cherries in a little brandy or cherry brandy the day before you plan to serve this dessert.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Soaking time: overnight
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
400 g (14 oz) British cherries, reserve 6 on stalks for decoration, remove stalks and stones from the rest
3 tablespoons brandy or cherry brandy
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
15 g (½ oz) butter
4 medium eggs, separated
2 tablespoons icing sugar
5 tablespoons double cream
120 ml (4 fl oz) double cream
25 g (1 oz) dark chocolate, melted, optional
Little dusting of cocoa
1. Soak the stoned cherries in brandy in a small bowl tightly covered with clingfilm in the fridge overnight.
2. Next day, add the chocolate and butter to a large bowl and set this over a saucepan of very gently simmering water making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water then leave for 5 minutes or so until the chocolate has melted.
3. Stir the egg yolks one at a time into the warm chocolate then take the bowl off the heat and stir in the sugar and cream until smooth. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks. Fold a spoonful into the chocolate mix to loosen the mixture then gently fold in the remainder.
4. Drain off any excess brandy from the cherries into the chocolate mousse then divide the cherries between small champagne, wine or liqueur glasses. Pour the chocolate mousse into the assorted glasses then chill for 4 hours or until set.
5. To decorate, softly whip the cream then spoon over the glasses and dust lightly with a little sifted cocoa. Dip the reserved cherries on stalks into the melted chocolate if using and arrange on top of the cream. Chill until ready to serve.