400 grams fresh cherries, pitted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
juice 1 large orange
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons cold water
200 ml cream
100 grams dark chocolate, chopped (I used 60% cocoa)
2 tablespoons coffee or cherry liqueur or brandy
1 egg white
¼ cup caster sugar
whipped cream or mascarpone
6 fresh cherries with stem on
cocoa for dusting
6 x ½ cup capacity glasses
Cherries: Put the sugar, orange zest and juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes, and then add the cherries. Cook for 5 minutes until they release some of their juice. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth then stir into the cherries. Cook for a few minutes until thick and glossy. Carefully spoon the cherries into the glasses and chill until cold.
Mousse: Heat the cream in a small saucepan to just below boiling point. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour over the cream and stir until smooth. Add the liqueur and refrigerate until well chilled.
Whisk the egg white to soft peaks then gradually beat in the sugar until thick glossy. Using a large metal spoon, gently but thoroughly fold the egg white through the chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon the mousse over the cherries, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To serve: Top the mousse with a dollop of cream, a cherry and a pinch of cocoa.
Cook’s note: The cherries used for topping can be dipped in melted dark chocolate then left to dry on baking paper.