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Tana's Kitchen Secrets
by Tana Ramsay

This is an easy yet impressive, light and airy dessert that you can whip up in advance. I use fresh cherries in this recipe, but I've also had a great deal of success with canned fruits when they're out of season, so don't just keep this dish for the summer months.
Makes 6 cocktail glasses
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Can be made in advance



    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 lb cherries, halved and stoned

    For the mousse
    • 5 oz dark chocolate, plus extra to grate on top
    • 2¼ cups low-fat creme fraiche
    • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks


1. Put the sugar into a pan with 1/2 cup cold water. Place over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Toss in the cherries, increase the heat, and boil for about 5 minutes, or until the juices are syrupy and they coat the cherries. Transfer the cherries and juices into a bowl and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate (follow the instructions in the secret, below left), then allow it to cool slightly. Gently stir in the creme fraiche and heavy cream.

3. Divide the cherry mixture between 6 cocktail glasses. Spoon the chocolate mousse on top of each and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill and slightly set. Grate on top a little more chocolate just before serving.

How to Melt Chocolate:
Break the chocolate into chunks and place it in a heatproof bowl fitted over a pan of simmering water over gentle heat, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir the chocolate only now and again and allow it to melt gently. If it becomes grainy or separates (known as "seizing"), it has been over-heated. To rescue it, stir in 1 tsp vegetable oil.



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