I have to thank my fifteen year old son for this recipe which he adapted from a 1970s chocolate mousse recipe that was dog-eared and smeared with chocolate stains from overuse. He added the cherries and their tartness is a perfect foil for the rich chocolate and cream. If it is summertime and cherries are plentiful where you live, why not poach them yourself – but make sure you use sour morello cherries for the best flavour. The better the quality of the chocolate you use the better the final result – and, of course, there is no other chocolate but dark chocolate.
500g pitted morello cherries, drained, syrup reserved
300ml thickened cream
50g-piece dark chocolate, shaved
200 g dark chocolate
300 ml cream
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
First make the mousse. Melt 200g chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Use a medium low setting and stir after every minute as chocolate burns easily in the microwave. You could also melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water.
Separate eggs. Mix egg yolks with sugar and vanilla and stir together. Mix with melted chocolate. Gently whip 300ml cream, add to chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Put ¼ of the egg whites with chocolate mixture and combine, then add rest of egg white and fold through gently until completely mixed. Do not beat or over mix or the mousse will lose its airy texture.
Chill for about 3 hours to let it set. In a separate bowl whip the remaining 300ml of cream to soft peaks. Layer the mousse, cream and cherries in individual glasses. Repeat so that there are two layers in each glass. Decorate with the 50g shaved chocolate on top, and a drizzle of cherry juice.