Cherry chocolate mousse
6 (recipe can be doubled to serve 12) 24 fresh cherries, pitted 1/4 cup brandy or kirsch, plus 2 tablespoons extra 25g butter, chopped 200g 70 per cent dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks 3 eggs separated 1/4 cup caster sugar 300ml cream
1. Use a cherry pitter or chop the cherries in half to get the pips out then pop the cherries in a plastic container, cover with the brandy and leave overnight in the fridge. 2. Heat the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly. 3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with half the sugar until soft peaks form. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and thick. 4. Fold the yolk mixture and extra brandy into the melted chocolate-butter mix. Add 1/3 of the egg whites and whisk to loosen, then fold in the remaining egg whites. This folding needs to be vigorous enough to get the lumps out of the egg whites but gentle enough not to knock out all the air. 5. Divide the brandy-soaked cherries among glasses then spoon the mousse mixture on top. 6. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight and remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.