Quick Chocolate-Cinnamon Mousse with Cherries

Cherries are in season!

Fresh, local cherries are the shining jewels of late spring and summer fruit. Usually best between May and June, cherries are the first stone fruit of the warm weather season. Unlike their stone fruit brethren, cherries do not ripen after they’ve been picked, so only buy those that are plump, have a deep, uniform color, and are ready to be eaten. Store them unwashed in a bowl or open canvas bag in your fridge. They can be frozen for future use, but make sure to remove the pit, and do not defrost them if you’ll be cooking with them (you’ll lose some of their juices along with the ice). Pesticide residue can be a problem with cherries, so choose organic cherries whenever possible.

Here’s a fast and yummy way to enjoy cherries this season.

Quick Chocolate-Cinnamon Mousse with Cherries

Either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate will give great results, but bittersweet will pack more intense chocolate flavor.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

8 ounces fresh Bing cherries, pitted
1/3 cup black cherry preserves or other cherry preserves
1/3 cup ruby Port or cherry juice

1 1/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1/8 teaspoon (generous) ground cinnamon
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For cherries:

Combine cherries, cherry preserves, and Port in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil until juices thicken to syrup consistency, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to small bowl and chill until cold, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

For mousse:

Combine 1/4 cup cream and cinnamon in small saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer chocolate mixture to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cup cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold 1/4 of whipped cream into lukewarm chocolate mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture in 3 additions just until incorporated. Divide mousse among 4 glasses or bowls. Chill until set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
Spoon cherries with syrup atop mousse and serve.

Courtesy of Bon Appétit  | June 2007
Dave Lieberman

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