Cherries are one of my favourite summer fruits. Packed with a plethora of benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness, these sweet and tart ruby red treats are like Mother Nature’s candy.
Beginning at the end of May and finishing in early August, cherries have a relatively short season. With Herefordshire being home to some of the largest cherry orchards in England, I try to incorporate them into as many of our dishes as possible.
As it’s National Cherry Day on July 16th, I thought we would celebrate with a dessert that Chef Liam put together - Chocolate Mousse Cake topped with organic Herefordshire cherries, Neal's Yard crème fraîche and honeycomb.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS //
Helps You Sleep Better
If you drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal, you will increase the levels of melatonin in your body, which helps to provide a more restful sleep.
Slows the Ageing of Skin
Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the ageing process.
Reduces Muscle Pain
A cup and a half of tart cherries, or one cup of tart cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness.
Good for the Heart
Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries also helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Decreases Belly Fat
Tart cherries reduces belly fat.
Helps With Osteoarthritis Relief
The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks.
Reduces Risk of Stroke
Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED...
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
(makes 20 portions)
• 675g Dark Chocolate
• 10 Whole Free Range Eggs
• 575g Caster Sugar
• 450g Butter, softened
SLOE GIN CHERRIES
• 1 Punnet Red Cherries
• 50g Caster Sugar
• 100ml Sloe Gin
• Squeeze of Lemon Juice
• 40g Honey
• 70g Glucose
• 2 1/2 tbsp Water
• 200g Caster Sugar
• 1 tbsp Bicarb
Place the honey, glucose, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. (Use a deep pan as will rise quickly when bicarb is added). Reduce heat and cook until light brown caramel.
Take off the heat and whisk in bicarb for 5 seconds. Pour into tray and store in the freezer for later.
Halve and de-stone cherries. Add all other ingredients and mix together. Set aside for later.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
(turn oven to 160 degrees)
Beat eggs with 1/3 of sugar until the volume quadruples - this process will take around 10 minutes in a mixer. Heat the remaining sugar in a small pan with 250ml water until sugar dissolves and creates a syrup.
Place chocolate and butter in hot syrup and stir until mixed thoroughly. This works best when using a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (just warm).
Add warm chocolate syrup to eggs and continue beating, more gently, until combined. This should take approximately 20 seconds, no more. Pour mixture into a lined bread tin.
Cook in a water bath up to the rim for 1 hour, or until cake has set. Once cooled, store in the fridge.
Using a hot knife, cut 1cm portions ensuring to wipe the knife in between cuts. Lay on a plate and garnish with crème fraîche, honeycomb. and cherries.