Standing each tower in the centre of a shallow soup or salad bowl we spooned the cherries and their juice around the mousse. Finally we piped whipped cream on the top and sprinkled the mousse and cherries with shavings of dark chocolate.
All the work was worth it - everyone loved it and were delighted to see their favourite dessert recreated.
Here's the recipe I came up with:
For the mousse: ( I doubled this recipe to serve 20)
- 1 100g. bar of good white chocolate (I used Lindt)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 pkg. gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 pkg. (125g.) cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp. Kirsch (you can buy this at the liquor store)*
- 1 Tbsp. Maraschino cherry juice
- 2 egg whites
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate, divided
Kirsch is also used in the famous Black Forest Cake.
For the Cherries
You will need 4-6 cups sour cherries if you are surrounding the mousse with them, fewer if you use them as a topping. You can buy these already canned or, as I did, use frozen sour cherries. If using frozen, cook them using a 1-3 sugar syrup and 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch mixed with a bit of cold water. Cook until the liquid turns clear. You don't want the cherry juice thick, so don't use too much cornstarch. When the cherries are cool, add 2 or more Tbsp. of Kirsch to the juice and refrigerate for several hours.
Directions for making the Mousse:
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate in milk. Set aside
- In another small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and heat over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Cool slightly before combining with milk/chocolate mixture.
- Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth. Add Kirsch and Maraschino cherry juice and beat until well blended.
- Slowly mix chocolate/gelatin mixture into cream cheese mixture.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy and add sugar a little at a time. Beat until glossy peaks are formed .
- Fold egg whites into cream cheese/chocolate mixture.
- Whip cream and fold into mousse.
- Fold in 1/4 cup of the chopped dark chocolate.
- Spoon mixture into prepared tubes and refrigerate for 4 hours or so.
- See photos and instructions above to serve.