12 Nov Melting Chocolate Cherry Bomb with Cherry Mousse, Pistachio Crumble and White Chocolate Sauce
I was one of a select few guests that was invited to visit the Cherry Time farm in Worcester this past weekend. We had a fantastic day picking cherries, learning all about cherry agriculture, and enjoying a picnic lunch in the cherry orchards. I’ve always loved using cherries in desserts but after learning how tricky they are to grow, I have a new appreciation for these gorgeous little fruits!
I returned home with an abundant harvest of plump and juicy cherries, just crying out to be used in a fancy, festive dessert. I really wanted to hero the cherries, so much so that I attempted to recreate one by making a cherry-red chocolate sphere! Adding a sparkler on top for a cherry bomb effect is a really stunning touch that will get your guests talking for sure. Just when they think the theatre is over, the hot chocolate sauce will melt the sphere revealing the scrumptious dessert inside. Magical!
As complicated as this dessert may look, the only special equipment you need is a silicone mould which is available at any baking store, and you can find sparklers at party shops. If you find making the chocolate spheres too fiddly, you could also layer the crumble, cherry mousse and fresh cherries in a glass for an equally delicious, although less dramatic dessert!
For the Cherry Mousse:
200g stoned Cherry Time cherries (about 350g fresh cherries)
45ml sugar (3 tbsp)
30ml water (2 tbsp)
15ml lemon juice (1 tbsp)
2,5ml finely grated lemon zest (½ tsp)
10ml gelatine (2 tsp)
15ml water (1 tbsp)
For the Pistachio Crumble:
100g flour (¾ cup)
50g brown sugar (¼ cup)
60g shelled pistachios (½ cup)
70g cold salted butter, cubed (5 tbsp)
5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp)
For the Chocolate Spheres:
250g white baking chocolate
red and pink food colouring powder
For the White Chocolate Sauce:
200g white chocolate, finely chopped
fresh Cherry Timecherries
4 x sparklers
edible flowers eg dianthus and violas
- Start by making the cherry mousse. Place the stoned cherries, sugar and 30ml water into a small saucepan. Heat over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the cherries have softened and the sauce is thick and syrupy. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatine over the 15ml water and leave for 5 minutes to sponge.
- Add the sponged gelatine, lemon juice and zest to the hot cherry mixture and stir well. Use a stick blender or food processor to purée the mixture then pass through a sieve so you have a smooth purée. Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Whip the cream until you have stiff peaks and fold in the cooled cherry mixture. Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and refrigerate until ready to serve,
- Next, make the crumble. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the flour, sugar and pistachios into a food processor and blitz until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the cubed butter and process again until you have fine crumbs. Add the vanilla essence and blend again. (If you don’t have a food processor, add the flour and sugar to a large bowl and grate in the cold butter. Rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until you have fine crumbs, then stir in the vanilla essence and finely chopped nuts).
- Spread the crumble mixture onto the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until just turning golden. Allow to cool completely on the tray then store in an airtight container until needed (up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months).
- To make the chocolate spheres, gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler or at 20-second intervals in the microwave. Add a good amount of red and pink food colouring powder to about 3 tbsp of the melted chocolate. Mix very well to get a cherry red colour, then add to the remaining chocolate. If you need to add more colour, remove 3 tbsp of the chocolate to pre-mix with the colour powder before adding to the remaining chocolate.
- Pour the chocolate into a silicone mould with 5 x 8cm diameter semi-spheres (available at baking stores). Swirl slowly to coat the mould evenly, then tap out any excess chocolate. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then repeat with the leftover chocolate so that you have 8 semi-spheres.
- To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream until just starting to bubble then pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth,
- To assemble your dessert, place a semi-sphere onto a plate and use a little melted chocolate to “glue” it in place. Add a few tablespoons of pistachio crumble, then pipe in the cherry mousse. I did 5 stars around the edge, and one large star in the centre. Freeze this until the mousse is solid, about 1 hour (otherwise the mousse will just turn to liquid when the sauce is poured over).
- When you are ready to serve, decorate the mousse with some fresh cherries and edible flowers if desired. Heat a frying pan on the stove on low heat and quickly press a second chocolate semi-sphere onto the pan (hollow side down) just to melt the rim. Place on top of the other semi-sphere to form a ball. If necessary you can smooth the seam with a hot spoon (dip in hot water then dry thoroughly).
- Carefully insert a sparkler into the top of the “cherry” chocolate sphere – I like to heat the base of the sparkler first so that the chocolate does not crack when pushing it in.
- Place the desserts on the table and light the sparklers to create your cherry bombs!
- Heat your white chocolate sauce until very hot and place into a jug. Pour the hot sauce over the cherry bombs and watch as the spheres melt and reveal the yummy dessert hidden within!