Food of the Month: Cherries

Wednesday 2 July 2014 by

Cherries, Fruit, Food, Summer

We’re back! June was all about books, but we haven’t forgotten one of the other great things in life: food. This month, I round up all the brilliant things you can do with a certain ingredient – an ingredient that has just come in to season and is a firm favourite of mine. Cherries.

Cherries, Fruit, Food, Summer

Just like May’s apricots, you either love or you hate cherries. But whatever your preference, you won’t escape them in Summer. Almost as popular as strawberries and raspberries, cherries pop up at picnics wherever you are! The most popular way to serve them is in a cake- try a pavlova or Florentines as something slightly different, or take a tip from BBC Good Food (my source of most delicious recipes) and put them in brownies and boozy brûlées. Before I get on to my choice this month, I will also point you in the direction of a dead-easy cherry vodka recipe – you will want to make note of it, because it’s going to come in handy later this month on the Cocktail Bar!

So once again, for my recipe of the month, I’ve gone for a delicious baked treat. Cherries are the perfect indulgence, and so often turn up in cakes and pastries. This BBC Good Food choc-cherry fudge torte with cherry sorbet is super-super indulgent, and it’s gluten and dairy free! It does need a little prep-time, so make sure you aren’t caught out last-minute.

Choc-cherry fudge torte, Cake, Gluten-free, Vegan, Egg-free, Nut-free, BBC Good Food

Choc-cherry fudge torte with cherry sorbet – serves 10

You will need:

  • 20cm loose-bottomed baking tin
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 bowl
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Freezer-proof container

Ingredients:

  • 100g dried sour cherries
  • 5 tbsp brandy
  • 300g gluten- and wheat-free plain flour
  • 85g cocoa (plus extra for dusting)
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 350ml unsweetened rice milk
  • 150ml agave syrup
  • Icing sugar
  • 2 x 600g jars of cherry compote
  • 200g caster sugar

How to do it:

Cherries, Fruit, Food, Summer, Sorbet

Prepare your sorbet and cherries first: whizz the compote and caster sugar together until smooth(ish) and then put into the freezer (in a freezer-proof container) to harden.

Cherries, Fruit, Food, Brandy

Then, in another bowl, mix the dried sour cherries and brandy together and leave to soak for a few hours (cover with cling film if need be, but it doesn‘t matter if you can’t).

Choc-cherry fudge torte, Ingredients, Dry, Food, Baking, BBC Good Food

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C fan, and line the base of your loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and xanthan gum.

Choc-cherry fudge torte, Ingredients, Wet, Food, Baking, Cake, BBC Good Food

In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, rice milk and agave syrup, and then add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Choc-cherry fudge torte, Baking, Food, BBC Good Food

Add your brandy-soaked cherries, give another quick stir, and then pour the mixture into your baking tin. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is crisp and firm, but the centre is still soft and fudgy.

Choc-cherry fudge torte, Cake, Gluten-free, Vegan, Egg-free, Nut-free, BBC Good Food, Cherry sorbet

Once cool, you can take it from the tin, dust with the cocoa and icing sugar if you so wish, and serve with the sorbet.

The rich flavour of the brandy and cherries add bitterness to the super-sweet torte, and the sorbet is a cooling cleanser for the palate. Definitely one of the most indulgent things I’ve made, but it went down a storm! Worried about what to serve for pudding at a dinner party? This is vegan, nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and totally impressive. Tuck in!

Do you love cherries? What’s your favourite way to serve them up?

Check out more cherry inspiration on the Pinterest board!

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