These indulgences are a variation on cherries jubilee, but fresh cherries have it all over the typical canned fruit version. While the parfaits look innocent, the sauce does have a mild kick from the kirsch, so when serving to kids, substitute water for the kirsch. Splurge on a good bottle of kirsch, which will last forever. Kirsch is always expensive due to the amount of cherries used to create the heady eau-de-vie.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1½ cups pitted Bing cherries
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons kirsch, cherry brandy, or brandy
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- 4 fresh cherries with their stems, for garnish
1. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand a few minutes until the chocolate softens, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
2. To make the cherry sauce, cook the cherries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries give off their juice, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the kirsch in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Stir into the cherries and cook just until the juices thicken. Transfer to another bowl and cool completely. (The chocolate and cherry sauces can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Gently reheat the chocolate sauce just until fluid.)
3. Scoop equal amounts of the ice cream into 4 parfait or martini glasses, adding the chocolate and cherry sauces to get a layered effect. Top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh cherry. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information does not include sweetened whipped cream dolloped on top before serving.