24 July 2007
Chocolate Cherry Purses
Inspired in part by Kitchen Chick, I bought tart cherries last week even though I didn’t know ahead of time what I was going to make. My two dessert cookbooks were not as inspirational as I’d hoped, but I eventually settled upon this recipe from The Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts (p 70).
Chocolate Fruit Purses
1 cup lightly packed fresh or frozen red raspberries or pitted sweet cherries
2 Tab sugar
1 Tab cornstarch
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 sheet commercially prepared puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly butter a baking sheet or large baking dish.
Combine the fruit, sugar, and cornstarch in the saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold the defrosted puff pastry. Stretch it slightly to form a square, then cut it in quarters to form four squares. Mound 1/4 of the filling in the center of each square. Brush the edges with water, life the four corners of each square up and over the filling, and twist them together to form a small topknot. Pinch each side seam together to seal the pastries.
Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or so of space between the pastries. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. These pastries are best served warm.
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Equipment: baking sheet, small heavy saucepan, [cherry pitter, wooden spoon]
Because I was using tart cherries instead of sweet, and had closer to 1.5 cups, I increased the sugar to 4 Tab, but I think it would have been fine with 3 or maybe even 2 tablespoons. I also added about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, because Kitchen Chick says Martha specifies that for her cobbler.
This recipe was really simple, yet the end result looked fairly elegant and tasted fabulous. However, both Jonski Papa and I thought this had too much chocolate. Blasphemy, I know, but the chocolate sort of overwhelmed the taste of the cherries and didn’t allow the flavor of the fruit to shine through. (Silly boys were unwilling to try the dessert, even though they like all the component ingredients. Oh well, more for me! I’m not going to complain…)
Since I had more cherries (and more puff pastry!), I tried it again. This time I only used 2 Tab of sugar as specified (no modifications for tart cherries) and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. To be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference. What I mean is, it was still good, and I ate every bite, I don’t think the modifications provided that more of a center stage to the cherries.
Tomorrow is market day, I guess I’ll just have to get more cherries and try a simple cobbler or something else without chocolate!