Tipsy Cherries with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream and Chocolate Pound Cake

Tipsy Cherries with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream and Chocolate Pound Cake

Serves 4.

This really is a simple dessert to make.  I had been dreaming of putting the cherries and cream over just-baked chocolate scones, but with no oven available to me it wasn't meant to be.  So I found a very tasty (and very store bought) chocolate pound cake and decided to make it the base for my creation.  I don't have a single complaint about my choice- it was just perfect.  The super-sweet cherries cut through the richness of the cake and were balanced just right with the vanilla cream. And feel free to whip your cream up stiffer.  The two fork method I tried out in my hotel room was less than effective, but it tasted great so it didn't bother me a bit to have the loose puddles of cream on the plate.  I managed to forget to shave over the dark chocolate I had in my haste to get a good photograph before the light went away.  I won't forget next time.

1 lb cherries, pitted and halved

3 tbs sugar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tbs liqueur (port or kirsch)

6 oz mascarpone, room temperature

3/4 heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar

4 slices chocolate pound cake

Dark chocolate for shaving over top

Toss the cherries, sugar, orange juice and liqueur in a large bowl.  Allow the cherries to steep with the juices in the refrigerator for at least a half hour and up to two hours.

When ready to serve, whip together the mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla.  You can whip for just a few minutes to get a cream that is loose or a few minutes longer to get a softly peaked cream.  Place a spoonful or two of cream on top of a slice of poundcake.  Top with cherries and some of their juices.  With a cheese grater, grate a bit of dark chocolate over the top.