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Chocolate and Cherry Cake


½ pound bittersweet chocolate, preferably organic
½ pound butter
1 cup C&H® sugar, divided
½ cup milk
6 eggs
6 egg yolks
½ cup dried cherries
2 cups water
Fresh cherries with stems, for garnish
Fresh Cherry Jubilee, for serving (See accompanying recipe.)
Real vanilla bean gelato or vanilla ice cream, for serving

For the Cherry Jubilee:
½ cup C&H® or Domino® sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup each water and orange juice
3 cups pitted fresh, sweet cherries
½ teaspoon grated orange peel
¼ cup brandy (optional)

Serves 6

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Heat ½ cup sugar and the milk together until they come to a boil; stir into the melted chocolate and butter. Allow the mixture to cool. In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs and egg yolks. Stir the eggs into the chocolate mixture.

Mix the dried cherries, water and ½ cup sugar together in a small pot and simmer until the cherries have rehydrated and the liquid reduces to a thin syrup, about 15 to 20 minutes. Combine the cherry mixture with the chocolate mixture.

Butter 6 4-ounce ramekins and line them with paper; portion the chocolate cake mixture into each ramekin. Place several cherries on top of each cake and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

To prepare the Cherry Jubilee (recipe may be halved):

Combine the sugar and cornstarch. Blend in the water and orange juice, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened and smooth. Add the cherries and orange peel; return to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

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