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Author Notes: These layered no-bake treats are inspired by the flavors of traditional Black Forest Cake—cherries spiked with kirsch, bittersweet chocolate and light, airy whipped cream. If cherries aren’t in season, good jarred cherries—like Italian amarena cherries in syrup from Austera Morello—make a good substitute.
The ungarnished parfaits can be made about 2 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until serving (any longer and the cookies start to get too soft). When you’re ready to serve, top each a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate shavings and an extra amaretti cookie and voilà! —Asha Loupy
Makes four parfaits
- 3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kirsch liqueur
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup store-bought amaretti cookies, lightly crushed, plus four extra whole cookies for garnish
- Chocolate shavings, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, combine the halved cherries, two tablespoons sugar and the kirsch, and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes to an hour (these can also be made a couple hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator until assembly).
- While the cherries are macerating, start the chocolate mascarpone mixture: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- While the chocolate is cooling, combine the heavy whipping cream, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and a pinch of sea salt to the cooled chocolate and, using an electric mixer, mix until combined, about 10 - 15 seconds. Stir in a quarter of the reserved whipped cream to lighten up the mixture and then gently fold in another quarter of the whipped cream. Set the remaining whipped cream aside (this will be used for garnish).
- Transfer the chocolate mascarpone mixture to a large zip-top bag and snip off the corner, or you can also use pastry bag.
- To assemble, add about two tablespoons of the crushed amaretti cookies to the bottom of four serving glasses. Next pipe a layer of chocolate mascarpone mixture into each glass and then top with a couple spoonfuls the macerated cherries (and don’t forget some of the boozy cherry syrup too!). Repeat the layers of crushed amaretti cookies, chocolate mascarpone and cherries one more time ending on the cherry layer.
- Garnish each parfait with a generous dollop of the remaining whipped cream, a sprinkling of chocolate shavings and a whole amaretti cookie.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best No-Bake Desserts