Last week I suddenly remembered cherries. We were at the cornershop not far from our house. British berries were just then starting to come plentiful and cheap, so we picked up a couple of punnets of strawberries and raspberries each. Next to the entrance door there was a pile of cardboard boxes, each full of cherries, piled on top of each other. I reckon each box weighed about 2kg. A handwritten note stuck to the wall behind the boxes said “cherries £1.99″. ‘That’s not right’, I thought. The price was either wrong or the price tag misplaced – it should have gone next to the small punnets of cherries sitting right next to the raspberries. I poked my head inside the shop and asked the man at the checkout. I couldn’t believe my luck when he said that yes, it was the big boxes that were less than £2 each. I grabbed one and firmly held it between my hip and arm. Of course, it was too good to be true: the cherries turned out to be relatively tasteless and dry, although, truth be told, they weren’t the worst cherries I’ve ever had. Between B. and me, we ate as many cherries throughout that week as people normally have in a whole year.
Whilst in the middle of this cherry-binge, I remembered about a frozen yogurt I made last summer - around this time, in all likelihood – when we were still living in Lancaster. I found some cherries at the shop that were black, ripe and oozing burgundy juice. Along with dark chocolate, I added them to frozen yogurt and took some photos. At the time, the pictures didn’t entirely convince me. While I was pondering, summer was getting to the end and it was time to move to warmer and more substantial foods. After then, I just forgot about it. Even though they’re not my favourite fruit, I like cherries. That mediocre box of them reminded me just how tasty they can be, either popped whole in your mouth or mixed with dark chocolate, then frozen into a smooth and addictive frozen treat.
Wash and stone the cherries, then finely chop them and put them (along with the juices) in a bowl. Finely chop the chocolate and add to the cherries. Add to the bowl the almond extract and the brandy, if using. Leave to rest for at least 1/2 an hour. Start preparing the frozen yogurt. Mix yogurt and sugar in a jug until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cherries and chocolate mixture to the yogurt, mix then churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Firm it up in the freezer for a few hours.