Cherries and Chocolate – a match made in heaven! This year I made the most of a good supply of cherries (sadly not from my garden) and froze them (taking the pits out with an olive pitter). Now I have the luxury of trying different cherry recipes when I feel like it. When I saw this Black Forest Jam recipe I knew that I just had to make it (with a few adaptations). It has a lovely rich black forest flavour, not too chocolatey, not too sweet.
1 kg sweet black cherries (stones removed, frozen is fine)
1.5 kg sugar
1/3 cup cacao (or unsweetened good quality cocoa powder)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 100g pouch of pectin powder
4 tbsp amaretto liqueur or 1/2 tsp almond essence
Knob of butter (10g)
Combine sugar, pectin and sifted cacao in a bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Thaw frozen cherries in a preserving pan. Add lemon juice. Use a stick mixer or masher to coarsely chop the fruit.
Add the sugar/pectin/cacao mixture. Stir well over a low to medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved without letting it boil.
Add a knob of butter then increase heat and bring to a full boil (a boil that cannot be stopped when stirred). Boil for 4 minutes only. Spoon out a small amount of jam onto a cold plate. Allow to cool slightly, then test for set: push finger gently through jam, when surface wrinkles remove the pot from heat.
Allow jam to stop boiling and then add the amaretto or almond essence. Ladle jam into hot sterilised jars and seal.