Cherry cream slices

cing the flat underside of the layer, before turning it over, gives a better finished appearance.
Placing the dessert in the refrigerator or freezer for a short time makes it easier to slice.
Keep covered in a large plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days


makes 6 slices
400 g (13 oz) frozen puff pastry, defrosted


425 g (15 oz) can stoned black Cherries in syrup
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons water
300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
3 drops vanilla essence
25 g (1 oz) sugar


225 g (8 oz) icing sugar, sifted
2 - 3 tablespoons warm water
25 g (1 oz) dessert chocolate, melted


1. Heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas8. Dampen a large baking sheet with water. Cut the pastry in half and roll out each piece to a rectangle, about 30 x 15 cm/12 x 6 inches. Place on the prepared baking sheet and prick well with a fork. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning the pieces round halfway through the cooking time so that they become evenly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, make the filling:
place the cherries, with their syrup, in a small saucepan and bring slowly to simmering point. Blend the cornflour to a smooth paste with the water. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cornflour mixture. Return to low heat and bring back to the boil, stirring constantly, then set aside to cool completely.

3. Make the icing: blend the icing sugar with enough warm water to give a thick coating consistency.

4. Turn one layer of pastry over and spread the icing over the surface.

5. Whip the cream until it begins to thicken; add the vanilla essence and sugar. Continue whipping until the cream stands in stiff peaks.

6. Assemble the dessert: spread the cold cherry mixture over the other layer of pastry, then cover with the whipped cream.

7. Put the iced layer of pastry on top of the cream, iced side up, then lift on to a wooden board and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or the freezer for 20 minutes.

8. With a sharp serrated knife, and a sawing motion, carefully cut the pastry into 6 slices. Using a teaspoon, drizzle melted chocolate over the top of each slice in a zig-zag pattern. Return to the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set before serving.

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