4 medium eggs
150g caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons if using fresh cherries
100g flour
30g cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
25g butter, melted
300g fresh cherries, halved and stones removed, or 1 x 425g can cherries, drained, juice reserved
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier, kirsch or brandy
250g ricotta
2 tablespoons icing sugar
200ml cream, whipped
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, kirsch or brandy (optional)
500g frozen cherries

This zuccotto-style dessert can be made with fresh or canned cherries. Serve with a very easy sorbet of frozen cherries if you fancy. This one is boozy, which helps the texture when freezing; you could leave out the spirits, but it will freeze firmer.

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1.Heat the oven to 180°C.
2.Grease and line the base of a 30cm x 20cm Swiss-roll tin.
3.In a bowl whisk together the eggs, 150g sugar and a pinch of salt until thick and pale.
4.Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together over the mixture and gently fold in. Fold in the butter.
5.Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
6.If using fresh cherries, put them in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar and 100ml water.
7.Cover and simmer over a very low heat for 10 minutes until tender.
8.Strain the cherries and set aside, reserving the juice.
9.Measure out 100ml of cherry juice and stir in half the Grand Marnier or brandy and set aside.
10.Place the ricotta, icing sugar and remaining Grand Marnier or brandy in a bowl and beat until smooth.
11.Fold in the poached cherries and whipped cream.
12.Line a cake tin with plastic wrap, cut the sponge in half (or to fit your tin) and put one half in the bottom of the tin.
13.Moisten with half the reserved cherry juice.
14.Spread the ricotta mixture over the chocolate sponge.
15.Cover with the remaining piece of chocolate sponge (cut to fit the tin) and drizzle with remaining juice.
16.Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until needed.
17.To serve, take out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
18.Serve with cherry sorbet if liked.
20.Place the sugar and 150ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, boiling until the sugar is dissolved.
21.Add the lemon juice and booze, if using, and leave to cool.
22.Place the frozen cherries in a blender or food processor and blend to a pulp.
23.With the motor running add the sugar syrup and blend to a creamy sorbet.
24.Put in a container and freeze until needed.
25.Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving.

Recipes and food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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