I made sweet cherry preserves! It's really easy to make this, since there's no need for pectin for the spread to come together. I've never made any jam/spread of any sort since there was always the need for pectin and I just couldn't be bothered to get an item that will not be frequently used in my kitchen.
Chocolate brioche; Cherries; Cherry preserves; Sis's cheery sunflower
I bought chocolate brioche bread from Bread Society for breakfast during the weekend when I was in town shopping last Friday. I've previously tried the interesting four coloured bread (carrot, black sesame, milk with raisins and matcha) and thought that the bread texture was quite pillow soft. When I walked into the bakery thinking to get some bread, I was tempted by more than half the selections on offer since all of them sounded, looked and smelled so good. I do love walking into bakeries. The smell of freshly baked items always feel so homely to me.
Anyway, the chocolate bread was quite good - a chocolate dough with chunks of chocolate studded within the loaf. Paired with some brie cheese and the homemade cherry preserves, it made for a very delicious breakfast.
Sis was making coffee, and she asked if I wanted a cappuccino. Why not? So, I had a lovely cuppa homemade hazelnut cappuccino made by the Sis to complement my breakfast. Afterall, we all know that chocolate and coffee is a great match. It was truly a lovely breakfast to kickstart the weekend.
Sweet cherry preserves (adapted from Amanda at The Cilantropist)
2 cups washed, pitted cherries
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2-1 tsp amaretto (optional - I didn't add this as I didn't have any amaretto)
Prepare cherries, then chop about 1/3 of them into rough pieces, and leave the others whole ( i left them in halves cos I didn't have a cherry pitter). Add all the cherries to a medium pot along with the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, until they start bubbling, then continue to cook while stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you stir especially towards the end of that time so the juice on the bottom does not burn. As they are cooking, use a spoon to smash the whole cherries to release the juice and flatten them. (If you don't flatten them, they will stay really round and the preserves will not be very 'spreadable.')
After the cherries are fully cooked, add the sugar, stir to mix it in and dissolve it, then continue to cook over medium-high heat for another 4-5 minutes. (Stir constantly so that the sugar and cherries don't burn.) After cooking, the juice should have started to 'gel' a bit and thicken so that it starts to coat the back of your spoon or ladle. Remove the preserves from heat, and test if they are done. If the preserves are not done, return them to the heat and cook them for a few more minutes, then test them again. When done, let the preserves cool slightly*, then transfer it to jars. Once they are cooled, they will keep refrigerated for several months.
*If you like, stir in some amaretto to enhance the flavor of the cherries.