• 65 g (2½ oz) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 65 g (2½ oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g (2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 15 g (½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 25 g (1 oz) dried sour cherries, chopped
  • 100 g (3½ oz) plain dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) double or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 16 pitted canned black cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cherry or red fruit conserve

Place 16 mini silicone muffin cases on a baking sheet.

Put the butter, sugar and egg in a bowl, sift in the flour and cocoa powder and beat with a hand-held electric whisk until light and creamy. Stir in the sour cherries and divide among the cases.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 10–12 minutes until risen and just firm. Leave in the cases for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the topping by melting the chocolate (see page 14) and stirring in the syrup. Spoon over the chocolate sponges so the icing trickles down the sides. Whip the cream with the kirsch and spoon onto the cakes. Pat the cherries dry on kitchen paper and place on top of the cakes. If the conserve has a thick, jam-like consistency, heat in a small saucepan with 2 teaspoons water to soften, then cool slightly before drizzling over the cakes.

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