Something Sweet

A Table Full of Cherries

by Christine Salins on December 23, 2012

Cherries Bowl

The Australian cherry season is short but sweet … from November to February (or thereabouts). Supply peaks in December and isn’t that just great for those of us who think it wouldn’t be Christmas without cherries on the table?

They’re a great summer snack, they make a beautiful edible Christmas gift and – if you can bear to put some aside – they can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.


Serves 4

Cherry Quinoa SaladINGREDIENTS

1 cup tri-colour or white quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
6 lamb tenderloin fillets
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
1½ cups pitted fresh cherries, halved
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup finely chopped mint
½ cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
200g Greek feta
3 cups water


Combine water and quinoa in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until grains are tender. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
Lightly coat the lamb fillets in 2 tablespoons oil; season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat chargrill pan over high heat then cook lamb for 6 minutes turning or until cooked to your liking.
Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk remaining oil and lemon juice until combined, then add to the quinoa and toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and toss well to combine. Slice lamb and serve on top of salad.

*For a vegetarian option, omit lamb and replace with zucchini.


Makes 6

Very Cherry TrifleINGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon Kirsch
2 tablespoons cherry jam
⅓ cup icing sugar
250g mascarpone
250g Greek yoghurt
6 x 3cm slices butter cake
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
6 whole cherries, to garnish

Sour cherry jelly:

3 sheets titanium gelatine leaf
600ml sour cherry juice


Bring sour cherry juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes until soft. Squeeze out any excess water and add to sour cherry juice, stirring until gelatine has dissolved.
Evenly divide mixture into large individual glasses (about 500ml in capacity) and distribute cherries amongst the glasses too. Place in fridge for 3 hours or until set.
Stir Kirsch, jam and icing sugar into mascarpone and yoghurt until combined. Cut butter cake slices into 3 fingers and place on top of jelly. Spoon over mascarpone mixture, sprinkle with almonds and garnish with cherries.

Recipes and photos courtesy of

More recipes: Cherry Sangria; Black Forest Cupcakes; White Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta; Cherry Chutney; Cherry Bircher Muesli; Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries.


Black Forest Cupcakes

by Christine Salins on December 23, 2012

Black Forest CupcakesHow gorgeous are these cupcakes?


Serves 12


Cupcake Mixture:

125g butter or margarine
½ cup caster/raw sugar
½ cup plain yoghurt
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup dark cocoa, sifted
½ cup milk
200g pitted cherries, halved

Icing & Decoration:

125g butter
1 cup icing sugar mixture
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 tablespoon milk
12 whole cherries with stem on

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place 12 cupcake wrappers in a muffin tin. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until creamy. Add eggs and beat well until incorporated.
Stir in yoghurt and then gently fold in flour, baking powder, cocoa, cherries and milk until combined. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool.
Make the icing by combining the butter, sugar and vanilla paste. Add milk as required to achieve a rich, creamy, spreadable consistency. Sift the icing sugar over each cupcake and top with a cherry.

Recipe and photo courtesy of

More recipes: A Table Full of Cherries; Cherry SangriaWhite Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta; Cherry Chutney; Cherry Bircher Muesli;


White Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta

by Christine Salins on December 23, 2012

Cherry Panna Cotta

Yum, yum and yum … what more can I say?


Serves 6


4 sheets leaf gelatine or 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
½ cup milk
2 cups cream
½ cup caster sugar
100g good quality white chocolate
200g pitted cherries
100g whole cherries with stems on

If using leaf gelatine, soak the gelatine in the milk. If using powdered gelatine, sprinkle the gelatine over the milk, stir, then microwave on high for 30 seconds.
Place the cream, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
Add the gelatine and milk and stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Place pitted cherries in the base of six moulds then pour over the panna cotta mixture. Refrigerate for three to six hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, dip the panna cotta moulds in boiling water then unmould onto serving plates and top with whole cherries.

Recipe and photo courtesy of

More recipes: A Table Full of Cherries; Cherry Sangria; Black Forest CupcakesCherry Chutney; Cherry Bircher Muesli;