The classic up-turned French dessert is given a new twist with poached spiced cherries in red wine and Kirsch.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
For the crème caramels, place the sugar and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and turned a caramel colour.
Pour a little of the caramel into the bottom of each of four large ramekins or cups, carefully swirling the caramel up the sides of the cup.
Place the cream and split vanilla pod into the pan that the caramel was made in and bring to a simmer.
Place the eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk together until smooth, then pour the hot cream over the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Strain into the caramel-lined ramekins.
Place the ramekins into a deep roasting tin and fill the roasting tin with hot water two thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins, or until just set.
Remove from the oven, take out of the roasting tin and allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.
For the poached cherries, place the cherries, red wine, Kirsch, sugar and lemon juice into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the cherries are tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries from the liquid and set aside.
Turn the heat up under the pan and bring the liquid back to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until just syrupy.
Pour the syrup over the cherries, reserving two tablespoons, and set aside to cool.
For the cherry cream, place the cream into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the reserved cherry syrup and whisk gently to combine.
To serve, turn the crème caramels out onto four serving plates. Spoon some cherries onto the side, drizzle over the syrup and serve with a dollop of cherry cream.
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