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In these charlottes, pieces of buttered Challah bread are transformed into delicate containers for a cherry and chocolate filling. You might wonder why you need to freeze the chocolate filling before baking them. The coldness prevents the chocolate from overcooking in the oven.
- Bring cherries, kirsch, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.
- Stir in almond extract.
- Heat cream, chocolate, and a pinch of salt in another small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- REmove from heat and add 1 TBS butter, stirring until incorporated, then stir in cooked cherries with any liquid.
- Transfer to a metal bowl and freeze, stirring occasionally, until firm, but not frozen solid, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Cut out 12, 2 inch rounds from bread slices with a cookie cutter,then cut 42 (2 by 1 1/2 inch) rectangles from trimmings and remaining slices.
- Spread 1 side of each round and rectangle with some of the remaining butter.
- Put 6 rounds, buttered sides down, into 6 (5 to 6 oz) charlotte molds, or ramekins, and line sides with rectangles (5 to 7 per mold), buttered sides against mold, arranging them vertically and slightly overlapping, pressing gently to adhere.
- Trim any overhang flush with rims.
- Divide filling among molds and top with 6 remaining bread rounds, buttered sides up, pressing gently to fit inside bread rim.
- Bake charlottes in molds on a baking sheet in middle of oven until bread is golden, about 25 minutes.
- Cool 5 minutes, then invert plates over charlottes and invert onto plates.
- Serve warm with lightly sweetened whipped cream.