Brandied cherry sauce
Serve this delicious sauce over scoops of good-quality vanilla or chocolate ice cream. If you make this to serve to children, omit the brandy (and the igniting step) and substitute fresh orange juice. Sour cherries are even better in this dish than sweet cherries, but they're difficult to find in Hong Kong. They're occasionally available in the frozen section of supermarkets; if you're lucky enough to get some, use them in their frozen state (just simmer a little longer). You'll need to add more sugar.
300g sweet dark cherries, pits and stems removed and discarded
50g granulated sugar, or more to taste
2-3 wide strips of orange zest (removed from the fruit with a vegetable peeler)
A 4cm-long cinnamon stick, broken into pieces (optional)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
60ml brandy, more to finish the dish
30ml fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp cornflour
Dissolve the cornflour in a little water and set it aside.
Put the cherries in a pan and stir in the sugar, orange zest, cinnamon stick and sea salt.
Heat over a low flame until the sugar dissolves and the cherries start giving off some of their juices.
Taste the liquid and add more sugar if needed.
Increase the heat and simmer until the cherries are tender.
Put the brandy in a ladle and carefully ignite it before adding to the pan.
Simmer until the flames die out, then add the lemon juice.
Stir the cornflour mixture to recombine the ingredients, then pour this into the pan, stirring constantly.
Simmer for about a minute to lightly thicken the liquid.
Cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to release some of the steam.
Remove the orange zest and cinnamon stick, then spoon the sauce over ice cream, adding a little more brandy if desired.