Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 15 mins
Chilling: 2-3 hours
290ml/½ pint Cabernet Sauvignon red wine (or unsweetened red grape juice)
2 whole cloves
60ml/4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (or lemon juice if using grape juice as it is sweeter)
60ml/4 tbsp sugar syrup, made with 5oz sugar and 290ml/½ pint water (see method)
Gelatine or agar-agar (vegetarian alternative) – amount as per manufacturer’s instructions to set ¾ pint of liquid
Black cherries, to serve
Low fat crème fraiche, to serve
1 Make a sugar syrup using 5oz sugar to 290ml/½ pint water by dissolving the sugar in the water and boiling for 4-5 minutes.
2 Heat the wine in a pan with the cinnamon stick and cloves and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for about 20 minutes.
3 Put the orange juice and sugar syrup into another pan and sprinkle over the gelatine (always in that order, or the gelatine may go lumpy).
4 Heat the gelatine on a very low heat until it has just dissolved. (Do not allow it to overheat as it will become stringy and will not set.)
5 Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves from the infused wine and add the gelatine mixture to it. Stir gently to mix thoroughly and pour into a wet bowl or mould.
6 Leave in the fridge to set for at least 2-3 hours before turning out.
7 Serve with a black cherry compote made with fresh or tinned cherries in natural juice, and crème fraiche.
Red wine (particularly Cabernet Sauvignon) contains potent anti-oxidant flavonoids that prevents oxidative damage in the walls of blood vessels and thus protect against heart disease. Similar flavonoids are reported to help varicose veins and oedema of the lower limbs. It also contains a flavonoid resveratrol, which raises good HDL cholesterol and reduces platelet stickiness.
These flavonoids also form a protective shield around collagen and elastin fibres, which give skin its firmness and texture and protect them against enzymes which break down these fibres and against free radical damage.
Black cherries and orange juice are both good sources of Vitamin C, another powerful anti-oxidant to protect against the degenerative diseases. Cherries (and other red, blue, purple and black fruits) also contain flavonoids for additional protective effects.
Low fat crème fraiche is a good source of calcium essential for the growth and repair of bones.