Cherries and chocolate are a perfect match and they meld together beautifully in this sauce suitable for ice cream, brownies, or just spooning out of the jar. I've made this for a number of years when cherries are in season. It would make a nice addition to a gift basket. The recipe comes from the Bernardin Canning Booklet, and I've adapted it slightly.
Black Forest Cherry Sauce
3 1/2 cups pitted and coarsely chopped sweet cherries
1/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 pouches (170 ml) Bernardin liquid pectin (other brands of liquid pectin also work)
1/4 cup Kirsch or cherry brandy (optional)
Sterilize 5 or 6 250 ml (8 oz) mason jars. Boil snap lids for 5 minutes to soften sealing compound. Keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
Combine prepared cherries, cocoa powder, sugar and lemon juice in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Immediately stir in liquid pectin and kirsch, mixing well. To prevent floating fruit, stir slowly 3 minutes. Skim foam if there is any.
Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Top with snap lids, and screws. Let sit undisturbed on the counter until cool. All the lids should pop and seal.
NOTE: I do not process jams and jellies in a hot water bath as is recommended by Bernardin. Please follow the directions found on the Bernardin site if you wish to process further.