1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
12 large phyllo pastry shells
12 fresh cherries with stems, optional
1. Combine cream and vanilla in medium bowl and refrigerate along with beaters for an electric mixer.
2. In top of double boiler, combine milk and gelatin. Set aside to soften 5 minutes. Place over simmering water and heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. 3. Remove dissolved gelatin from simmering water and stir in chocolate pieces and sugar. Set aside, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature.
4. With an electric mixer, beat chilled cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Set aside 1/2 cup for garnish. Fold cooled chocolate mixture and cherries into remaining whipped cream.
5. Divide mousse among the phyllo shells and top each with some of reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream. Chill until ready to serve, at least 20 minutes. Garnish each with a fresh cherry before serving, if desired.
These creamy chocolate tarts are easy to make because the mousse is thickened with gelatin rather than eggs and the flaky, ready-to-fill pastry shells are purchased in the supermarket.