12oz fresh or frozen* sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
dash table salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon bourbon (lemon juice or water can be substituted)
½ cup (3oz) chopped chocolate
2 (9½ by 9-inch) sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
½ tablespoon raw sugar
*if using frozen cherries, weigh before thawing and draining
To thaw frozen puff pastry, let sit either in the refrigerator for 24 hours or on the counter for 30 minutes.
Cook cherries, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries release their juices, and mixture starts to thicken, 6 to 8 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch and bourbon together in bowl, then stir into cherry mixture. Cook until mixture has thickened to jam-like consistency, about 30 seconds. Let cool completely in fridge, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one sheet of puff pastry into a 10 inch square. Lightly mark the square into thirds vertically. Using a knife or rotary cutter, slice each outer third horizontally into even 12 even sections (cutting only the left and right thirds of the pastry and leaving the center section intact and uncut).
Trim and remove each corner strip (4 total). Transfer the sheet of parchment with the pastry to a baking sheet.
Spread half of the cherry filling evenly in the center section of the pastry. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of chocolate.
Fold the top center flap down over the filling, then drape the top left strip over the center filling, folding it on a diagonal to match with the next section down. Press lightly to adhere. Then fold the top right strip over the center and down in the same manner. Repeat with the remaining strips, alternating left and right down the length of the pastry to form a braided pastry. Before you fold the last row, fold up the top flap over the filling, then fold the last strips horizontally over it, pinching the edges to seal.
Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Brush tops of pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with second pastry.
Bake until well browned, about 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to wire rack and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.