Preheat an oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease a 6-well heart baking pan.
In a small heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a small saucepan and melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth and blended. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and vanilla until light in color and doubled in volume. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the dried cherries. Divide the batter between the wells of the prepared pan and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and set on the rack. Serve warm.
TIP: When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix them in quickly, just enough to form a rough, lumpy batter. If the batter is overbeaten, the muffins will turn out tough.
Makes 6 muffins.
Date: April 7, 2003