Cherry Chocolate Tiramisu

1 cup water
1/4 (one-quarter) cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces ladyfingers, separated and torn into 1/2 (one-half) -inch pieces
8 ounces fat-free or low-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
16 ounces frozen unsweetened pitted dark cherries, thawed, undrained
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 (one-quarter) teaspoon almond extract
1/4 (one-quarter) cup slivered almonds, dry-roasted

In a small bowl, stir together water, sugar, coffee granules and vanilla until the sugar is dissolved. To assemble, place one-half of the ladyfinger pieces in an eight-inch square baking pan. Stir the prepared coffee mixture and spoon half of the mixture over the ladyfingers. Spoon one-half of the whipped topping over ladyfingers, spreading evenly. Using a fine sieve, sprinkle one-half of the cocoa powder over all. Repeat layers. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for eight to 24 hours. Meanwhile, halve the cherries if desired. In a large skillet, stir together cherries and their liquid, two tablespoons sugar and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. (A flat spatula works well for this so you can scrape the bottom, where the mixture thickens first.) Remove from heat. Put skillet on cooling rack. Stir in almond extract. Let mixture cool completely, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate in airtight container until serving time. To serve, spoon cherry mixture over individual servings of tiramisu. Sprinkle with almonds. Serves eight.
Calories: 239, Total fat: 3.0 g, Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 24 mg, Protein: 3 g.