Special equipment: 4 madeleine molds, a large piping bag, a pizza cutter and a cardboard paper towel roll
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray four madeleine molds with cooking spray and then dust with flour.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the eggs until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the granulated sugar and lightly mix to combine. Slowly beat in the lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Then, with the mixer running on very low speed, slowly add in the flour, a little at a time, until incorporated. Still running on a low speed, drizzle in the melted butter. Add the food coloring and mix until fully incorporated and there are no streaks, adding more coloring as needed.
Use a tablespoon measure to spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, about 40 in total. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the batter so that it fills each mold. Bake until cooked through and spongy, 14 to 16 minutes, checking throughout to avoid browned edges. Cool the madeleines completely on a cooling rack.
For the mousse:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar until light, fluffy and smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the cherry syrup, kirsch if using and the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. When fully combined, stop the mixer.
In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream. Once the cream reaches the soft peak stage, add the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese to loosen the mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream, being careful to avoid deflating the whipped cream. Once combined, fold in the sour cherries.
Transfer the mousse to a large piping bag and cut off the corner. On a large platter or clean cutting board, pipe a thick circle of mousse to act as glue. Layer the madeleines in a circle so that they look like leaves on a wreath. Pipe more mousse and place the madeleines overlapping to layer the "leaves." Place some maraschino cherries throughout the madeleines as "berries." Roll the modeling chocolate to 1/4-inch thick to create a red ribbon. Use a pizza cutter to slice 6 strips of the chocolate, and then wrap the strips around a cardboard paper towel roll. Dab with some water to seal the edges. Place the chocolate ribbon at the top of the wreath in a bow shape, then serve.
Recipe courtesy Duff Goldman