|225 g||butter — softened|
|440 g||castor sugar|
|160 g||self-raising flour|
|40 g||cocoa powder|
|2.5 ml||baking powder|
|340 g||Black Cherry Jam|
|60 ml||amarula — cream liqueur|
|80 g||Dark Baking Chocolate — coarsely grated|
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease two 20-cm loose-bottomed cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
1. Mix the butter, castor sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs in a bowl and stir until smooth and thick.
2. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and spread out evenly with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tins before turning them out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
3. Use a long-bladed serrated knife to slice the cakes in half horizontally. Take care to keep the knife parallel to the work surface to get an even cut. Put the cakes back on the wire rack or a cutting board, cut sides up.
4. Put the jam, cherries and brandy in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until the jam has melted and the cherries begin to swell. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Sprinkle the Amarula liqueur over the chocolate sponges, then spread the sour cherry mixture on three of the sponges and leave to cool. Make sure the sponge without the cherry topping is from the top half of a cake.
6. Whip 300 ml cream to soft peaks. Transfer one of the sponges (with the cherry topping) carefully onto a cake stand or plate, then gently dollop about a third of the whipped cream on top of the cherry mixture. There’s no need to spread it out, but try to keep the spoonfuls evenly spaced over the cake. Sprinkle a little of the grated chocolate over.
7. Top with another sponge and repeat the layers twice more. You should end up with three layers of sponge, cherries, cream and chocolate. Put the final sponge on top, with its top surface up.
8. Whip the remaining cream into soft peaks. Using the flat side of a palette knife, spread about three tablespoons of cream over the top of the cake.
9. Pour all the remaining grated chocolate onto the centre.
10. Decorate with preserved cherries if using