Ingredients

For the cake

  • 500g soft margarine
  • 500g soft light brown sugar
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 175g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 9 eggs, beaten

For the filling

  • 425g pitted black cherries in light syrup, 3 tbsp syrup reserved
  • 3 tbsp kirsch
  • 200ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 3 tbsp Morello cherry jam

To decorate & serve

  • 100g dark cooking chocolate, melted
  • 50g white chocolate chips, melted
  • Fresh cherries

Instructions

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Lightly grease both the top and bottom ring with Cake Release or a little butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in another bowl. Add the egg mixture and the flour mixture alternately, mixing well between each addition.
  3. Fill the bottom pan three quarters full, then fill the top pan with the remaining mixture and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when the sponge is firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. There will be a difference between baking times as the top pan is shallower than the bottom ─ allow an extra 5-8 minutes for the deeper tin.
  4. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Prick the cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix together the 3 tbsp reserved cherry syrup and the kirsch and drizzle two thirds of the liquid over the cakes, then soak the cherries in the remaining kirsch mixture.
  6. Place the bottom layer of the cake onto a serving plate. Fill each cavity two thirds of the way up with the cherries and top with a layer of cream. Spread the cherry jam over the top of the bottom layer, then add the top layer of cake.
  7. Pour the melted dark chocolate into a disposable piping bag, snip off the end of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake, using the grooves in the cake to mark out the portions. Repeat with the melted white chocolate then finish off with fresh cherries, if desired.