Chocolate and cherries are a fabulous combination, made all the better here by the contrast of lighter than air cake with juicy whole cherries on top.
Prep 45 minutes
Bake 30–35 minutes
Oven 160°C (fan)/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
250g (9oz) caster (superfine) sugar
100g (3½oz) butter, melted and cooled
120g (4oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
80g (3oz) cocoa powder
100g (3½oz) cherries, pitted and chopped
Filling and Topping
350ml (12fl oz) double (heavy) cream
2tbspicing (confectioners) sugar
75g (2¾oz) dark chocolate, melted
260g (9oz) cherries
Gold edible glitter for decoration (optional)
Cocoa powder, to dust
Electric hand mixer
3 × 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins (layer cake pans)
Follow the method for the Summer Fruit Genoise but replace the 200g (7oz) plain (all-purpose) flour with a mixture of 120g (¾oz) plain (all-purpose) flour and 80g (3oz) cocoa powder, sifted together. Fold the chopped cherries into a third of the mixture – this is for the middle layer.
For the cream filling softly whip the double cream with the icing sugar. Melt 75g (2¾oz) of dark chocolate and set aside to cool a little before stirring through the whipped cream. Set aside 8 whole cherries and roughly chop the remainder.
Reserve 100g (3½oz) of the chopped cherries and fold the remaining through the chocolate cream. Assemble the cakes with the cherry studded cake in the middle, applying the cream filling between each.
Spread the remaining cream on top of the cake and dust with cocoa. Position the 8 whole cherries around the edge and sprinkle on the reserved roughly chopped cherries. A sprinkle of gold edible glitter is optional but adds a lovely touch of sparkle! Serve.