For the SPONGE
225g all purpose flour
350g caster sugar
85g cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
125m vegetable oil
2 tbsp boiling water
For the jam
850g frozen pitted dark cherries
300g caster sugar
juice from 1 lemon
4 tbsp cornstarch
for the ganache
200g dark chocolate (chopped)
200ml heavy cream
for stabilized cream
500 g mascarpone cheese
6-8 tablespoons confectioners sugar
⅔ cup + 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
for the sponge
Preheat the oven to 180C
Prepare three 6in cake tins with baking spray & parchment paper
In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda & baking powder)
In a large bowl, using an handheld mixer (or a whisk), mix the wet ingredients (eggs, milk & vegetable oil)
Pour the dry into the wet & mix until just combined. Add the boiling water & beat again until smooth.
Divide the batter equally between the tins & bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in their tin, then turn them out to cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cakes are fully cooled, level them & set aside.
for the jam
Place cherries, sugar & lemon juice into a in a saucepan over medium/low heat until sugar dissolves.
Take off the heat & strain the cherries, reserving their liquid.
Measure 4 tablespoons of the liquid, place into a bowl & mix in the cornflour
In a mug or a mason jar - set aside another 4-5 tablespoons of the liquid for brushing over the cakes
Add the cherries back to the sauce pan & pour the rest of the strained liquid back into the saucepan
Stir the cornflour slurry into the saucepan with the cherries, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thick.
Pour the jam into a shallow bowl and transfer to the fridge to cool completely.
for stabilized cream
In a chilled bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone, cream, vanilla & whip until it begins to thicken.
Add the powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time, until desired sweetness level is achieved.
for the ganache
Place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl- set aside
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to bubble slightly - but before it boils & scalds
Once the cream is heated- pour it over the chocolate and let stand for 1-2 minutes
Stir the chocolate and cream until combined.
Set aside to cool - we want this to be THICK so it will take a while (*you could place it in the fridge - but if you do, make sure to stir it every 5 minutes)
On a cake stand (or whatever you’re serving it on) place down the first and ugliest cake layer.
Brush it with the reserved cherry juice, then spread a thick layer of mascarpone cream.
Add some of the cherries on top, gently pushing them into the cream until they form a full layer.
Gently place the second (and second ugliest) cake layer on top & repeat the process.
Add the last, and prettiest cake layer to the top - spread a thick layer of ganache & pile high with fresh fruit
Dust with icing sugar & serve! (if you find it too soft - let it set up in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting)
while this sponge is traditional my taste testers commented on it’s lack of depth compared to other chocolate cakes I’ve made - so if you’re looking for something a bit richer - I’d try it with a this recipe
I most certainly made too many cherries as my cake was only 6in, it would make enough for an 8in cake
If you’re serving it immediately or if you’re opting for less/thinner cake layers you could use a whipped cream, but otherwise I think a stabilized cream (with mascarpone or cream cheese) would hold up better.
THIS CAKE DOES NOT KEEP WELL. Like at alllllll. Anything with cream, fruit (fresh or frozen) should be eaten same day -8 hours after & what was left of this cake had slid to mush.