30 mins to 1 hour
By Matt Tebbutt
For the cherries
- 150ml/5fl oz dark rum or kirsch
- 2 x 425g tins pitted black cherries, drained
For the chocolate sponge
- 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
- 125g/4½oz caster sugar
- 2 free-range eggs
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour
- 60g/2¼oz cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200ml/7fl oz dark dark rum or kirsch
- cherry jam to spread
For the custard
- 250ml/9fl oz double cream
- 250ml/9fl oz full-fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 free-range egg yolks, beaten
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
For the cream topping
- 500g/1lb 2oz mascarpone
- 500g/1lb 2oz double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
For the chocolate sauce
- splash double cream
- 150ml/5fl oz full-fat milk
- 30g/1oz caster sugar
- 200g/7oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- 50g/1¾oz dark chocolate, for shaving
- griottine cherries
To make the cherries, bring the kirsch to a simmer, add the cherries and remove from the heat. Allow to steep overnight.
To make the chocolate sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm/8in sponge tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale, beat in the eggs then fold in the flour, sift in the cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda, then mix in along with the vanilla and kirsch.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, level the tops with a spatula and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the custard, heat the cream and vanilla seeds in a saucepan until just boiling. Remove from the heat and beat in the yolks and sugar. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, strain through a sieve and set aside.
To make the cream topping, beat the mascarpone and cream together with the vanilla seeds in a bowl until soft peaks form.
To make the chocolate sauce, place the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Stir until melted. Add the salt and keep warm.
Spread the cooled sponges with the cherry jam and prepare to assemble.
Place a layer of cherry sponge in the bottom of your serving dish, scatter with some cherries, spoon over half the custard, chocolate sauce and cream, then repeat with a second layer. Garnish with the griottine cherries and chocolate shavings and serve.