This beautiful, rich gateau is a delicious dessert, though it’s also excellent with morning coffee, afternoon tea or simply as an indulgent snack.
Set oven to 180oC
Grease 3 x 20cm sandwich tin(s) with butter and line the bases with greaseproof paper. Add the butter and caster sugar to the mixer bowl and attach the splashguard and K Beater (or Creaming beater if you have one) cream together for approx. 5 mins, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions.
Sift the remaining flour, baking and cocoa powders into the bowl, mix together on a medium speed for approx. 5 mins until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth glossy. Separate equally between the greased, lined tins and level with a spatula.
Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven at 180oC for approx. 20 minutes. Test the cakes individually by inserting a skewer in the centre of the cake, if this comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Place the tins on a cooling rack, leaving the cakes to rest for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl mix together the reserved cherry syrup and Kirsch. Prick the cakes with a fork and drizzle the liquid equally over the cakes. While this soaks into the sponges, combine the cherry jam and the tinned cherries and set aside. Then, heat 200ml of the double cream in a small pan until hot but not boiling. Add the dark chocolate to a heat proof bowl and pour over the hot cream, stir together until the chocolate is melted into the cream, set aside to cool.
Pour the icing sugar and remaining cream into the mixer bowl, attach the whisk lightly whip until the cream doesn’t run any more. Turn out the cakes onto the wire rack.
Starting with one cake on a serving plate, spread a layer of the double cream mixture onto the base, adding a couple of spoons of the cherry jam mixture to the top of the cream. Place the second cake on top of the jam, and repeat the cream and jam layers, using up the ingredients. Place the final cake on top of the stack, and pour the melted chocolate mixture over the top, allowing the chocolate to drip down the sides of the gateau.
Decorate with fresh cherries to serve.
If you add a spoonful of flour with each egg to incorporate in the mixture, it avoids the mixture curdling.