- 5 eggs
- 9 oz / 250 g caster sugar
- 9 oz / 250 g plain flour
- 1½ oz / 37½ g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp / 10 ml baking powder
- 1 pint / 600 ml double cream
- 4 tbsp / 60 ml kirsch
- 1 lb / 450 g canned black cherries, pitted and well drained
- 4 oz / 125 g plain chocolate, caraque or grated
- Preheat the oven to mark 5 / 375°F / 190°C.
- Grease and line base of tin.
- Place eggs and sugar in a bowl over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk with electric beater until mixture is pale and thick and just holds the trail of the whisk (7-10 mins).
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk for a further 2 minutes while it cools.
- To help give the sponge a light texture, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder onto a plate or bowl.
- Carefully and gradually fold flour into egg mixture, cutting through with a metal spoon or large spatula until evenly mixed, use a folding and cutting movement and make sure you get to the bottom of the bowl to mix in all the flour gently stir in 7-8 tbsp/105-120 ml hot water to soften the mixture slightly and give a lighter result.
- Spoon the mixture gently into the prepared cake tin and flatten the top, bake for 35-40mins or until just firm to the touch stand for 5-10 mins.
- Then turn onto a plate carefully remove the paper.
- Turn out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold, when the cake is cold (don't try brfore or the sponge will crumble).
- Split carefully into 3 layers, whip cream until slightly stiff and set some aside for piping.
- Sprinkle sponge layers with kirsch, reserve 8-10 cherries for decoration.
- Place bottom sponge on a serving plate spread with one quarter of the cream and half of the cherries.
- Place the middle layer of sponge on top and spread with the second quarter of cream and the remaining cherries.
- Place the third layer of sponge on top of the cream cover the sponge with more cream and smooth out with a palette knife.
- Spread remaining cream neatly round sides with a palette knife.
- Pipe reserved cream around top edge of cake.
- Press small crumbled pieces of caraque (see bottom)round sides.
- Decorate top with cherries and larger pieces of caraque.
- Chill until required.
- Melt 4 oz / 125 g of dark coating chocolate and spread thinly and evenly on a cold surface or foil.
- Leave until cold but don't chill, using a large knife and with a sawing action hold the knife flat against the chocolate and scrape or push long curls of chocolate away from you.
- Keep going until you have a good thick curl, a stubbier thicker version can be made very easily with an open neatly cut can.
- Holding it almost upright pull the far side rim of the can across the chocolate.
- Store as before in a cool place but do not chill the caraque.
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