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Cook: 35 to 40 minutes | Servings: 12


This cake is extra special when made with clear, unsweetened cherry liqueur (kirsch). If kirsch is not available, brandy is an acceptable substitute.

  • 1 ⅔ cups plain flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup copha – butter or margarine
  • 1 ½ cups (375g) white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups (375ml) buttermilk
  • ½ cup kirsch
  • 125 g butter
  • 3 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon strong black coffee
  • 750 g pitted tinned cherries, drained
  • 2 cups thickened cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch
  • 30 g dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 180º C. Line the bottoms of two 20 cm round pans with baking paper circles.
Sift together flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into pans.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes.
Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total.
Sprinkle layers with the ½ cup kirschwasser.

In a medium bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, pinch of salt and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk.
Spread first layer of cake with ⅓ of the filling. Top with ⅓ of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
In a separate bowl whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in  vanilla and kirsch.
Ice top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on dark chocolate.

Photo by Annatjie Heydenrych


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