Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven. We love this with a splash of rosewater, but you can replace the rosewater in the cream with a splash of kirsch or elderflower liqueur if you prefer.
45 minutes, plus 60 minutes baking and cooling
For the cake:
225g caster sugar
2 tsps rosewater (optional)
100g plain flour, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted
125g butter, melted (plus a little extra to grease the tins)
For the filling and topping:
250g Mrs Bridges Cherry Preserve
500g double cream
2 tsps rosewater
2 tbsps icing sugar, sifted
200g cherry compote (with whole cherries)
20 cherries (with stalks)
10g dark chocolate
Follow The Recipe
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan. Very lightly butter and line three 20cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed cake tins.
Put the eggs, caster sugar and rosewater in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is glossy, pale and trebled in volume. This will take at least five minutes of whisking. You will know the mixture is ready when you lift the whisk out and a trail of the mixture stays on the top for a few seconds. This is called the ribbon stage in baking. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can do this in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk.
Add the flour and cocoa powder to the egg mixture and gently fold it in, using a metal spoon or a spatula, until no dry patches remain. It is important to do this slowly and carefully to not knock too much air out of the eggs. Be patient, if can take a few minutes to do properly. Add the melted butter and fold again until the batter is completely mixed.
Evenly divide the cake batter between the three tins and put into the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins. Be careful as they will be very delicate. Let the cakes cool completely before assembling the cake.
Put 50g of Mrs Bridges Cherry Preserve in a small saucepan over a low heat until it is melted and liquid. Put the cream, rosewater and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form, you don’t want it to be too stiff.
Now assemble the cake. Put a layer of chocolate cake on the cake stand or serving plate and use a pastry brush to brush a third of the warmed Mrs Bridges Cherry Preserve onto the cake. Add a thick layer of cream (about 1/3) and then half of the cold Mrs Bridges Cherry Preserve. Dollop over half of the cherry compote. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the layers, saving a couple of teaspoons of cherry compote to swirl in the cream on top.
Put the final layer on cake on top, brush over the remaining warmed Mrs Bridges Cherry Preserve. Add then add the remaining cream. Gently swirl a couple of teaspoons of cherry compote through the cream. Arrange the fresh cherries on top on the layer of cream and grate over the dark chocolate. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve. This is best eaten shortly after it is assembled. If you want to get ahead, the sponge cakes can be made the day before assembling the gateau and kept in an airtight container until needed.