You will need to begin this recipe the day before
175g dried sour cherries
80ml coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
660g caster sugar
450g self raising flour
4 eggs, beaten
200g store-bought stolen, roughly broken into large crumbs
300ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Seasonal fruits, Christmas biscuits and The Creative Kitchen Christmas decorations, to serve
670g jar pitted Morello cherries, drained (liquid reserved)
8 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
180g cold butter, cubed
Juice from 1 lemon
The day before, prepare cherry curd by heating egg yolks and sugar in a bowl set above a saucepan of boiling water. Whisk for 10-15 mins, slowly adding butter 1 cube at a time until all butter is incorporated. Remove from heat.
In a blender, add 100g cherries to 100ml reserved cherry liquid. Blend until smooth then add to egg yolk mixture with lemon juice and whisk until incorporated, then return to double boiler and cook for a further 10 mins until thickened slightly. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate overnight.
Combine dried cherries and coffee liqueur in a small bowl, leave overnight to soak.
Combine 500ml water, sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarb to a large, deep saucepan. Stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves then bring to boil and allow to simmer 5 mins. Pour into large bowl and allow to cool to room temp.
Preheat oven 180°C (160°C fan). Grease and line a 25cm round cake tin.
Add flour and eggs to the chocolate mixture, beat with electric mixer until smooth and pale in colour. Fold through soaked cherries and their liquid and crumbled stolen then pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 50 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
To decorate, slice the cake into three even layers. Whisk together cream, mascarpone and vanilla bean paste until thickened. Transfer to a piping bag with large, round nozzle and pipe around the edges of the base layer of cake. Spoon cherry curd into the centre, top with a second cake layer and repeat. Top with final cake layer, pipe cream around the edges and decorate with assorted seasonal fruit, Christmas biscuits and The Creative Kitchen Christmas decorations in the centre of the cake. Just before serving, carefully spoon a small amount of cherry curd over the cream and allow to drizzle down the side of the cake.