Whipped cream and chocolate curls crown layers of chocolate cake, Morello cherries and chocolate mousse. Look for sour cherries preserved in light syrup in jars at delis and supermarkets. If you prefer not to make the chocolate curls, just grate 2 oz (60 g) chocolate instead.
- Portion size 16 servings
MethodTurn this dessert into a spectacular display with a chocolate garnish. Watch as the Test Kitchen shows you how easy chocolate garnishes are to make >>
Grease sides of two 8-inch (2 L) springform pans or two 8-inch (1.2 L) round metal cake pans; line bottoms with waxed paper. Set aside.
Cake: In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With wooden spoon, stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of buttermilk. Spoon into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
Meanwhile, in sieve over bowl, drain cherries, pressing lightly; reserve 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the juice. In small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the sugar and reserved juice to boil; boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (125 mL), about 5 minutes. Let cool; stir in rum.
In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate. Pour into foil-lined 5-3/4- x 3-1/4-inch (625 mL) loaf pan. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Unmould; let stand until slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
Holding chocolate with foil, slowly draw vegetable peeler across narrow side of block to make curls; with toothpick, transfer to waxed paper–lined baking sheet. (Make-ahead: Lightly cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Chocolate Mousse: In saucepan, bring cream and rum just to boil; pour over chocolate in large bowl, whisking until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Beat until soft peaks form. Cover and set aside.
Slice each cake layer in half horizontally; place on waxed paper. Brush each cut side with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the cherry syrup; let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, whip cream with remaining sugar and vanilla.
Place 1 cake layer on cake plate; spread with 1 cup (250 mL) of the mousse. Arrange 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cherries over top. Repeat for second and third layers; top with remaining layer. Spread reserved whipped cream over top and side. Decorate with remaining cherries. Gently press chocolate curls onto side. (Make-ahead: Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 301 mg
- Protein 6 g
- Calories 625.0
- Total fat 41 g
- Cholesterol 146 mg
- Saturated fat 25 g
- Total carbohydrate 63 g
- Iron 15.0
- Folate 15.0
- Calcium 9.0
- Vitamin A 38.0
- Vitamin C 2.0