1?kg cherries, pitted
2 cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
Handful chocolate shavings, to serve
For chocolate sponge:
3 free-range eggs
½ cup caster sugar
100?g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
For the mascarpone cream:
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon kirsch
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
½ cup cream
Preheat the oven to 180?C fan-forced.
Line the base of a 20 cm cake tin with baking paper.
To make the chocolate sponge, use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs for 5 minutes or until well beaten and a little frothy, then add the caster sugar and continue to whisk on medium speed until thickened and pale.
Half-fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan without touching the water, and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
Add the flour and cocoa to the egg and sugar mixture, then the melted chocolate, and combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Allow to cool, then prick the top of the sponge with a fork a couple of times and drizzle with the amaretto.
Place the cherries, sugar and 1 ½ cold water in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 25–30 minutes until the cherries are soft.
Place the cooked cherries at the bottom of a large serving dish. Break the chocolate sponge into small pieces and scatter over the cherries, pressing the sponge right out to the edge of the dish. Drizzle generously with amaretto. Repeat this layering process leaving a little room for the mascarpone topping.
To make the cream topping, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon the cream topping over the dessert and serve topped with chocolate shavings and fresh cherries.