1/2 cup kirsch
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon strong black coffee
750g pitted tinned cherries, drained
2 cups thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon kirsch
30g dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 180C. Line the bottoms of two 20cm round pans with baking paper circles. Sift together flour, cocoa, bicarb soda and 1 teaspoon 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 1/2 cup kirschwasser.
In a medium bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners 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 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
In a separate bowl whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirschwasser. Ice top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on dark chocolate.
Photo by Joey Kruger