175 g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
80 g dark chocolate
300 g plain flour
375 g caster sugar
25 g Van Houten cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 medium eggs
200 g buttermilk or natural yoghurt
100 mL boiling water
pinch of salt
425 g can pitted cherries or mixed berries, 2 tbsp juice reserved, rest drained
150 g cherry jam (Bonne Mamam)
4 tbsp Cointreau (or more juice from a can if you want it to be non-alcoholic)
300 mL double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
Fresh cherries for decoration (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 3 x 22cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and the chocolate broken into chunks in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted.
Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk or yogurt together. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 100ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump free.
Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins, swapping the tins round after 20 mins if they’re on different shelves. To test they're done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean.
Prick the cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix together the 2 tbsp reserved cherry juice and the Cointreau (or more juice) and drizzle over the cakes. Cool the cakes on a rack lined with baking paper (cakes are fragile when hot and moist).
Mix together the remaining drained cherries and jam.
When the cakes are cool whisk the remaining cream and the icing sugar together until softly whipped. Spread over the cakes, then spoon over the jammy cherries. Stack the cakes together. Pile the fresh cherries in and around the cake and serve.