200 g unsalted butter, chopped at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup milk
1 ⅓ cups self-raising flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder, plus extra to decorate
300 ml tub thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar mixture
670 g canned morello cherries
dark chocolate curls, to decorate
- Grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper, extending paper 2cm above pan edge.
- Beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a small bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Stir in milk and combined sifted flour and cocoa, in two batches, until combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth over top.
- Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Beat cream and icing sugar in a small bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Drain cherries, reserving 2 tbsp of the liquid. Pat cherries dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
- To assemble, cut cake in half horizontally. Brush cut-side of both layers with reserved cherry liquid. Place one layer, cut-side up, on a serving plate. Spread over half the cream. Top with half the cherries. Place remaining cake, cut-side down, on top. Spread over remaining cream. Scatter over remaining cherries.
- Decorate with chocolate curls. Dust with sifted extra cocoa.