About this recipe:I got this recipe when I worked in an area of Germany called the Kaisersthul, a volcanic outcrop in the Black forrest (Schwartzwald) region. It is so rich and delicious - you just will not believe it! It takes a little time, but its worth it.
1 1/2 tins or 650g of black cherries pitted in juice
2 tablespoons Kirsch liqueur
8 oz (225g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)
2 large eggs, separated
6 large eggs, separated
140g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder, sifted
melted dark chocolate or icing sugar for decoration
Line a Swiss-roll tin 13 x 9 x ½ inch (32 x 23 x 1 cm), with silicone or greasproof paper, cut and folded to give a depth of at least 1½ inches (4 cm).
Drain the cherries in a sieve; discard the syrup, then place them in a shallow dish, spoon over the cherry brandy and set aside.
For the filling; break the pieces of chocolate into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water for 3 minutes or so, making quite sure the basin isn't actually touching the water.
Then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the chocolate to melt before beating it with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Next beat the 2 egg yolks until frothy. Add them to the warm chocolate mixture. As soon as the mixture has cooled, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage then gently cut and fold them into the chocolate mixture.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge until you're ready to use it, but for a minimum of an hour.
To make the base: first place the 6 egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them with an electric hand whisk until they begin to thicken.
Then add the caster sugar and continue to whisk, but be careful not to overdo this, as it can eventually become too thick - stop when it falls off the whisk in ribbons. Fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
Using a spanking clean bowl and carefully washed and dried beaters, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage.
Then take 1 large spoonful, fold it into the chocolaty mixture to slacken it, and gently cut and fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake the cake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes or until it's springy in the centre. It will look very puffy, but a little finger gently pressed into the centre should reveal that it is cooked. It's important not to overcook it; otherwise it will be difficult to roll.
Remove it from the oven and don't panic as it sinks down, because this is quite normal. Leave it until it's absolutely cold, and then turn it out onto another sheet of silicone paper, which has been lightly dusted with sieved cocoa powder. Then carefully peel away the layer of paper that it was cooked on.
Strain the soaked cherries, collecting the juice and pouring it over the base.
Next remove the chocolate filling from the fridge and, using a small palette knife, spread it carefully and evenly all over the surface of the base.
Whip the cream softly, and spread this all over the chocolate filling, leaving a good 1 inch (2.5 cm) border all round to allow for it spreading, then lightly press the cherries into the cream.
Rolling this cake up is going to be a lot easier than you think. All you do is take hold of the shorter edge of the silicone paper, lift it and bring it over the top of the cake forcing it to roll up. Don't worry about cracks.
Serve on a platter, with drizzled chocolate, dusted cocoa powder or icing sugar.