|350 g||morello cherries (pitted, in juice)|
|300 g||sugar (divided)|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|½ tsp||baking powder|
|100 g||starch (divided)|
|40 g||cocoa powder|
|1 tbsp||lemon juice|
|90 ml||cherry brandy (divided)|
|1 l||heavy cream (divided)|
|4 tsp||vanilla sugar (divided)|
|8½ tsp||cream of tartar (divided)|
|1 tbsp||cherry juice|
|100 g||chocolate shavings for garnish|
|12||fresh cherries for garnish|
|butter for greasing|
Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. For the batter, separate eggs and beat egg whites in a stand mixer with salt until stiff peaks form.
Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl along with sugar and vanilla extract for approx. 5 – 6 min. until light and fluffy in texture. Mix flour, starch, cocoa powder, and baking powder together and sieve onto yolks. Stir to combine. Carefully fold in beaten egg whites in two batches. Melt butter over medium low heat in a small saucepan. Add to batter and mix until well combined. Add the batter to the prepared spring form pan and bake for approx. 25 – 30 min. in preheated oven at 190°C/375°F or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for approx. 15 min. before removing it from the springform pan and letting it cool completely.
For the cherry filling, drain the cherries and collect the juice in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice, sugar, part of starch and cinnamon to juice and stir to combine. Bring to a boil on medium heat and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and fold in part of cherry brandy and cherries. Set aside until fully cooled.
Mix sugar, some of the cream of tartar, and part of the vanilla sugar in a small bowl. Add part of the cream to large bowl and start mixing. While beating, slowly add sugar mixture and whip until soft peaks form.
Cut cake horizontally into 3 even layers. Mix cherry juice with cherry brandy. Place bottom cake layer onto a serving plate, brush with brandy mixture, and spread cherry filling over it, leaving an approx. 1 cm/0.5 in. bornder on all sides. Chill in fridge for approx. 10 min. Place cake ring tightly around first cake layer. Spread half of the whipped cream over it and smooth. Place second cake layer on top, soak with cherry brandy mixture, and spread remaining whipped cream on top. Add top cake layer and brush with remaining cherry brandy mixture. Refrigerate for at least 60 min.
To finalize layer cake, add remaining of cream, cream of tartar, and vanilla sugar to bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Fill into pipping bag with a star nozzle. Coat the entire cake with whipped cream and decorate sides with chocolate shavings. Create a circle of chocolate shavings on top of the cake as well. Pipe 12 evenly-spaced cream stars along the edge and place one cherry onto each. Cool for at approx. 2 hrs. before serving. Enjoy!