A riff on a Black Forest gâteau, this is an everyday version of the classic celebration cake.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Sift the flour, and cocoa, espresso and baking powders into a bowl, and set aside.
Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment and cream together until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on the slowest speed, add the flour mixture, then add the pitted and quartered cherries.
Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and level. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the chocolate decorations, first temper the chocolate. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until it reaches 45°C on a cooking thermometer.
Remove from the heat and cool to 34°C, then add the cocoa butter powder, stirring until the chocolate reaches 31°C.
Pour the tempered chocolate into the piping bag, fitted with the writing nozzle, and pipe 16 decorative shapes onto the acetate or baking paper. Leave for at least 30 minutes, to set.
Meanwhile, make the crème Chantilly. Pour the cream into a chilled mixing bowl and add the icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk then whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. Chill until needed.
For the syrup, pour the kirsch and sugar into a small pan and heat gently over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Pierce the cooled cake all over with a cocktail stick and brush the kirsch syrup over the cake.
Place one third of the crème Chantilly into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle and set aside.
Turn the cake top-downwards and spread the remaining Chantilly over. Finely grate the dark chocolate evenly over the cream, then cut the cake into 16 squares.
Pipe a swirl of cream in the middle of each square and top with a kirsch-soaked cherry and a chocolate decoration.