200g/7oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
25g/1oz unsalted butter
50g/1¾oz dark chocolate, for shaving
To make the cherries, bring the kirsch to a simmer, add the cherries and remove from the heat. Allow to steep overnight.
To make the chocolate sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm/8in sponge tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale, beat in the eggs then fold in the flour, sift in the cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda, then mix in along with the vanilla and kirsch.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, level the tops with a spatula and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the custard, heat the cream and vanilla seeds in a saucepan until just boiling. Remove from the heat and beat in the yolks and sugar. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, strain through a sieve and set aside.
To make the cream topping, beat the mascarpone and cream together with the vanilla seeds in a bowl until soft peaks form.
To make the chocolate sauce, place the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Stir until melted. Add the salt and keep warm.
Spread the cooled sponges with the cherry jam and prepare to assemble.
Place a layer of cherry sponge in the bottom of your serving dish, scatter with some cherries, spoon over half the custard, chocolate sauce and cream, then repeat with a second layer. Garnish with the griottine cherries and chocolate shavings and serve.
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