60ml cocoa powder

100ml hot water

250ml flour

10ml baking powder

125ml castor sugar

4 eggs, separated

80ml oil

80ml extra castor sugar


50ml cherry or strawberry jam

250ml cream

15ml sugar

3ml vanilla extract


200g dark chocolate

125ml cream

250g fresh cherries, some pitted and some left whole

Combine cocoa and hot water and stir well until dissolved. Allow to cool.

Sift flour, baking powder and castor sugar into a bowl. Make a well and add dissolved cocoa, egg yolks and oil and mix to smooth batter. Beat egg whites until stiff and beat in extra castor sugar. Fold into chocolate mixture.

Divide between two lined 20cm cake pans. (Do not grease) Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Invert cake pans on cooling rack and leave to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and the cake will drop out. Remove paper lining. Spread one half of cake with jam. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla and spoon on top of jam. Add pitted cherries. Top with other cake half.

Topping: Combine chocolate and cream and put in microwave on 50 percent power for 1 to 2 minutes until melted. Stir well until smooth.Allow to cool and thicken and then pour over cake. Decorate with whole cherries.


Serves 6

500ml flour

45ml castor sugar

150g butter

1 egg, beaten

ice water to mix


60ml cherry jam

500g fresh cherries, pitted

beaten egg for glazing

cream to serve

Put flour and castor sugar into bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and enough ice water to bring dough together.

Remove pastry from processor and knead lightly to form smooth ball. Chill for 30 minutes in fridge. Roll out on a floured surface to form a large disc. Place disc on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Spread jam in the centre of disc leaving a wide border. Pile cherries in the middle and fold up edges to half enclose filling. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Bake at 200°C for 20-30 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Remove and cool slightly. Serve with whipped cream.


Makes 375ml

500g pitted fresh cherries

125ml water

1 cinnamon stick

500g sugar

5ml powdered pectin

Combine cherries, water and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until cherries are soft. Remove from heat. Combine sugar and pectin. Add to cherries and stir until sugar has dissolved. Return to the heat and bring to boil. Simmer until setting point is reached. Skim jam while boiling.

To test for setting point: place a saucer in the freezer when you start making jam. When mixture has reduced and starts to thicken drop a small amount of mixture on to the cold saucer. Wait for a moment, and then push it with your finger. If jam wrinkles, it is ready. Remove the cinnamon stick. Bottle in sterilised jars and seal while hot.


Serves 4

4 pork loin chops

15ml olive oil

salt and pepper


60ml sherry

50ml castor sugar

60ml red wine vinegar

3 star anise

250g fresh cherries, pitted

125ml plum sauce

15ml soy sauce

Brush chops with olive oil and season well. Cook on a griddle pan until done to your liking and serve with sauce.

Sauce: Combine sherry, sugar, vinegar and star anise in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add cherries and simmer until they are soft and the sauce has reduced. Stir in plum sauce and soy sauce and simmer for another minute. Spoon over chops and serve with steamed green beans. - Saturday Star