Recipe by Janet Taylor McCracken
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Start to Finish: 5 hours
Servings: 10 to 14
2/3 cup fruity olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 cup flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for a dark chocolate color, we like Guittard Cocoa Rouge)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
11/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Fillings and Toppings
1 jar (14.1 oz.) Luxardo cherries
2 pt. cherry gelato or ice cream, softened
2 pt. pistachio gelato or ice cream (preferably Sicilian), softened
2 cups heavy cream
1 container (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush two 8-inch springform pans or cake pans with oil. If using cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup oil, the sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally, and spread in an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
2. Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Cut 3/4 cup of the cherries in half. In a bowl, fold the halved cherries into the cherry gelato. Spread over 1 cake. Spread the pistachio gelato over the second cake. Cover each cake with plastic wrap; press down on the ice cream to create a tight seal. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the cream, mascarpone, and sugar until medium-firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. Run a long thin knife under hot water; wipe dry. Run the knife along the inside of the cake pans to release the cakes. Transfer the first cake to a plate (remove the parchment if you used any). Top with the second cake (remove the parchment). Pile the whipped cream on top. Garnish with the remaining cherries. Drizzle with some of the reserved cherry syrup.