Like its German-dessert namesake, this cake contains layers of chocolate, cream and cherries. Layers of thick cherry syrup between each chocolate wafer layer enhance the fruity flavor, and a generous hot fudge drizzle ensures that digging into this cake will be satisfyingly messy. Add cherry liqueur to the whipped cream for a grown-up version.
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Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped cherries, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir together, bring to a simmer and cook until the cherry juice becomes thick and syrupy, about 8 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Combine the heavy cream, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, vanilla, a pinch of salt and the cherry liqueur if using in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a third of the cookies (13 to 14 cookies). Evenly spread 2 cups of the whipped cream mixture on top. Drizzle half of the cooled chopped cherries evenly over the cream. Repeat with another third of the cookies, 2 cups of the cream, and the remaining chopped cherries. Finish with the remaining third of the cookies and top with the remaining whipped cream mixture. Decorate the cream with pretty swirls using the back of a spoon.
Carefully cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours to allow the cookies to soften and the whipped cream to set.
When ready to serve, unlock the pan and remove the collar from around the cake. Garnish the top with the reserved cherries and a drizzling of the fudge sauce (if the fudge sauce is too thick, add a little water and warm it in the microwave). Cut into slices with a serrated knife and drizzle each slice with more fudge sauce.
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