• 2 cups caster sugar *

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Picture: Robert Duncan/The West Australian

  • 2 cups caster sugar *

  • 1 1/2 cups milk *

  • 180g white chocolate *

  • 200g butter, cubed *

  • 1/2 cup kirsch *

  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked *

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract *

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour *

  • 1/2 cup plain flour *

  • _Frosting _ *

  • 80g butter, softened *

  • 200g cream cheese *

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste *

  • 3 cups icing sugar *

Heat the caster sugar, milk, white chocolate and butter in a medium-sized saucepan until the butter and chocolate are melted and all ingredients are combined and smooth. Cool in the saucepan until room temperature. Whisk in the kirsch, eggs and vanilla, then sift the flours over the chocolate mixture and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a lined 28cm cake tin. Bake in a 130C preheated oven for 2 hours. Cool the cake in the tin and then turn out on to a wire rack. For the cream cheese frosting, beat the butter until it is pale in colour, add the cream cheese in pieces and the vanilla and continue to beat until completely smooth and lump free. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy. To decorate, using a palette knife apply the icing generously on the top and sides of the cake. For wow factor, make a chocolate collar. Measure the circumference with string and cut to size. Lay the string across a sheet of baking paper and cut to size. Then measure the height of the layer; you need to cut the baking paper strip 2cm higher than the actual cake. Melt an additional 50-70g of white chocolate and spread it across the baking paper strip evenly; don't make it too thick. Wait until the chocolate is tacky and has lost its gloss, then with a helper pick up the chocolate-coated paper and wrap it around the iced cake. (Don't do this too early or the chocolate will slide down the paper on to the cake.) Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so then carefully remove the baking paper. If you are making the three-layer cake, keep all the cakes in the fridge until you are ready to assemble, then carefully centre each of the cakes, placing the chocolate seams to the back. Generously pile the cherries in the moat around the two lower cakes and on top of the smallest cake. If you have only the one cake simply pile the cherries on top.