1. Start by making the ganache. Gently heat 300ml of the double cream in a saucepan to just about simmering point and add the broken up dark chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and combine fully. Set aside to cool then pop into the fridge to set.
  2. For the cake, set the oven to 200ºc and line a baking tray with parchment. I used one roughly 20cm x 30cm. Put the eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric whisk until the mixture is fluffy and pale in colour, this could take a few minutes. Add the sifted flour and cocoa powder and gently fold in with a large spoon or spatula being careful not to knock out all the air. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread evenly. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Working quickly, place a large piece of parchment on your works top and turn the cake out onto it, removing the parchment it was baked in. Brush the sponge with the cherry juice and carefully roll the sponge up with the new parchment inside, as tightly as you can. The cake will be hot, but this needs to be done before it cools too much. Take a clean tea towel and firmly roll the thing up nice and tight and leave to cool completely.
  1. Whip the other 300ml of cream with the brandy and icing sugar until lovely and spreadable.
  1. To assemble, gently unroll the cooled sponge and spread the cream evenly before rerolling tightly. To create the branch, slice a section off one end at an angle to move it to the middle of the main section. Using a star shaped nozzle on a piping bag, pipe bark-like patterns lengthways all over the sponge. Either show off your swirl or pipe over the ends too. Dust with icing sugar and present triumphantly to awaiting guests!
  1. Merry Christmas!

Thank you to Morgan from @homemade_morgan for this amazing Christmas recipe!

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