2 (14-oz) cans pitted sour cherries, drained, 2/3 cup of the juice reserved
1/3 cup kirschwasser
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 Tbsp kirschwasser
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12'' x 17'' jelly-roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients in with the dry ingredients and whisk until a thick batter forms. Add the hot water and whisk again until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Move the cakes to wire racks to cool.
To prepare the filling, combine the reserved cherry juice, kirschwasser, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until lightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add the cherries and bring it to a boil and then stir in the vanilla. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
To prepare the whipped cream, pour the whipping cream, kirschwasser, and confectioners' sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the napoleons, cut the cake into squares (sized to your preference). Place a square onto a plate, add a dollop of filling, followed by whipped cream, and another layer of cake. Top with more filling, whipped cream, and a final piece of cake.
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