Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
For the cake:
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Mix in the almond extract. Pat the cherries dry with kitchen paper, then combine the cherries and the flour in a sieve. Sift the flour into the cake mixture, then add the cocoa powder. Mix well and add in the flour dusted cherries and mix. Transfer to the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Avoid opening the oven door in the first 60 minutes of cooking to prevent the cake from sinking in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the tin.
For the icing:
Combine the ingredients for the icing and chill just until stiff enough to spread. Spread over the cooled cake while still in its tin then allow to set. After the icing has set, remove from the tin and slice and serve.
By tossing the cherries in the flour first you can reduce the chance of them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
I made this, actually put 2tsp of almond essence and a handful of sliced almonds, they added some crunch! I didn't bother with the icing on the top as I didn't think it needed it. it was so yummy. went down very well. - 29 Feb 2016