Make Filling First: Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Combine the 1/2 cup liquid, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Let mixture boil, stirring constantly, until it thickens to the consistency of thick maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, almond extract and drained cherries Let cool at room temperature then transfer to refrigerator and chill for about 2 hours or until ready to assemble.
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8x2 inch cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper (or wax paper). Grease again and dust with flour.
Combine milk and vinegar in a mixing bowl and set aside for a few minutes to sour the milk.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a second bowl. Mix well to mash out any stray lumps of cocoa powder.
Add the eggs, oil, coffee and vanilla to the bowl with the milk/vinegar mixture and whisk well. Stir in the flour mixture and beat by hand about 50 strokes or until mixed -- batter will be thin and lumpy. There shouldn’t be big chunks of cocoa powder, though.
Pour batter into prepared pans and set the pans on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Bake for 30 -35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean – stick the toothpick right in the center to test, this cake might seem done, but you won't know for sure unless you test it. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn from pans onto racks. Peel away parchment or wax paper rounds and let cool completely.
Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until peaks are stiff.
Assemble Cake: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs and set aside. For finer crumbs, you can pulse the cake layer in the food processor. These will be used as garnish.
Place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with a little whipped cream; top with about 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of whipped cream and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake with remaining whipped cream. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake or if you want, just use them on the top as pictured. Arrange a bit more filling on top in a decorative way. Chill cake until ready to serve.