1. A day or so before you make the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of liquor. Cover and let macerate.
2. To bake the cakes, grease two 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper or dust with cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Stir together the eggs and yolk with the vanilla, then dribble them in while beating.
5. Mix in one-third of the flour/cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.)
6. Divide and smooth the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand on the counter top for about 15 minutes.
7. With a skewer, poke 50 holes in the cake and spoon 3 tablespoons of liquor over each cake. Let cool.