MIX cake according to package directions (two or three layers may be used); BLEND in 1 teaspoon almond extract; FOLD in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits or chips; BAKE cake according to package directions.
COOL cakes completely in pans on wire rack.
COMBINE 20-21 oz cherry pie filling, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and 1/4 teaspoon Angostura bitters.
WARM mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it gently bubbles and thickens, stirring occasionally (about 7 minutes); ALLOW mixture to cool (If you are making a three-layer cake, this recipe for the filling should be doubled).
TURN one cake onto cake plate, flat-side up; SPREAD cherry mixture evenly; TURN other cake round carefully onto plate or hand; PLACE flat suface over cherry filling; REPEAT, if a third layer is used.
MELT 12 ounces chocolate chips in double boiler at medium temperature with 1 cup whipping cream; COOL.
BEAT remaining one cup whipping cream with an electric mixer on low speed until soft peaks form tips curl); ADD 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and chocolate chip/whipping cream mixture; CONTINUE beating on low speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
FROST completely cooled cake layers one at a time, decorating outermost surface in swirls with a spoon.
GARNISH with 1 oz semisweet chocolate shavings (create shavings or curls using a swivel vegetable peeler or a cheese grater with a semisweet chocolate bar; pitted maraschino or sour cherries and/or sliced almonds may be added as additional garnish, if desired).
SLICE, serve and enjoy!