1 tbsp mild cooking oil, for greasing
350 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp nicarbonate of soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
350 g caster sugar
350 g butter, chilled and diced
200 ml soured cream
1 tsp vanilla essence, plus a few drops for icing
2 eggs, beaten
a few drops red food colouring
100 g butter
200 g cream cheese
500 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Line three 20cm cake tins with oiled greaseproof paper, then sift over some flour
3. In a medium bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
4. Add sugar, butter and sour cream. Mix well until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
5. Stir together the vanilla essence and eggs. Add this mixture bit by bit to the breadcrumb batter so it doesn’t curdle, then sprinkle with the food colouring.
6. Mix well, then divide between the three cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake has come away slightly from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out clean.
7. Leave the sponges to cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn two of the sponges upside down on a cooling rack to dry. Turn out the third cake, but leave it right side up (this will be the top). To make icing the cake easier, you can refridgerate the sections once they have cooled a little. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing.
8.For the Icing: Cream the butter and cream cheese together and sift in the icing sugar. Add vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
9. Once the cakes are completely cool, layer the cake sandwiching it together with the icing, reserving half for the topping.
10. Spread the icing on top the cake and around the sides. Cut in slices to serve.