340g (12oz) unsalted butter - softened
340g (12oz) caster sugar
6 medium eggs - lightly beaten
340g (12oz) self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Black food paste
125g (5oz) unsalted butter - softened
125g (5oz) icing sugar - sifted
Few drops vanilla extract
750g Renshaw Jet Black Ready to Roll Icing
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/340°F/gas mark 3.
Grease and base line with baking paper 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
Cream the unsalted butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the lightly beaten egg gradually to the mixture, reducing the speed when adding and increasing in between each addition to combine the egg.
Add the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour.
Divide the plain cake mixture into two equal halves. Colour one half with black food colour.
Divide the plain cake mixture between the two prepared sandwich tins.
Bake these two cakes in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes.
When baked, turn out onto a cooling wire.
Wash, dry and re-line the sandwich tins and divide the black cake mixture between the two. Bake in the same way, and allow to cool.
Place the softened unsalted butter and vanilla extract into a bowl and begin to beat.
Beat in the sifted icing sugar gradually to ensure a light smooth buttercream.
Add a splash of boiling water if necessary - this will lighten the buttercream and make it easier to spread.
Find three round objects 15cm, 10cm and 5cm in diameter. Use these to cut out ever decreasing circles in the cakes and separate from one another.
Take a cake board or plate and place a large white circle of sponge on top, inside fit a black circle followed by a white circle and finally the smallest black circle in the middle. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top.
Repeat the process on the top of this starting with a black outer circle, then white, black and white in the middle. Cover with a thin layer of buttercream.
Repeat these two layers to give a chequerboard effect.
Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream and place in the fridge to chill.
Knead the Renshaw Jet Black Ready to Roll Icing until pliable. Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out icing to desired thickness.
Lift the icing over the cake, smoothing down the sides with the palm of your hand. Trim excess any icing from the base. To give a sheen to the surface, smooth with the palm of your hand.