A beautiful cake is fit for a Queen. Three layers of rich chocolate cake filled with cream, covered in a silky chocolate ganache, surrounded by a simple but striking chocolate collar, finished with a patriotic topping of soft fruits and truffles.
300g caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
75g self-raising flour
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml sour cream, at room temperature
50g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
500ml double cream
600ml double cream
400g dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids), chopped
300g milk chocolate, chopped
24 Milky bars or Cadbury's animal bars or a combination of the two (and a few spares in case of breakages)
12 Lindor white chocolate balls
500g of Fresh soft fruits – blackberries, blueberries, cherries raspberries, strawberries.
You will also need 3 x 20cm (8 inch) sandwich cake tins, buttered and the base lined with a disc of buttered baking parchment; plus, 1 red ribbon, 1 blue ribbon, 1 white ribbon
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy: this is easiest using a free-standing machine or an electric hand-held mixer.
Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
Sift both of the flours, bicarbonate of soda and the cocoa into a bowl. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon.
In another bowl, mix the sour cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Add half to the cake batter and fold in.
Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream and mix until smooth.
Divide the cake batter between the prepared tins.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.
Meanwhile prepare your decoration. Make a chocolate ganache by bringing the cream to the boil. Remove from the heat, cool for a couple of minutes then add the chopped chocolates and stir until smooth and shiny. Allow to thicken and cool completely.
Whip the cream to firm peak stage and chill.
Sandwich the cakes together with a thin layer of ganache and half of the whipped cream.
Spread a thin layer of the ganache over the sides and surface of the cake using a palette knife. Stick the chocolate bars around the cake, with the smooth side facing out. Wrap with the three ribbons to keep the bars in place. Spoon the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with a small open star nozzle. Pipe small stars around the top edge of the cake, then fill the centre with the remaining cream.