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Serves 12-16

400g caster sugar

225g butter, softened

6 egg whites

2tsp vanilla extract

400g plain flour

4tsp baking powder

570ml buttermilk

For the frosting:

200g butter

600g icing sugar

300g cream or full fat soft cheese

½tsp vanilla extract

To decorate:

White chocolate scrolls or grated white chocolate

1 Grease 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160° Fan, Gas Mark 4. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat together with an electric whisk for about 5min. Gradually beat in the egg whites and the vanilla extract.

2 Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold a third into the mixture. Fold in a third of the buttermilk. Repeat twice more. Divide between the tins. Bake for 25-30min, until the cakes are firm to the touch and a skewer inser ted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5min, then turn out on to wire racks to cool.

3 To make the frosting, place the butter in a large bowl. Gradually mix in the icing sugar until smooth. Add the cream or soft cheese and vanilla and beat together. To assemble, spread a layer of frosting on two of the cakes and stack on top of each other with the uncoated one on top. Place on a ser ving plate.

4 Spread icing over the top and sides of the cake to coat and smooth the sides. Using a knife, mark diagonal lines in the icing, if wished. Place the remaining frosting in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe around the top and bottom edges. Fill the centre of the cake with chocolate scrolls or grated chocolate. Chill for an hour before ser ving.

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