I would suggest making this cake in advance, perhaps the day before you need it, to give it time to firm up and make it easier to cut into layers
It's a big cake, serves at least 12 and is a little fiddly, but not difficult to make. Read through the recipe before you start.
Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm loose bottomed cake pan.
175 grams butter
450 grams sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons Wilton No Taste Red colouring Gel, or tablespoons red liquid colouring.*
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
375 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda , vinegar
*Use the gel preferably, the liquid has a nasty aftertaste if you use too much. If you are going to make this delicious cake, perhaps ask at a cake supply shop which to use, I used gel and liquid, but it took a lot to get a nice red colour.
CREAM CHEESE BUTTER FROSTING
90 grams Kremelta (Copha) at room temperature
90 grams butter at room temperature
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
150 grams full fat cream cheese
In a large bowl,beat the butter with electric beaters or a mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat the mixture until it is pale and light. Don't worry if it splits.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk,food colouring,vanilla, and cocoa powder, mix well.
In a third bowl, mix the flour with the salt
Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture in batches, folding thoroughly between each addition.
In a small bowl, mix together with baking soda and vinegar and fold into the cake batter while it is still fizzing.
Pour the batter into prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until it is risen and springy and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool cake in tin. Storing it now in the fridge will make it firmer and easier to cut into the three layers, but it's not essential.
Beat Kremelta and butter together until fluffy. This will take a lot of beating, at least four minutes.
Add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the milk.
In another bowl, (yes another) put cream cheese and beat with electric beaters until soft. Add to butter cream and beat well until mixed in. If too firm add a drop more milk.
Cut the cake into three layers.
Spread frosting on the top of the bottom and middle layers working from the centre out. Stack one on top of another on a plate or cake stand. Add the third layer of cake. Place a generous quantity of frosting on the top, and using a spatula or palette knife, gently spread it over the top and towards the edges, adding more frosting to the middle and working it out and down the sides. Don't plaster it on the sides, you'll end up with crumbs everywhere, just work it gently from the top and down the sides, nice and smoothly.
If you want it smooth, dip spatula in hot water, dry it, and run flat side around the cake sides.
Cutting the cake: A freshly made cake will be crumby when cut, so better to put in the fridge overnight to firm up, or at least make the day before.
Use a ruler to measure the levels and mark with toothpicks around the cake. Cut with a serrated knife .