Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two 8" sandwich cake tins.
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric hand-whisk or in a mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring that each egg is totally mixed in before adding the next one. Then mix in the buttermilk and vanilla.
Measure out the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb before sifting these into the wet ingredients. Beat these into the mix until everything is just combined (do not beat for too long as the cake will become very heavy). Add a little milk to the mixture, if needed, so that it drops off of your beaters like really thick cream.
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for about 25 minutes. The cake is done when the top springs back under your fingers. Remember, the cake will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tins.
Start by combining the butter and vanilla extract in a mixer (this really works best in a freestanding mixer but can also be done with the electric hand-whisk), then add the cocoa and icing sugar to make your chocolate buttercream. Add a little milk to loosen or cocoa to stiffen if needed. This needs to be the consistency of a spreadable butter.
Spread a thick layer of chocolate buttercream on top of one of your cakes (use about half of what you have mixed up). Then add a generous layer of raspberry jam on top. Lay the naked cake on top of the loaded one.
Using a knife or spatula, cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate buttercream.
Now for the fun part... take your Chocolate Cigarillos or Chocolate Fingers and line them up around the edges of the cake. Cigarillos are available to buy online for around £12 per box plus delivery. These are great if you want to really impress with your cake. However, if budget is a factor, Chocolate Fingers will not disappoint! They create the same effect and are just as delicious. Once your triumphant wall of chocolate is complete, you could tie a bow around the whole cake.
The top of your cake should, by now, be crying out for embellishment. Scatter your raspberries over the top of the cake and, if you want to add a little extra glamour, sprinkle red edible glitter over them! The top of the cake should twinkle like Dorothy's ruby slippers. You should be able to find this glitter in the baking section of your local craft store or online.
Recipe courtesy of Charlotte White