Sift the cocoa powder. Finely chop the milk chocolate. Finely chop the dark chocolate. Soften the salted butter. Sift the icing sugar.
- 1 To make the cakes, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and boil the kettle.
- 2 Grease 3 x 20cm cake tins with a little oil and line the bases and sides with baking parchment.
- 3 In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and sugar.
- 4 Squeeze any lumps of sugar through your fingers until you’re left with a loose, sandy texture.
- 5 Whisk the buttermilk, vanilla extract, eggs and oil in a jug and pour into the dry ingredients.
- 6 Add 150ml hot water to the bowl, then whisk until you have a smooth, runny batter.
- 7 Divide evenly among the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.
- 8 A skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes should come out clean when they’re ready.
- 9 Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
- 10 Now make the icing.
- 11 Melt the chocolates in a bowl, in 20-second bursts, in the microwave.
- 12 Set aside to cool a little. Put the butter, icing sugar, cocoa and milk into a large bowl and beat until smooth.
- 13 Add the melted chocolate and beat again.
- 14 Cover and leave at room temperature until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
- 15 Using an 8cm plate as a template, cut a circle from the middle of one cake and carefully remove it.
- 16 Crumble it to fine crumbs, then set aside.
- 17 Place a whole sponge on a cake plate or stand and spread with a layer of icing.
- 18 Sit the cake ring on top and fill the middle with halloween sweets.
- 19 Spread a little icing over the sponge ring and top with the final cake.
- 20 Use the remaining icing to cover the outside of the cake – it doesn’t have it be too neat.
- 21 Press the cake crumbs all over the top and sides of the cake, to create a ‘muddy’ surface. (it’s best to do this straightaway while the icing is wet).
- 22 Press creepy crawlie sweets all over the cake.
- 23 The cake can be made up to a day ahead, but add the sweets just before serving.
- 24 Any leftovers will keep in a cool place for up to 3 days.
This looks fun for a party