1) Make two 18cm (7 in) round sponge cakes in contrasting colours, say chocolate and plain. Using a plain pastry cutter with a diameter of 5cm (2in), carefully cut out a small round from the centre of each cake. Then use a similar cutter with a diameter of 10cm (4 in) to cut out a further central ring from each cake.
2) Replace the cut-out pieces of cake, switching the middle ring of each cake for that of the contrasting colour, chocolate for plain and plain for chocolate. Brush each piece with apricot glaze before reassembling the cake.
3) Then sandwich the two cakes together, one on top of the other. Finish the cake with chocolate and plain butter icing, spreading the sides and coating with grated chocolate, and piping the top with cotrasting butter-icing stars. When the cake is sliced, a perfect chequered pattern is revealed.
FIRST STEPS IN CAKE DECORATING
by JANICE MURFITT