one 18 x 25 cm (7 x 10 inch) oval cake (we used mud cake but you could use butter, chocolate, carrot or coconut)
shiny contact cocoa powder, to dust
2 tablespoons cream
75 g (21/2 OZ) white chocolate melts
100 g (З1/2 oz)-unsalted butter, chopped
40 g (11/4 oz) icing sugar 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
30 g (1 oz) white chocolate melts
30 g (1 oz) milk chocolate melts
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate melts
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate
the cooled melted chocolate until thick and fluffy. Dissolve the coffee powder in a teaspoon of hot water and beat into the buttercream.
Cut the contact to the same height as the cake and long enough to wrap round it.
Pipe the melted milk and white chocolate in dots on the shiny side of the contact.
Melt the dark chocolate and spread all over the contact, over the dots
Spread the buttercream evenly over the top and side of the cake. In warm weather you could refrigerate the cake for 10-15 minutes after this, to firm the buttercream a little.
Wrap the collar around the cake with the chocolate on the inside.
To make the collar, put the white and milk chocolate melts in separate heatproof bowls and melt as above. Alternatively, melt in the microwave for 1 minute on High, stirring after 30 seconds. Spoon into separate paper piping bags. Pipe large and small dots of chocolate over the shiny side of the contact. Gently tap the contact on the bench to flatten the dots and then leave them to set.
Once the chocolate has set, gently peel away the strip of contact.
Melt the dark chocolate melts and dark chocolate together, then cool slightly. Working quickly, spread evenly over the entire strip of contact, over the top of the dots. Be careful not to press too hard or the dots may lift off the surface. Leave to set a little, but you need to be able to bend the strip without it cracking. Quickly wrap the strip around the cake with the chocolate on the inside. Seal the ends of the contact and leave until set (in the fridge in warm weather). Peel the contact from the collar and dust the cake with cocoa powder.
Ahead of time: You can
Spotted collar cake The chocolate collar is what
makes this cake so spectacular... once you have perfected the technique, you can use it to make even more elaborately patterned collars for cakes and cheesecakes.
decorate the cake and keep it in the fridge for several hours before serving. Don't attempt the chocolate collar on a very hot day—you may find it too soft to work with.