Ravneet’s Chess Cake combines delicious vanilla, pistachio and rose cake with a wow-worthy pattern revealed as you cut out the first slice.
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Make the sponges. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs. With the mixer on low speed, beat for 2 minutes, until smooth. Divide the batter equally between three bowls.
Mix the vanilla into one of the bowls, then spoon the mixture into one of the lined tins and level with a palette knife.
Add the rose water and pink food colouring to the second bowl of batter and mix to an even pink colour. Spoon the mixture into another of the lined tins and level with a palette knife.
Add the pistachio paste and green food colouring to the third bowl of batter and mix to an even green colour. Spoon the mixture into the third lined tin and level with a palette knife.
Bake for 18–20 minutes, until the middle of each sponge springs back, when you lightly push it with your fingertips. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then turn out and peel off the paper. Leave to cool completely.
Make the buttercream. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Add the butter, cream, pistachio paste and salt, and beat on a very low speed until combined. Increase the speed and beat on high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Set aside.
To assemble, lay the sponges on the work surface and, using a bread knife, level the tops. Using the 10cm cutter, stamp out a neat disc from the middle of each cake layer. Using the 5cm cutter, stamp out a smaller cake disc from the middle of each of these pieces. You should now have 3 large cake rings, 3 smaller rings and three disc shapes.
Reassemble the cake layers so that each layer has 3 different coloured cakes: for the bottom layer use the vanilla large ring, pink medium ring and green centre. Carefully buttercream the rings together. For the middle layer use the pink large ring, green medium ring and vanilla centre. For the top layer use the green large ring, vanilla medium ring and pink centre.
Carefully place the bottom layer on the cake stand and spread 2–3 tablespoons of buttercream over the top. Place the middle layer on top and spread with buttercream in the same way, then gently press the top layer on top of the middle layer.
Cover the top and sides of the cake with three-quarters of the remaining buttercream. Using a palette knife, smooth the buttercream around the top and sides.
Spoon all the remaining buttercream into the piping bag fitted with the large star nozzle and pipe kisses around the top edge of the cake. Sprinkle with slivered pistachios and rose petals to finish.