Use digital kitchen scales to divide mixture evenly among pans. Decorated cake can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Freeze-dried strawberries are available from major supermarkets.
2 tblsps red liquid food colouring
1 cup buttermilk
250g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups self-raising flour
1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
1⁄2 x 10g packet freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled
Halved fresh strawberries and extra crumbled freeze-dried strawberries, to decorate
325g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
2 1⁄4 cups icing sugar mixture
180g block white cookingc hocolate, melted, cooled
Grease three 20cm round cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper.
2 Stir the red colouring into buttermilk in a jug.
3 Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
4 In two batches, fold in the combined sifted our and cocoa, alternately, with the buttermilk mixture. Divide evenly among pans. Smooth tops.
5 Cook the two cakes in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 30 minutes, or until cooked when tested. Remove from oven. Stand in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining cake.
6 To make frosting, beat butter in same, clean bowl of electric mixer until pale. Gradually beat in 1⁄2 cup sugar at a time, until combined. Beat in cooled chocolate. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle.
7 Place one cake onto a serving plate. Pipe frosting, in a single layer, over top. Sprinkle with half the freeze-dried strawberries. Carefully top with another cake. Repeat layering with remaining frosting, strawberries and cake, finishing with a layer of frosting.
8 Decorate cake with fresh strawberries and extra freeze- dried strawberries.