Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line 2 x 22cm round cake tins.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cocoa with 200ml boiling water and stir until smooth. Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate mixing bowl, then add the vanilla, eggs, oil, sugar, melted butter and cocoa mixture. Whisk until smooth then divide between the prepared cake tins. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat with a handheld electric whisk until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the melted white chocolate and set aside.
To assemble and decorate the cake: Put 1 cake upside down on a serving board and thickly spread with the buttercream then sprinkle over the crushed mini eggs. Top with the other cake and, using a palette knife, spread half of the remaining buttercream over the top and sides – don’t worry if you can see crumbs poking through. Once the cake is covered, repeat with the remaining buttercream.
Press the chocolate fingers into the side of the cake to create a ‘fence’. Press the white flower decorations into the frosting above the ‘fence’ and insert the mint sprigs beneath each flower.
For the ‘nest’: Stir the shredded wheat into the melted dark chocolate until coated, then add teaspoons of the mixture to the top of the cake in a ring shape. Scatter over the chocolate shards and sprinkle over the extra shredded wheat strands. Position the egg in the centre of the ‘nest’ and press the whole and halved mini eggs around it.
Cut the beading or florist wire into 6 x 22cm lengths. Gently wind the top of each wire around the chocolate butterflies and press into the top of the cake. Finish off the cake by putting the small chick on top and the large chick on the board along with the halved small Easter egg. Always remove the florist wire before serving.
Cook’s tip: if you find the frosting is setting before you’ve had time to stick all the decorations on, use a bit of icing sugar mixed with water to fix them in place instead.