Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together!
1 round 8 X 3 inch pan. i got mine at Michaels craft store. the brand is "Celebrate It"
1 can of cake release spray. i like pam for baking.
a mixer because doing this all by hand would just suck.
2 boxes of your choice of cake mix and whatever is required to make said mix into batter. i used Pilsbury Funfetti.
9 glossy red gumballs
1 white larger than average candle. I used a left over Hannukah candle.
enough chocolate curls to cover. i used a dark belgian chocolate block and made curls/shreds by hand. this made a huge mess and took forever. if you can find pre done chocolate curls, use them. I used a cheese plane.
wire cooling rack
bamboo skewers for checking doneness
large bread knife or cake leveler.
frosting bag and round tip, wilton #8.
2/3 c soften butter
4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs cream
5 Tbs cocoa powder
Raspberry cake filling:
1 1/2 c frozen raspberries
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs lemon juice (you can pretend it's combustible lemon juice if you like)
1/4 c sugar
Step 2: Start the Cakes
make a box of the mix into batter using the instructions on the box. dump the entire bowl of batter into the cake pan. Bake according to directions but add on about 10 minutes to the bake to compensate for the thickness of the cake. because your oven will vary, you'll just have to watch it and check it till it's completely done in the middle. when done, place the cooling rack on top of the cake in the pan, invert all of it leaving the cake on the cooling rack, hopefully free of the pan.
while your oven is reaching temp again, wash your pan, re spray it with baking spray and make up the other box of cake mix. make the other cake the same way you made the first.
LET THE CAKES COOL COMPLETELY.
when cool, level out the cakes using a knife or cake leveler.
Step 3: Make Cake Filling
Combine all the ingredients in a med sauce pan over med- high heat, stirring occasionally till boiling. switch heat to medium and stri constantly till everything is dissolved. you'll see the raspberries break up completely and it'll change color to a dark, deep red. let cool completely. don't try to taste it till it's cool, this stuff is like molten lava for your mouth. LFMF.
Step 4: Make Buttercream Frosting.
let 2/3 c of butter soften on the counter. don't try to microwave it. you'll end up with melted butter and that isn't what you want.
beat the butter with your mixer till light and fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar beating well between each add in. beat in vanilla and cream. beat till it's the right consistency .
Now is the time to save off some of the white icing for the dollops that adorn the top of the cake under the gum balls and candle. put it in your assembled icing bag to keep the air off it. I saved off like 1/2 a cup worth.
Now beat in your 5 Tbs of cocoa powder, slowly adding it in like you did the powdered sugar. beat well, and cover.
reward any mantis men helping you at this time with a frosting beater or spoon to lick ;)
Step 5: Assembly!
On top of the round, slather on a good amount of the raspberry filling going all the way to the edges (or use the extra frosting you made).
Place other cake on top of the other. make sure it's seated well and lined up properly with the other.
Use your chocolate buttercream frosting to frost the staked cakes with a nice thick layer of frosting making sure all the cake is covered.
now apply your chocolate shavings and curls to the outside of the cake. i used my hand filled with shavings to press them gently into the frosted cake sides. a spoon filled with shavings works well too but takes longer. make sure you cover the entire cake completely.
when you're cake is covered in shavings, remove the excess around the cake, pull out the paper pieces or tin foil you put under the edge of the bottom cake round. then remove what little excess is left.
Step 6: Decorate!
serve to all your fellow test subjects. wrap any left overs tightly as buttercream tends to pick up odd flavors in the fridge. the cake can be refrigerated or left out but buttercream can get a bit melty if the room temp goes too high.