Introduction: Rustic Woodland Cake
A sweet and simple cake decorated with meringue mushrooms and cake pop hedgehogs.
Step 1: Equipment
mixing bowls of various sizes
1/2 inch round tip
Size 5 round tip
Offset spatulas of various sizes
Chocolate dipping utensils
Various cake stands
Step 2: Ingredients
2x 8inch round cakes ( flavor of your choice, I went with an almond cake)
3 cups of your favorite White buttercream frosting (divided)
* 2 large egg whites
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*pinch of cream of tartar
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 oz. chocolate
2 oz. white chocolate
1 bag white dipping chocolate
Yellow food coloring
1 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate buttercream
Step 3: Meringue Mushrooms
1. Bring a medium saucepan filled with 2 cups (or a 1/4 full) of water to a simmer.
2. Put egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in mixing bowl of electric mixer over the saucepan. Whisk until thermometer reads 140 degrees.
3. Remove bowl and place on mixer with whisk attachment.
4. Beat on low and gradually increase to high. Remain on high until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Roughly 10 mins.
5. Mix in vanilla
6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
8. Divide the meringue into 2 bowls
9. Add the cocoa powder to one bowl and mix
10. Place white meringue into the pastry bag with the 1/2 inch round tip.
11. Pipe stems onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Pulling up at the end to form a point.
12. Pipe equal mushroom dome tops.
13.Repeat with cocoa flavored meringue
14. Bake for 1 hour, rotating the sheet 1/2 way thru or until meringues are dry, but not browned.
15. Once cooled, begin creating the mushrooms. The fun part! Melt the 2 oz dark chocolate either over simmering water on the stove or on 50% power in the microwave.
16. Repeat with the 2 oz. white chocolate
17. With a small offset spatula smear a thin layer dark chocolate over the base of the mushroom cap.
18. Once dried, repeat with the white chocolate
19. With a toothpick drag lines (gills) out from the center.
20. With a paring knife, dig out a small hole in the center. Dip the point of the mushroom stem into the white chocolate and attach to the cap.
Step 4: Make Cake Pop Hedgehogs
1. With the 2 cakes, trim off the tops to even them out.
2. Put the cake remnants into a mixing bowl and add roughly 1/4 cup white buttercream. Start with a small amount, you can always add more. Combine until the cake/buttercream mix holds its shape. Form 1-inch balls and shape into hedgehogs by pointing one end for its nose.
3. Melt white dipping chocolates and add a tablespoon or 2 of vegetable oil to thin.
4. Add one drop yellow food coloring and mix to create the tan hedgehog color.
5. Dip the cakeball into the tan chocolate mix and put aside to set.
6. Fill a pastry bag with chocolate buttercream fitted with a size 5 round tip.
7. Starting at the bottom of the cake pop beginning piping small spikes ( pulling to form a point) all around the back 3/4 of the hedgehog.
8. Pipe eyes and nose.
Step 5: Cake
1. Place 1 8-inch round cake on cake stand. Add 2 1/4 cups buttercream to the top and spread with a large offset spatula.
2. Place 2nd 8 inch round cake on top.
3. Place remaining buttercream on top and spread down the sides.
5. Smooth and thin with offset spatula to create a rustic look.
Step 6: Finishing Touches!
1. Place mushrooms around the top of the cake and along the base.
2. Add a hedgehog, wherever you so desire.
3. Place remaining hedgehogs on another cake stand. I used cut tree platters to keep with the rustic look.
4. Place roughly 1/4 cup powdered sugar into a mesh strainer and dust the cake.