It’;s Mandi here with a holiday cake concept for you to attempt! Getting inventive with sweets is component of the exciting of holiday season, but the fun is not just limited to Christmas cookies. I manufactured my daughter Lucy a teddy bear cake for her very first birthday using this Martha Stewart manual, and it was so loved by my chocolate-loving family that I believed I’;d do anything related for Christmas time. This time close to I designed my very own template for a tree-shaped cake and utilised chocolate ganache sprinkled with nonpareils to make it extra festive. Check out out my directions beneath to see how you can make your own!
What you need to have:
- 1 9×13 cake (I used chocolate)
- one batch of frosting (I utilised a can of store purchased dark chocolate frosting)
- twelve oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- nonpareils or white sprinkles
- double boiler
- spoon or whisk
- bread knife
- frosting knife
- template (component one, portion 2- do not resize or scale to match for printing)
- wax paper or parchment paper
Assembling the Trees:
Commence by baking your cake and allowing it to fully great. You can bake it the evening just before if you happen to be concerned about timing. Then, reduce out the pieces of the cake template. And as you reduce them, lay them in their spots on leading of the cooled 9×13 cake prior to you neglect exactly where they go! (But will not be concerned: If you neglect, you can just refer to the photographs in this post.)
When the pieces are in spot, use a bread knife to lower out the cake, but make sure you leave the papers in area, so you know how to organize them into the tree form. Refer to the picture beneath to match up your cake pieces. They will fit collectively to make 2 trees, 1 large and one small. Piece #7 will get flipped upside down, and you can use the small scrap pieces to fill in any massive gaps. Do not worry about modest gaps or uneven pieces, because people can be filled with frosting.
Connecting the Trees:
Prior to frosting the cakes, find a serving tray that will fit each of the cakes, or a single platter for each and every cake. Cutting a piece of foam board performs nicely, and is inexpensive. I flipped a serving tray upside down for my cakes, but a 12×17 jelly roll pan performs wonderful for the bigger tree, and will give you an excuse to maintain the smaller sized tree cake all for yourself! After finding a serving tray, reduce out tiny pieces of wax or parchment paper to location beneath and all around the cake to hold the tray clean even though frosting the cake. Then spot the pieces of the trees onto the paper and get ready to “glue” them together with frosting.
I utilised a generous amount of frosting for the places that were actually uneven, and barely utilized any frosting for the larger factors of the cake. You will not want to frost in among every piece, just coating the top and sides of the cake will do. Be cautious not to spread all around too a lot of crumbs on the sides of the cake which have lower edges. If you want your presentation to be super pristine, or if you are skipping the ganache, you need to refrigerate the cake after a single coat of frosting, and then apply a second coat of frosting after the very first layer has cooled. The first stage is named a crumb-coat, due to the fact it traps all of the crumbs and makes it simpler to get a neat finish with the second layer.
I decided I did not need to have a crumb coat for 2 reasons- One particular, I did not have sufficient frosting. Oops! And 2, I figured the ganache would cover up most of the imperfections. And it did. Whew!
Adding the Finishing Touches:
Just before applying the ganache, be confident to get rid of the paper from underneath the cake or you may well damage the look of the ganache when pulling out the paper. I learned this the difficult way and had to refrigerate my cake and then use a knife to gently separate the ganache from the paper.
To make the ganache, I followed Ina Garten’;s chocolage ganache recipe, skipping the instant coffee and incorporating an further half batch to allow for plenty of ganache for each cake. For a double boiler, I set a tempered glass bowl on top of a pan of simmering water on the stove and added to it the crumbled chocolate cream, stirring until it reached a smooth consistency. Then I poured the ganache above the cake and spread it out with a frosting knife, taking it just to the edges of the cake so that it would drip beautifully down the sides.
It truly is helpful to only do 1 cake at a time when coating with ganache, because you will have to rapidly add the nonpareils before the chocolate sets up. When sprinkling the nonpareils, you may possibly want to fill the tiny lid of your sprinkle jar rather of pouring immediately from the complete container, or you could accidentally dump too numerous sprinkles and wreck the finish of the ganache when trying to fix your blunder. Just begin with a small amount of sprinkles and increase till you get the search you want.
I really like the elegance of the ganache finish and nonpareils, but if you want to make this task a small far more exciting, you could just depart a simple frosting finish and decorate the tree with a range of candy and piped frosting for garland and ornaments! And since the template creates 2 cakes, you can make one particular to get to a party, and 1 to hold at house.
Pleased baking! -Mandi
Credits // Writer and Photography: Mandi Johnson