Monday 22 June 2015

Tree Stump Cake

   There are many, many other and better tree stump cakes out there, but I'm really pleased with this one I made for Father's Day yesterday. It's really simple, two stacked zebra cakes made with vanilla and chocolate cake batters, a chocolate buttercream frosting and white chocolate cookies as shelf fungus, and, of course, the chocolate leaves I made the day before. The pictures aren't as good as I'd have liked them to be - the cake looked better than this, I promise! But I'm still happy with how the cake itself turned out, if not the representation. It was the cake that truly counted!

   I didn't want to use fondant or frosting to make the tree rings because not everyone is as fond of such things as I am, so I decided instead to try something a little different. I loved the look of zebra cakes and I noticed not long ago that the tops of them have rings like the cross-section of a tree, so I thought, rather zealously, that it might work. I looked up the different techniques for applying the cake batter to keep it as tidy as possible and settled on the piping bag method, but I didn't account for the runniness of the mixture. If I was to do it again I would definitely add more flour and cocoa powder to thicken the two cake batters up, because when I removed the piping bag after each application, half the time the mixture dribbled into previous rings. I made two cakes so at the very least I was able to choose the most successful of the two for the top, but if I could do it again, I know I could fix it. That, at least, gives me some comfort. And, to be honest, I have seen worse tree stump cakes.

   I used upside down white chocolate cookies for shelf fungus, I intended for it to be moss initially, using a fresh batch of my moss cookies, but shelf fungus isn't textured the same way so I left it as it was and just turned them upside down. All the white chocolate is on the 'underside' of the cookies.

   And I used my chocolate leaves to decorate the plate - I had wanted to put them on the cake, but when it came time to put it together I didn't really have any idea what I was doing with it, and the three I placed on top of the cake didn't look right, so I left them scattered at the bottom. I think they gave a nice effect, aside from the few I smudged.
   It's a simple cake at the end of the day, but it looked better in person than in the pictures, but it's all been eaten now so there's not really much of a chance to photograph it again!
   My dad loved it, as well as the golden eagle statue I got him and this awesome dad joke card!

   I also hope you don't think I'm cheating with these 30 Days Wild posts, I am going outside every day and doing a little bit of exercise or just taking the time to look around at the animals, feed the birds and squirrels and so on, but I think it's also a great excuse to make some wild-themed posts that are a little less conventional, like this cake, or, in stark contrast, my wild workout. I'm enjoying bringing wildlife and nature into my day in other ways than simply going outside. I've always loved nature and I've always made time for it, if I'm making a little more effort this month, but I'm trying to bring it into my day a little more actively for now.


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