Couple of years ago, I stumbled on this picture and I was like, one year, I have to make it. So I did, last year, from scratch. It took me 3 days! 3! Why? Because I wanted to make everything from scratch and see how long it takes. On top of it all, it heavy AF! We're talking about 5 lbs or so.
Anyway, this year, I was like, I'm going to take shortcuts and show you how easy it is to make this awesome cake whilst impressing your guests. The beauty of this cake is that it's supposed to look imperfect, so if you make mistakes, it's nbd. My bottom layer was actually cracked in half...oopsy!
For starters, I used a boxed cake. Wham, bam, thank you m'am. 25-30 min for the cakes to bake and done.
While the cake cooled, I made the meringue mushrooms following this recipe. Then the ganache, which is INCREDIBLY easy to make. One time, I told a pastry chef that I was having trouble making ganache, she asked me if I was an idiot. That's how easy it is to make it.
So the assembly - put some ganache on the first layer and sprinkle some pistachios for crunch. Then put the second cake on top and cover it with the crumb layer. Wait for like 5 min for ganache to harden up, then continue with the remainder, covering the entire cake and the sides. Once again, leave the cake again for like 5 min or so. In the meantime, assemble your mushrooms. Don't forget to dust them with cocoa powder as if they're covered in "dirt."
Once the ganache has hardened, use a fork to go up and down the sides to create a tree bark effect. Chop up some pistachios and oreos (sans the cream filling) and put it up on the sides of the cake like dirt and moss. I made the holly berry branches with store bought fondant but they come prepared in some stores like NY Cake Shop. Place that on top along with you meringue mushrooms and dust some powdered sugar. Prepare to knock people's socks off. You're welcome :-)