the weather was lovely in Michigan yesterday. it really seems like Spring is here. of course, the season of chocolate came as well, with another round of chocolate bunnies and just about everything dipped in chocolate in the stores. it is certainly difficult to resist all of the temptations at the market. my husband was treated again to chocolate bunnies and that makes him very happy for weeks to come.
as for me, with all of my bakery visits, i was determined to try a garden cake for Easter. this was a simple pound cake mix, that i decorated with my chocolate ganache recipe. it is so simple, it just begs to be made. in a double boiler over boiling water, melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate, and one teaspoon flavor, such as vanilla or almond, and then whisk in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. that step takes a bit of time to make sure the chocolate is glossy and smooth. don’t stop the whisk–part way through everyone thinks that this will not work. but, it does. and the result is so delicious. don’t give up. the chocolate and the cream look like they will never come together, but don’t put down the whisk. this recipe will be enough for a whole cake. today, i chose to decorate only one layer.
then, once i spread the chocolate, i sprinkled chopped chocolate crumbs over the top of the cake to resemble soil for my garden–chopped Oreo’s could be used or any type of chocolate cookie crunch.
i allowed the frosting to harden at this point, before adding the carrots. the carrots are simply circles piped on with copper color-tinted frosting. i used my basic frosting recipe of 5 tablespoons creamed unsalted butter at room temperature, with 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 tablespoon flavor, and 1 tablespoon milk. mix these together very well and tint to color of choice with paste color. i used copper for the carrots.
to make a radish garden or even just a radish row, use red tinted icing. the green stems will be the same. i supposed even onions could be made with white icing.
the green stems are made by slicing green twizzlers into small pieces. add the stems and the garden comes to life. even though this cake took several hours to come together, it was easier than growing a garden of carrots in the yard.
i will attempt that later this spring.