Winter bonfire cake

This cake was inspired by the December birthday of a person who loves bonfires, caramel, and dark chocolate.

Cake:

I made two batches of the graham cracker cake found here.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/07/smores-cake-chocolate-mousse-dulce-de-leche-marshmallow-ideas-in-food-recipe.html

I baked each batch in two 8 inch cake pans, leaving me with 4 ~1.5 inch tall cakes. I didn’t trim them.

 

Filling:

I wanted to use marshmallow fluff, and didn’t want to toast it, so I created a caramel marshmallow fluff. It deserved its own post: 

https://janisgeary.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/caramel-marshmallow-fluff/

I piped rings of fluff between each cake layer

 

Ganache:

I used a 1:1 ratio of dark chocolate to cream (200 grams of each), cooled and piped over the layer of fluff.

20161217_124937-3

Frosting:

I made a half batch of Yolanda Gampp’s IM Buttercream:

https://howtocakeit.com/blogs/cakes/39081857-yos-italian-meringue-buttercream-recipe

Did a crumb coat, and then spread the rest of the frosting over the cake. I was not particular about how smooth it was.

20161217_150600

 

Decorations:
I had tiny cake topper-cookies already as part of my Christmas cookie stash, which I flooded with royal icing and drew on with edible markers. I made chocolate curls for the logs on the bonfire (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdAPD2Zt4A), and used rosemary dusted with icing sugar, with chocolate on the bottom, as trees. I also piped a few dark chocolate trees (e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1xlcMTZd9s)

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