Magic Mushroom Cake
350g all-purpose flour
450g caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
350g unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
300g chopped mint slice cookies
2 batches chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
1 batch American buttercream frosting
1 tbsp cocoa powder
5 drops red food gel
1 batch American buttercream frosting
Light green Frosting: 4 drops green food gel
Green frosting: 4 drops green food gel + 2 drops blue food gel
Dark green frosting: 4 drops green food gel + 2 drops blue food gel + 3 drops purple food gel
¼ batch American buttercream frosting
2 drops blue food gel
2 drops pink food gel
2 drops yellow food gel
2 drops orange food gel
500g dark chocolate (melted)
300g white chocolate + 100g dark chocolate (melted together)
Level: Hard. Theres no way around it. It'll take you a weekend to make this.
To make magic mushrooms set aside 2 tbsp of white frosting in a small bowl. Add cocoa powder to the rest of the frosting and mix until well combined. Split the frosting in half and add the red food gel into the frosting. Mix until evenly coloured.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe long upright stalks of light cocoa frosting onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Chill
Fit the end of another piping bag with a large round tip and pipe low, wide bulbs of red frosting. Add little blobs of white frosting to make the little white spot details. Chill the stalks and mushroom heads for about 40 min. Get them really chilled.
Once the stalks are chilled use a very sharp knife to cut off the very top, creating a nice flat surface. Add a little dab of frosting on top of the stalk and stick the mushroom head on top.
Keep chilled until ready to use.
Add a long piece of baking paper on a flat work surface. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate on top and use a large offset spatula to spread out the chocolate. Give it time to completely set. Use a fork to add some grooves in the set chocolate before you add some random light chocolate on top. Use the back of a tablespoon to spread it around. Let that second layer set completely before you use a sharp knife dipped in boiling water to cut different shaped rectangles of the bark. Kind of like random sized pieces of wood flooring.
Please note: this chocolate cake recipe makes 1 batch. You’ll need two batches of chocolate cake to make this 6 layered cake. All other ingredients in the recipe are measured up to make the full 6 layer cake.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 160C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray three 8” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarb soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together using a hand mixer to combine.
Next add the softened butter and mix on low speed until mixture reaches a crumbly sand like texture.
Add the eggs and milk and mix on low speed until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Fill three 8” cake tins with batter. I find using an ice cream scooper to help me do this makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly so that everything bakes at the same time.
Bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until baked fully. Allow the tins to cool for 2 min and then carefully flip the cake tins over on to a cooling rack to cool completely before using. Chilling your cakes overnight before decorating means they’ll be easier to trim and decorate. So I bake my cakes the day before I trim them.
To trim your chilled cake use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the first layer of cake by trimming it in half. Then trim the crust off the second layer so that you end up with two layers from each baked cake. When trimming make sure you aim to get both layers of cake the same height. Keep that in mind when trimming the first layer so the next layer will still be the same height as the first when trimming the crust off. Once you’re done trimming your three baked cakes you should end up with 6 layers of cake altogether.
To prepare crumb coat, add a dab of chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting onto an 10” cake board or serving plate. Add the first layer of cake. Pipe a ring of frosting around the first layer and fill the centre of the cake with more frosting. Use a small offset spatula to spread around a little before adding some chopped mint slice cookies. Add the second layer of cake and repeat with the remaining layers. Add more frosting around and top of the cake. Use a your small spatula to smoothen out the top and bottom of the cake before using a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the outside of the cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
Add a fresh layer of frosting using a small offset spatula. Use a cake scraper to smoothen out the frosting around the sides. Then smoothen out the top using the cake scraper.
Stick the chocolate bark all around the cake.
Split the frosting up into 3 bowls. Use the colour formulations to colour the three different shades of frosting.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a grass tip. Line half of the inside of your bag with the dark green frosting. Line the other half with the green frosting. Fill the centre with the light green frosting
Pipe grass on top of the cake and around the bottom.
Split the frosting up into 5 bowls. Use the colour formulations to colour the 5 different shades of frosting. Fit the end of four separate piping bags with very small round tips. For the pink flowers fit the end of a piping bag with a small star tip. Pipe random mini blobs of each colour in the grass.
Add the buttercream mushrooms on top to finish.
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 1 hour before serving).
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAKE TIN: For this recipe you’ll need at least one 8” cake tin but preferably three 8” cake tins. To prepare the tin, spray with oil spray. To prepare the baking paper use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake tin on to the baking paper. Use scissors to cut slightly inside the circle you traced. Place the traced side down onto the baking tin with oil spray.
HAND MIXER: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: Each oven is different. Some are old, some are new. Some ovens can be hotter on the inside than the temp you set your oven at. If you find your cupcakes, cakes or macarons are browning or cracking, turn the oven temp down 10C. A handy trick is to get an oven thermometer which sits inside the oven and will give you an accurate temperature reading. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased online or at your local kitchen supply store. And always bake in the centre rack of the oven for best results!
BUTTER: Make sure the butter is very soft for the cake mixture. There’s two ways to do this. Microwave for 5 seconds at a time flipping the butter on each side until very soft (not melted). If you don’t have a microwave run a large bowl over hot water. Dry the bowl and place over the butter for 1 min. The heat from the bowl will create a warm enough environment to soften the butter.
BAKING TIME: This cake will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and caramelisation so that if the cake is coloured it doesn’t change colour and brown. After 50 minutes, stick a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
8” cake tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)
Revolving cake stand