With a few simple techniques, Judit Horvath (www.juditbakes.com) shows us how to create this fantastic Forest Cake.
Method You will need For the buttercream • 110g (4oz) unsalted butter • 250g (9oz) icing sugar • 150g (5½oz) white chocolate • 1 tbsp milk (optional) to decorate • 20cm (8in) diameter cake (filled) • 400g (14oz) white chocolate • 100g (3½oz) white sugarpaste • 100g (3½oz) brown sugarpaste • pretzel sticks • edible glue • icing sugar Equipment • fine sieve • greaseproof paper • bowls • fine scissors Method to make the white chocolate buttercream
- Beat the butter and half the icing sugar together until smooth. Add the rest of the icing sugar gradually and mix until smooth and like a paste. Melt the white chocolate and add to the mixture and mix until smooth. Add milk or extra icing sugar if needed. Let it set.
- To make the trees Pinch off about a cherry-sized piece of sugarpaste and knead it by hand until smooth. Roll it into a ball or oval shape. Insert a skewer in the base of the ball and make a little hole. Apply some glue to the end of a pretzel and into the hole (to avoid breaking the pretzel). Handling carefully, make diagonal incisions on the balls to create a leafy crown. Set aside and repeat until sufficient amounts of white and brown trees are made, then let them dry, placed on a greaseproof paper, upside-down.
- To make the white tree bark Melt the white chocolate and, using a palette knife, spread it thinly onto a piece of greaseproof paper in long sections. Place another piece of greaseproof paper on top and roll into a loose cylinder before the chocolate hardens. Put the cylinder into the fridge until the chocolate has set hard. Remove the cylinder from the fridge and unroll the greaseproof paper, so the chocolate cracks and breaks into random, spiky shards as it is unrolled.
- To assemble Cover the cake with buttercream. Insert the trees into the top of the cake, placing the larger and smaller ones scattered around in a random pattern. Decorate the sides with the white chocolate bark. Break the remaining chocolate shards and sprinkle on the top of the cake. For a snowy effect, dust with icing sugar to finish.