Rose Garden Core

This cake was lovingly made for Nisha's 6th birthday party on March 16, 2008.

Nisha requested "roses, especially pink ones." Hmmm... what to do with roses that isn't boring or remind me of Valentine's Day or weddings? So I came up with this garden theme which was a little more kid-like, yet a little educational too. It's as if someone came and took a soil sample core right out of a rose garden, worms and all :-)

Famous "Chocolate Blackout Cake" recipe by Margaret Braun.

Chocolate buttercream with gummi worms !!! The kids loved it and how better to mimic real soil?

Chocolate italian meringue buttercream for the lower "dirt" layer. For the top tier I wanted to incorporate the theme of roses, so I flavored the buttercream with rose water. You can buy rose water made from rose hips at any Middle Eastern or Indian market. It was a bit risky as most people are not familiar with rose water and it has a very "floral" taste. I actually think you smell it more than taste it, but everyone seemed to like it, or at least they didn't seem to hate it. I really liked the idea of putting roses in the cake, not just on top of it.

The roses and lady bugs are made from royal icing. The leaves are made from gum paste. The dirt look came from crushing together oreo cookies (without the creme filling) and chocolate teddy grahams to get varied crumb sizes and colors and then carefully pressing the crumbs into the buttercream on the sides of the cake. And let's not forget the gummi worms sticking out of the soil for extra earthy effect :-)

Many thanks to my friend, Karen, who made all the leaves, lady bugs and bouncy butterflies and bees while I made the roses. And of course a big thank you to Blake who attached the wires to the leaves with candy melts and most of all for delivering and assembling the cake all by himself !!! At least 1/3 of the design happens at the point when everything is assembled on the cake. It's somewhat of a "design-build" project as you place the decorations on the cake however you feel looks best. He did an amazing job and everyone loved the results.