Carved Cake Tutorial: Mushroom House
Hello! Autumn is here at last and, with it, leaves fall down once more.
Streets get covered with a sheet of yellows and oranges and the trees get naked waiting for the warmth of next spring. So, this week’s tutorial had to be about a cake related to the current season.
I always liked mushroom houses, a typical element of English fairy tales and legends. This is why I’ve decided to show you how to make a giant mushroom house cake. In this tutorial, I’ll give you the keys to learning how to carve cakes with templates, cover them with ganache and much more tricks. So… let’s do this!
FOR MAKING THIS MUSHROOM HOUSE CARVED CAKE YOU’LL NEED:
- 4 cakes 15cm diameter x 4cm tall
- 2 cakes 17,5cm diameter x 4cm tall
- 1kg ganache of 1/1 proportion
- 1,3kg ganache of 3/1 proporción (you can check my post on how to make ganache)
- 1 cake base (25cm diameter)
- 1 mushroom template (1:1 scale)
- 1 thick, pointed skewer
- Fondant: colors Cream, Claret, Brown, Christmas Green & Caramel
- Powder colorants: Black, Burgundy
- Baking basic tools: serrated knife, ganache spatula, fondant roll pin, cutter, ruler, modelling basic tools.
- Sugar Shapers by Innovative Sugarworks
STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL
First, cut the upper part of all the cakes to make them flat, except for one of the biggest, which we’ll use to make the cap of the mushroom.
Fill the cakes with ganache or any other filling with good consistency. Jam or fruit fillings are not appropriate for this kind of cake. Before putting the last layer of the cake, insert the skewer until it reaches the base. This is just to make sure the cake remains straight and steady.
Place the template on the cake in order to start carving the right shape. For that purpose, mark the silhouette of the mushroom with a sharp knife before actually carving.
If you’re scared of carving, you can start with the upper part, rounding out bit by bit until getting the shape in the template.
Next, carve the silhouette of the trunk, rounding out by the base and narrowing it by the upper part of said trunk. In order to make the cap of the mushroom bigger, you can add some cake leftovers, as shown in the picture.
Once the cake is carved, start covering all of it with a ganache of a 3/1 proportion. The ganache shouldn’t be too liquid. I personally like it to have a butter texture. You can make use of a small spatula to apply the ganache.
Once you’ve covered the entire cake with the ganache, smooth the whole surface with a piece of polypropylene, folding it until getting the right angle so that the ganache stays really smooth. Let it rest until the ganache crystalizes and hardens.
I used the new fondant Renshaw Extra marshmallow flavoured, with an extra touch of vanilla, for covering the cake. It tastes better than the plain Renshaw Extra and it has the same texture as well!
For starters, make some rustic stones with the help of a silicone mould (I have the typical mould by Wilton’s). Glue a piece of dark brown fondant with a bit of Crisco (it works really well in carved cakes).
Mix a bit of caramel fondant with white fondant in order to get a light cream tone and stretch a sheet of fondant that fits the size of the mushroom (you will have to measure the wider contour of the cake and the tallest point). Cover the cake with Crisco beforehand and then stick the fondant.
Cut the excess of fondant with the help of an X-acto knife.
Stretch a strip of white fondant dyed with Claret ProGel colorant. Cover the ganache with Crisco beforehand and then line the lower part of the mushroom with said fondant. Cut the excess of fondant with the help of an X-acto knife.
Dye the previous piece of fondant with more Claret PorGel to get a darker tone and line the cap of the mushroom.
Once the entire cake is covered with fondant, it’s time to add texture, detail and realism. I used one of the Sugar Shapers by Innovative Sugarworks in order to texturize the lower part of the mushroom and the lamellas or gills under the cap. You can also add texture on the base by making some vertical lines.
In order to make the wood of the door and the window, I used a silicone mould by Wilton. It allows you to rapidly make realistic wood strips. To get a whole piece of texturized fondant, stretch it until you get a thick sheet. Apply some cornstarch or icing sugar in the mould, place the fondant on it and stretch again with the rolling pin, continuously putting pressure on it. Cut the shape of the door with the help of the template. In addition, cut some individual strips for making the window frame.
Surround the door and the window with irregular grey fondant rectangles in order to make the stones around them. You can use different tones of grey fondant to avoid monotony.
For making the chimney, you’ll need a piece of dry fondant. You can use any piece of old, dry fondant. Cut a rectangle and cut an angle in order to adapt it to the mushroom. Stick a skewer in order to hold the chimney structure to the cake. Mix a piece of white fondant with CMC, shape it into a large teardrop, stretch it a little bit with a rolling pin and twist the ends in order to get a spiral shape. Stick the smoke to the skewer.
Cover the cake with Christmas green fondant (ProGel’s Holly Green) and add some texture with a spike brush.
Use again the stone texturizer in order to make the entrance pathway.
Finally, apply some powder colorants to get some shades. I used eggplant, black and cream colors to get said shades. The final result is so much better after this little step.
I hope you liked this tutorial and all the tips and tricks in it. See you in two weeks with more tutorials and other contents!