Meringue Mushrooms Wedding Cake

This playful creation unites two traditional confections. Meringue mushrooms, often found on buches de Noel, here sprout from cake tiers iced in soft folds of Swiss meringue frosting. Black Forest cake filled with kirsch-soaked cherries stands out against the stark white icing when this cake is served. Serve with a cherry syrup.

  • Servings: 350

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2004

Ingredients

  • 2 each 20-, 14-, and 6-inch round layers, and 3 each 18- and 9-inch round layers of Rich Chocolate Cake
  • 5 rounds corresponding-size 3/16-inch thick foam board
  • 9 recipes Chocolate-Cherry Filling
  • 10 recipes Swiss Meringue
  • 28 wooden dowels 4 1/8 inches long, plus 19 dowels 3 1/8 inches long (all 1/4 inch in diameter)
  • 1 rubber cake mat (8 inches; optional)
  • 1 round wooden cake platform (24 inches in diameter)
  • 10 recipes Meringue Mushrooms

Directions

  1. Prepare tiers (each tier consists of 2 or 3 layers): Trim layers; place one of each size layer, uncut side down, on a corresponding-size foam board. Carefully brush bottom (and middle, for 9- and 18-inch tiers) cake layers with reduced kirsch syrup (from chocolate-cherry filling), and fill 20-, 14-, and 6-inch layers with chocolate-cherry filling to be 3 inches high, and 18- and 9-inch layers to be 4 inches high. Coat tiers with a thin layer of plain chocolate ganache (also from chocolate-cherry filling). Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days; then frost with Swiss meringue.

  2. Reinforce tiers: Insert 15 dowels vertically into both the 20- and 18-inch tiers, making a circle with 11 dowels about 2 inches from edge, and placing 4 in a square in the center. Insert 10 dowels into the 14-inch tier, placing 9 in a circle 2 inches from edge and 1 in the center. Insert 4 dowels into the 9-inch tier in a square about 3 inches from edge, and 3 dowels in the 6-inch tier in a triangle 2 inches from edge.

  3. When ready to assemble cake, place cake mat or several drops of hot glue on cake platform; center 20-inch tier on top. Carefully center and stack remaining tiers in descending order. Decorate assembled cake with meringue mushrooms; these can also be served alongside each slice of wedding cake.

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