I made it!
Some time ago when I was cleaning up my bedroom I found my cake ideas notebook. The notebook was nothing fancy to brag about. In fact, it was an old copy book that I scribbled my random cake ideas on. One of the pages drew a flower pot cake filled with real roses. I put the book aside for years, kept thinking that something was wrong with this design, but couldn't tell what it was.
Years after my initial idea was born, I finally know why. I feel strongly against putting inedible stuff on or in a cake. Okay, you need to put dowels for a multi level cake, and you can argue that rose pedals are edible. But I am just against the idea of pulling out thorny rose stems out of a cake. Just not perfect enough.
Oh, if you haven't noticed by now, those aren't real roses. :)
These roses are made out of white modeling chocolate. This pot of flowers are 99% edible. The 1% is the lollypop sticks that I used as flower stems.
The flower pot is filled made of white modeling chocolate, dark chocolate sponge, raspberry buttercream and dark chocolate ganache.
The most common medium for cake decorating is gum paste or fondant. But they don't taste great at all! I found a detailed recipe here for white modeling chocolate and I was overjoyed! That's it, that's what I am looking for!
Assembly was a long process, but I enjoyed it. First, cut out rounds of your chocolate sponge and layer with raspberry buttercream. I used 4 layers of sponge to get the height I wanted. Refrigerate until the buttercream is firm.
Next, you want to prepare some dark chocolate ganache and let it cool. Using a hand held or stand mixer, whip until the ganache resembles heavy whipped cream. Cover the chilled cake stack with the ganache and smooth out all sides. Put it back in the fridge until it is set.
Meanwhile, start rolling your modeling chocolate. Roll it until it is 3mm. Use a tiny bit of cornstarch on the board to prevent sticking. Use small circle cookie cutters to cut out petals. You will need 9 discs of 1" (2.5cm) to 1-1/4" (roughly 3cm) to make a full blossom rose, and 4 to 5 discs for rose buds. Use a ball tip sculpting tool and a flower forming foam to slowly thin out the disc to the shape of rose petals. (Tips: Modeling chocolate are sensitive to temperature. If it is too soft to hold its shape, pull it to a marble slab or the fridge to firm it out. If it's too stiff and starts to crack on the edges, warm it up with the palm of your hand.) Form the center of the rose by rolling your first petal into a cone shape, then use 3 and 5 petals for the next layers. Open up the petals as you go along, and use the heat of your palm to warm up the edges to make it as life like as possible.
For green leaves, I used green tea powder to tint the modeling chocolate. Form different sizes of leaves using similar method to the rose petals and keep it in the fridge.
When you complete the roses, slightly cool them and stick it on a lollipop stick. Put them all in the fridge or leave overnight to set.
When the cake is completely cooled, roll out the modeling chocolate to a rectangle. Measure the height and circumference of your cake and cut a the chocolate to size. Take out your cake from the fridge and wrap it around the cake sides. It should be the same or slightly higher than the ganache. (You don't want the ganache "soil" to come out of the pot right?) Wrap it tightly around the cake and decorate the pot as you wish. I put a pink bow around the top as flower pots usually have a heavier lip. Put the cake back in the fridge until your roses are ready.
Using green craft tape, wrap the parts of lollipop sticks that is going to expose. Trim off excess sticks to get some height variations. Arrange the roses and leaves on the flower pot and you are done!
These chocolate roses actually taste pretty good. Maybe next time I am going to tint my rose petals with freeze dried strawberry powder for some added flavour and colour.
Happy Valentine's day everyone! Have a sweet one!