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Pine Cone Cake for Family Christmas

I've had this cake pinned on Pinterest for a long time.  This year I vowed I was going to try making it.  I made the Perfect Chocolate cake  in 3 9" layers with whipped cream as the filling.  I was up super last night working on these pinecones which were not the easiest to do.


In the original instructions the pine cone bases were made out of fudge.  I just used brown fondant and shaped it into 5 ovals.  Instead of melted chocolate to glue the almond pieces on, I used water instead as the melted chocolate was just making a mess.  I did use the melted chocolate for the tips of the slivered almonds as the pictures in the instructions still showing the almonds with the skin on it.  This worked out really well.  Thank goodness I only made 5 of these as they took a really long time to do.  At least I was entertained by watching Scrooged on TV.


For the sprigs of "pine" I used fresh rosemary and then added some sugared cranberries.  For the cranberries all you need to do is dip them in an egg white then into sugar and leave them on parchment paper to dry out.


I bought the wooden stand from Chapters a few years ago and they still sell them.  I love these.  This is the first time I was able to decorate the cake directly on the stand.  I did put a layer of parchment paper underneath so that the cake wooden take on any of the wood flavour.  Plus the smaller stand I have fit perfectly in a 12" box.


The original plan was to do a shiny ganache over the cake.  That was one hot mess!  Instead, I stuck to my standby chocolate ganache icing and just made it very smooth.  Thankfully I did all this testing with this cake for my family as I have another one to do next week for a coworker.  I am so glad all the kinks were figured out.  I love how this cake turned out.  It's definitely one of my favourites.

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