Since this is for an office birthday, I decided to make a large cake, which is double the amount of ingredient of my previous attempt. It was supposed to make an 8-inch cake, but I sort of overbaked the chocolate biscuit, and it cracked when I tried to cut it. So I ended up with 3 7-inch biscuit layers instead.
For this cake, I wanted to try a slightly different decoration. A more classic black forest design. To get the tree bark, I made half a portion of the chocolate ganache frosting. I used most of it to coat the side of the cake, resulting in a rather thick layer of ganache. Warning, it can be a bit tricky to cut it nicely if the cake is still cold, which I learnt the hard way.
I also wanted to have a try at making some chocolate leaves. One thing to note, it was not easy finding nice leaves when you don’t have a garden, and weren’t allowed to pluck leaves freely. But, that’s a story for another day. I tempered some dark chocolate. Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly, then coat the back of the leaves with the tempered chocolate. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes in the fridge. Then, carefully peel off the leaves. I think some of the chocolate coating were not thick enough, and I ended up breaking most of my leaves. Good thing I made a lot of them.
Since it was supposed to be an 8-inch cake, it turned out to be quite a tall cake at 7-inch. Fitted snugly in my 7×3-inch cake ring. Phew. I guess the taller cake works better with the tree bark design too. Over all, I think it turned out quite okay, and quite Christmassy too.