I think both of us had a vision of a grey boulder or boulders with climber, plants, etc. But as I started in on the cake, the vision changed.
I made one of my favourite devil’s food cake recipes (from Tartine) in a range of round layer sizes. I sliced each layer in half and filled it with my homemade Nutella, stacking the layers in a wonky boulder-like shape.
Then I stood there and contemplated the decoration. My plan had been to make the standard quick icing I use for decorating, but the amazing rich chocolate cake with decadent Nutella filling really needed something better than quick icing. It needed ganache.
I added chunks of hazelnut praline for a more rocky appearance, and made some alpine plants and a climber from Mexican paste. A few small final touches with a simple sugar and milk icing, and the cake was finished.
It didn’t look anything like I thought it would when I started, but it tasted absolutely divine! No wonder—it contained over 400 grams of chocolate, two cups of hazelnuts, and a gloriously unhealthy quantity of butter and cream. In the end, no one was paying much attention to the look—we were too busy oohing and aahing over the taste.