This is actually a super easy cake to make because you start with a box mix. And while I usually eschew box mixes and I suppose I could have reworked a recipe, I needed the time for decoration on this cake. So super super easy:
1 box of yellow cake mix. Make as instructed with the following changes:
Add 1 egg
Add 1 8oz block of cream cheese
Substitute water for fruit puree (I used passion fruit this time but any berry especially would be great)
Heavy whipping cream
Bitter sweet chocolate
This I don't really measure. What you need to do is start with the heavy cream and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Heat it on medium until it starts to form little bubbles around the edges of the pan. You really don't need a lot of cream...my trouble is that I always make too much ganache because it looks like I'm not using enough cream so I add more then I end up with enough ganache for like three bakeries...Once the cream has the little bubbles, remove it from the heat and stir in chocolate. Doing this a little at a time helps it melt better. Set aside and let cool.
White Chocolate Mousse*:
White chocolate chips
4 oz cream cheese
Dash of heavy whipping cream
Big tub of cool whip
Combine about 8-10 oz of the white chocolate chips, the cream cheese, and a dash of cream in a bowl and microwave until smooth. Fold into cool whip and refrigerate.
For construction I only put the ganache between the layers and used the mousse on top but you could put mousse between the layers. Also if you're using a berry fruit it's nice to put those between the layers as well.
While I was, of course, hoping for a tasty cake, my mail goal with this was decoration. Naturally I went very trepidatiously assuming it would be another of my decorating fiascos...but it didn't turn out too badly. I started out with pre made fondant. I dislike the taste of fnodant and have yet to find a recipe that doesn't taste like industrial strength marshmellow...but this was just for decoration. So we had the pre made fondant:
Gel food dyes
A silpat mat (thanks Sarah!) and decoration gloves.
Decoration gloves are a must when coloring fondant. If you don't use them then your hands will by dyed for days. Also, if you're using a lot of color or many colors, it's a good idea to use a pair for each color otherwise you run the risk of blending colros you don't want blended. I used fondant cutters (sorry forgot to take a picture) to cut out two sizes of flowers and two sizes of leaves. When the flowers were all done I used water to "glue" pealized sugar balls in the centers. I was quite happy with how they turned out.
The cake itself didn't turn out so well. I blame the mousse. It was too runny. But it didn't look all that bad.
*I think that my mousse went wrong because I used low fat cream cheese. It's just what I happened to have on hand already and didn't feel like buying more. I think that was a mistake. Go full fat cream cheese!