Inspired by terrarium desserts, I made a forest cake using a special technique to create the sugar dome. This cake version with adorned with mushrooms because I get called Gugu 姑姑 (auntie) by my nephew, who equally loves calling me “mushroom” because of the wordplay in Chinese!
I loved creating the little elements to this cake including the edible rocks. The mushrooms were created from aquafaba meringue, and the moss from matcha cake crumb – included because we’ve been in lockdown for a while and sometimes that feels like my mental state 🙃. The cake was made using my favourite matcha cake recipe.
For the sugar dome, I suggest watching this Youtube video as I found it had the most clear instructions at a good pace. This method really intrigued me the pressure of the air against the clingwrap forms the sugar dome. Here is the behind the scenes video of me finally getting it right!
The sugar dome took a LOT of tries to get it right! I started from using normal gladwrap. However the hot sugar syrup burned right through, even with 5 layers. After some obsessive googling, I found that the cling wrap must have PVC in the material for the sugar not to melt through. In New Zealand, this is the brand of cling wrap to get:
Tips on making the sugar dome:
- The cling wrap needs to be pulled taut or else the dome will be wrinkly
- Use gloves as the ring will be hot, but try not to touch the edges of the sugar dome
- Use 3 layers of cling wrap – the syrup melted through with just one layer
- Remove the sugar dome before it completely cools so it doesn’t break as easily
- Use a small amount of syrup. This creates a thinner and more beautiful transparent dome
Other cake components:
- Tree stump look: follow this tree stump cake recipe for the chocolate ganache. It’s so much fun to create and is actually much easier than making buttercream.
- Edible rocks: follow this recipe to make your own. It’s so much cheaper than buying candy rocks and you have control over what colour to add.
Give the recipe a go, it’s an extremely rewarding cake. Make sure you tag your baking with @ultimateomnoms on Instagram so I can give you a shoutout!
Sugar Dome Recipe
- 50 g glucose
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g water
- Line a large glass bowl with 3 layers of cling wrap pulled taut over the top
- Spray the inside of a circle steel cutter with oil and place on top of the cling wrap
- Put the ingredients in a pot and heat until 145°C
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to about 115°C
- Put 2 Tbsp of the sugar syrup in the middle of the cutter
- Apply pressure on the ring and push the sugar syrup until a dome forms
- Keep holding the pressure until the sugar solidifies in the dome shape
- Use a small offset spatula to release the sides from the cutter