I've been wanting to make this cake for years. Decades if the truth be told. I first saw it many, many years ago in Rose Levy Beranbaum's, The Cake Bible and immediately fell in love. Taking time out to make it was my Christmas gift to myself as well as my husband's office and I'm so happy to have finally given it a go.
It looked daunting, if not impossible all those years ago what with chocolate tempering and the hundreds of petals involved. I've learned a lot since then and my confidence to take on a cake of this caliber has changed. Still, I made it a bit easier by using Candy Melts (no tempering or temper tantrums) along with some other major adjustments. The cake turned out to be a whopping 13 x 10.5 inches without the branch or pine needles so I ended up using a lot more (about 650) than the original amount of petals called for. Even so, they weren't nearly as hard as I'd imagined and putting them on the cake was actually fun! I'd change the angle of the petals near the top next time but was pleased overall with the rest of the project.
The pine needles are made of thinly piped green Candy Melts and the branch is Tootsie Rolls. I'd love to find an easier way to do this part since the thin needles break quite easily but I'd still use them in some fashion since it helps to finish off the cake.
Hope you take time out to do something fun for yourself this holiday season! Merry Christmas to you and yours!