About the decorations:
For those not so in the know about fires, the decorations show fire (sugar sheets and edible food pens) creeping towards a tree stand (coconut, and sugar cones). "The Black" is the burnt land (oreos). In the bottom right corner is a list of the "recent incidents" and is modeled after the report our dispatch center posts. Again it is a sugar sheet and edible marker. Instead of using frosting, I put a layer of my standby chocolate ganache on the cake to act as a glue (recipe variations here and here).
To make the whole thing complete, the cake itself is a play on Black Forest Cake. However, I didn't make a beautiful multi-layered whipped cream, cherry, almond mixture from scratch. Maybe next time! Instead I went semi-homemade.
Mock Black Forest Cake
- 1 box (15 oz) Devil's Food Cake mix
- 3/4 c water
- 1/2 c oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 (21 oz) can Cherry pie filling
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare baking vessel with baking spray or butter/margarine. I used a 9X13in foil lasagna pan with a lid.
- Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box by combining the mix, 3/4 c water, oil and eggs until just moistened. Then beat in a medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Gently fold in cherry pie filling until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into baking vessel.
- Bake as directed on the box. For a 9X13 it is at 350*F for 34-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out smooth.
- Let it cool before frosting or decorating!