Yesterday was my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). She's about the most passionate gardener I know, so I just knew I wanted to throw her a spring/garden party. The centerpiece were these potted chocolate cakes. Yes, those are cakes! If you want to make your own, here's the how-to:
Here's what you'll need:
-Boxed chocolate cake mix (or you could be fancy and make from scratch)
-Chocolate dirt (I got mine from a cake supply store), or crushed oreos
-Chocolate rocks (again, cake supply store)
-4 new terra-cotta pots, washed thoroughly
To prepare the pots, first line each one carefully with aluminum foil. You want to press the foil all the way down into the pot, and make sure it comes all the way up the sides. This is kind of tricky, because the foil wants to rip. I discovered it worked best to make a sort of foil torpedo, then shove that down into the pot and smooth up the sides.
You don't want any foil showing, so now tear off the extra foil that hangs out the top:
Fill the pots about 2/3 of the way full with chocolate cake batter. You won't use all the batter, so I guess I could have made 5 cakes.
Put the pots onto a cookie sheet and bake according to your box directions (or recipe, whatever). Keep an eye on the time though - mine took about 35 minutes, but I kept checking because I wasn't sure what the terra cotta pots would do to the bake time.
While I waited, I decorated the table all spring-like:
When the cakes come out of the oven, let them cool thoroughly.
To decorate, first frost with the chocolate frosting, then sprinkle with your chocolate/Oreo "dirt." Adorn with chocolate rocks, and stick a healthy-looking mint sprig in the top.
Dig in! The best part is, there's a built-in party favor here: your guests get to take home terra cotta pots ready for spring planting when they finish their cake! By the way, the portions are kind of huge, so you could also plan to share each sprout cake.
This recipe compliments a glass of champagne nicely. Happy Spring!