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First, let’s start by making his hat. This is basically a giant cake pop! I happened to have some extra yellow cake on hand, but you could use the cake pieces from leveling your layers or bake just a little bit extra to use for this. You will also need a little bit of icing as well.
I use my Pampered Chef pastry blender (I am an independent consultant, by the way!) to mix the cake and icing together. You can also do this in your KitchenAid stand mixer if you want to, to save your elbows!
Place your little gnome hat “cake pop” on top of the cake. I secured mine using a dowel rod inserted into the cake so that it would stay put!
Once you have a nice, full beard, stick him in the fridge to chill (and let the icing set up) and let’s make his nose!
Using a toothpick, add a tiny bit of Wilton Copper food coloring to a small ball of softened white modeling chocolate. Knead it well until the color is fully mixed in. It makes the perfect flesh tone.
Take a good sized piece and roll it into a slightly oval shape Using a toothpick to two (to keep it from sliding down the beard), attach his nose to the top of his beard like this:
I chose to take a little bit and make him some arms and hands. You don’t have to, but it was really cute and easy!
Next, lightly coat a surface with powdered sugar. Knead and soften a good sized ball of whatever color modeling chocolate you are using for his hat (I used red).
Roll the chocolate out into a relatively thin sheet (I think mine is about 1/10″).
Carefully lift and wrap it around the hat. Allow some overlap on his nose, arms, etc. Using your hands, press firmly to mold it to the cake pop. You will have some extra sticking off like this:
Just use a good pair of kitchen shears to trim the excess off and then smooth with your hands.
Now, grab your little mushroom pieces. You may have to pinch to thin the edges a bit. Starting with the largest, stick it into the side of the cake wherever you want!
Repeat, offsetting them slightly and working your way down to the smaller ones.
Dust them with a bit of cocoa powder to give them that true earthy fungus look.
Sprinkle your moss along the base and on the top of your stump. (You could leave it off of the top if you wanted, but I like it!)
I used a little dab of black food coloring to make some grey modeling chocolate which I shaped into little rocks. So sorry I didn’t get pictures of the process. It was a spur of the moment decision! I dipped them in the moss before placing on the cake to give them a moss-covered look as well. Just stack them wherever you feel like it!
I also molded a couple of mushrooms dusted in cocoa powder to stick behind him on the stump.
I put them on the opposite side to the stump mushrooms to provide some balance.