Monster Cake for Halloween
For the chocolate cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9x1 1/2-inch round baking pans, then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and cooled chocolate, beat for 2 minutes more.
Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans. Cool completely on the racks.
For the buttercream: Beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream and beat well on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract. If the mixture is too stiff, add more milk until the mixture is firm and creamy.
For the fondant: In a large bowl mix the shortening and corn syrup, adding the salt and then vanilla. Place a few drops of food coloring (your choice) and mix well before adding powdered sugar. (Sift sugar before adding if it seems very lumpy) Add sugar a little at a time until the dough is stiff. Place a little powdered sugar on a surface and knead until the fondant is smooth. Put on food safe gloves and add in green food coloring. Knead the fondant until the color is consistent. Roll fondant until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
For the ganache: Add heavy cream to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put chocolate chips in a medium bowl and pour heavy cream over chips. Gently stir chocolate and cream together with a whisk until all of the chips are melted. Add butter and stir until all ingredients are fully combined and ganache is smooth and glossy.
To assemble: Use the buttercream frosting in between two layers of cake. Use remaining buttercream to cover the cake in a light coat of frosting (crumb coat). Gently lay the fondant over the cake and trim edges. Pour the ganache slowly over the top of the cake and move to the edges to coat top completely, drips over the edge are just fine. Use buttercream frosting or candy eyes to make a face on the side of the cake.