So the weekend before the party we are at the store picking out what kind of cake she wants and she picks red velvet (our tastes have matured from funfetti I see...). Then we launch into a discussion on the appropriate frosting. I'm thinking the buttercream or a slightly adapted version with cream cheese in it will be just fine. She wants whipped cream frosting...wait, what? How on earth am I to build a mountain with a fine fluffy frosting liked whipped cream frosting? But wait, she announces that my rough 3D sketch on the back of the grocery list of the cake in my head with the mountain and meadow and stream is not what she has envisioned. After a 30 minute discussion and 2 more drawings on the back of the list and a couple of almost tears (mostly mine...) we come to the conclusion that we are indeed talking about the same cake...whew...(her wedding will be easier, right?)
I took two boxes of red velvet cake mix and combined them and added the requisite water, oil and eggs according to the directions on the box. Then I took a 13x9x1 cookie sheet, greased it well with shortening, and poured in enough cake batter to make it full about halfway to the top. I baked this about 15 minutes until it was firm but still spongy and moist and just pulling away from the edges of the cookie sheet.
The rest of the batter was poured into a 13x9x2 well-greased glass baking dish. This was baked about 25 minutes or until again firm but still moist and pulling away from the edges but not browning. I covered each with a smooth, clean kitchen towel and let cool overnight. I also took about 2 ounces of chocolate bark and melted it in the microwave in a small bowl in 1 minute intervals. Then I took a plastic cutting board and dropped the chocolate in blobs of varying sizes to form rocks and log shapes. I left these to harden overnight.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups heavy whipping cream, kept very cold
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar (*add an extra cup if tinting with food coloring)
This will be a very liquid mix to start. Whip this together on high speed about 10 minutes until it holds its shape and is almost as stiff as butter. You need to do this when your kitchen is cool or the cream will not whip and you'll just have a very sweet milkshake. I left this batch white so build the mountains. Later, I made a batch of green and used an extra cup of powdered sugar to help absorb the food coloring. Add the food coloring at the beginning before you start whipping and it will help it incorporate better. Otherwise it can become sort of separated from the rest of the frosting and will look grainy. This is a very tasty frosting and not overly sweet.