I did it! My very first Daring Bakers challenge and I finished (just in time too!)
(The picture is awful, but it's the best I can do right now. When baby demands my attentions, I must obey. He's currently clawing my hands as I type.)
Anyhow, my alterations to the recipe were:
-creme de cacao instead of the rum
-I ran out of granulated sugar after the 1st 1/4 cup (I know!) so I subbed brown sugar, cutting the amount down by about 1/4 total.
-cocoa powder in all the components
-stemless mushrooms (my stems just went funny looking, so I went with a lichen type arrangement.)
-The buttercream finally thickened up, but I had to whip it like a meringue. No curdling though! hurray! I also melted the butter before adding it. Worked out very well for me.
I had fun doing this, and I think I'll do it again, but we'll see what the relatives think on the 25th. :)