It's fondant and marbled. Leaves can be fondant or wafer paper your choice.
I think its air brushed. But i'm sure you could get a similar effect with marbled fondant.
Just cover the cake then using a toothpick or the point of a knife put the bark lines in there. You may want to use a couple of different tools to put the lines in there. Then if you have an air brush just add the colors and the leaves
Looks like melted chocolate spread around and shaped with pokey like tools. Or an impression mat. Doesn't it look like chocolate to anyone else?
I guess it isn't upon closer look, but sorta
It looks like chocolate fondant that has been airbrushed with Bright White and a touch of green. I would imagine the impressions in the fondant were made by hand with a Dresden tool or similar.
I don't know if this will help you or not. I've done a couple of tree trunk cakes where I have covered them in beige fondant, sculpted and then handpainted with vodka and food colors. You could probably get a similar effect that way. It took a lot less time than I thought it would.
ask your neice.. where she got the photo from.. i have seen this very cake.. so it might be on this site.. if it is.. then , you can p/m person that made it.. i am racking my brain as to where i seen it..let us know , if you will...
Lets add to the voting
I did expand the picture. For me, it seems like marbled fondant (white, green and pale brown) and airbrush over it, partly with leaves on.
Look at the leaves on 2nd tier - there you can see the pale shadow of the right leaf on the side and some leaves have airbrush marks continuing from the cake.
As for chocolate - I would suspect chocolate would be shinier...
i think it is covered in regular fondant.. or chocolate fondant. main color.. lite grey.... then used spatular or some tool to carve different designs.. then , airbrushed the brown and teal or green, whatever.... then pearlilzed with the airbrush.. the leaves could be chocolate covered and painted real leaves.. after dry.. then pull off real leave.. i took a demo on that last year at convention.. its looks like she used real leaves to get the effect. with all this help, you can do it. if you don,t find out where your neice got the photo. hope , she can tell you. i keep coming back .. to see if you know already..lol
Thank you all so much. Her party is not until may so i think i am going to try all of your suggestions and see what works best for me.I'm still fairly new to cake decorating so i hope i can doit. I don't know where the pic came from my SIL got it in an email titled why men should never be allowed to order the wedding cake so there is no telling where it came from.
this cake is under another thread, here.. it is under cake decorating in forums.. why men should never be allowed to order wedding cake. etc... i knew i had seen this cake.. when , she mentioned where her sil got it from and the title.. i knew then...where i had seen it.. doesn,t give any directions, though....person said she had seen it on cake wrecks...
My votes on airbrushed fondant.
My vote goes to combination...marbled and airbrushing. Surely your niece wouldn't be upset if you achieved the effect no matter what method you used, right? Like another poster stated, cover it in beige (aaaaaaaargh..what happened to i before e except after c???? There ain't no c in beige so shouldn't it be biege ...maybe it is but it doesn't look right.), bark it up then add in various color detailing with airbrush, paintbrush, dusting...whatever it takes(as long as it's food stuffs).