I'm a newbie... I'd appreciate any advice on this!
I'm making a small wedding cake and the bride (my sister) wants branches and green leaves to decorate the cake. It's a white butter cake with orange creamsicle filling and vanilla bean IMBC. I had originally thought I'd pipe dark chocolate branches on the cake, but after tasting my last trial cake, I felt like the chocolate would overwhelm and detract from the flavors they wanted.
I don't really want to just pick up fake greenery from the craft store - I'd like to make something. I was thinking gumpaste leaves (which I can do well in advance), but I'm stuck on the branches. What I want to do is "wrap" them around the cake.
It's an outdoor wedding in Montana in early July - but it's a dessert buffet, so the cake can be refrigerated until it needs to be taken out for the buttercream to be at ideal temperature.
Any advice on medium and method would be welcome!
Maybe you could use fondant? Taking pieces rolled (like a snake) and wrapping them around the cake to make it look like branches? Before you apply it, you could take a toothpick and make grooves in it to make it seem more realistic. Also, you could mix in two or three different shades of brown fondant before rolling it out to get definition..
The easiest way to do it would be to use wire dipped in chocolate, but you have to make sure that the contour of the wire is where you want it before you dip it. You can't re-shape the branches once the chocolate cools off.
You could also use modelign chocolate with a wire armature inside.
The only specific advice that I'd give you would be to look at real branches before you make them. A lot of branch cakes look like a brown snake crawling up the cake, not like a branch.
i just did a vines and leaves wedding cake and used royal icing to do the vines. i colored it a darker shade of green than the leaves. the leaves were out of gumpaste, like you said yours will be. also, i second costumeczar about being careful to make the branches look real. i would advise doing a practice cake and trying out your different branch options to see how they really will look. good luck and have fun!