I am trying to make a birch bark-look tiered cake for my sister's engagement party. I have looked at a lot of photos, but I can't seem to tell if the best approach is to drape the fondant on top and then mess with the sides to get that authentic peeling look, or to wrap a long strip of fondant around the sides of the cakes and then somehow even out the top. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I did a cake like this a long time ago, I covered the cake in a thin coat of fondant. I then cut a strip for the sides add a little bit of tylose and than curled it in on edges (I wrapped it around plastic dowels), I than made some more curls and let them dry for a couple of days and attached them the day before with gum arabic. I will look to see if I can find the picture.
Because the interior of the birch is such a different color from the bark, I would do the top as a single piece in a brownish yellow, and use a brush to give it the look of rings:
Then I would do a wrap for the bark. If you do a single piece draped, the edges will not have the sharp definition you would be looking for. When I did this one, I didn't make my wrap go up high enough and wound up having to add a strip to give it a sharper edge. It didn't look bad, but it could have looked better if I had brought the bark up a little higher and folded a small edge over to give it a defining line between the outer bark and the inner wood.
Birch bark cake decorating techniques: