Autumn in the Woods
This cake was made with duck hunting camouflage in mind as it is a very popular sport here in the fall. Birch trees and Oak trees are encorporated in this piece with wilted leaves turned brown and dark orange with the season's change.
Techniques I used:
Firstly, this was made with real cake, and covered with fondant. I stacked it right away and airbrushed the entire thing with avocado green and touches of warm brown.
Dark tree shadows were hand-painted over the three tiers, representing the depth of the forest, with moss green petal dust mixed with vodka. You can see some of these "shadows" poking out in the background of the cake.
Next came texture: With white royal icing I carefully piped dots and lines onto the trees to create the feel of the Oak tree bark. Since the cake is quite dark, the white piping gives the highlights that are needed.
With chocolate brown petal dust (and vodka) I painted the piping, leaving just enough on the right side of each tree for the highlight. The sun is coming in from the right, so the left side of each tree trunk is the darkest.
The cake is trimmed with tiny black royal icing piping beads.
Finally, I placed on the leaves:
The leaves were made a few days ahead. Made of gum paste dyed moss green and warm brown, they are cut out of a leaf cutter and placed on a rubber veiner. The edges are thinned and the entire leaf is left in a crinkled manner to dry. Eventually each is dry dusted with various shades of brown, orange and green petal dusts. They are attached with royal icing.