Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tip Toe Through the Trees TUTORIAL

Why is making really pretty trees out of sugar so hard?  I'm not judging others efforts at all because it's hard!  My advice is to make evergreens/Christmas trees!  They are really easy!  Our friends were making a cake for a charity and they needed trees of  a tall variety.  This is a picture tutorial of our efforts.  Some were better than others but I hope you can take something away from my experiments.

We always started with a center support and heavy floral wire from Wal-Mart.  We twisted them all around and then hot glued the crap out of the joints so they are secured and won't slide down and have more stability.

We added lots of brown modeling chocolate for the trunks and branches.  You can score lines with a knife to get some texture. For the tree above we piped tiny leaves all over the branches.   Don't try to pipe all the leaves on a particular branch at one time.  Do a couple of rows and let them dry before the next bunch.  This will keep all the icing from just falling off the wire due to the weight.  

We have a lot of branches to begin with but once we covered them all with leaves, the tree still looked very sparse.  We decided to try to make some additional branches and attach them, once dried, by inserting into the modeling chocolate.  This didn't work very well :(  We did add some of them once the trees were in place and weren't going to move around at all. 

Next we attempted a weeping willow type tree.  We learned on the first tree that it's best to cover the wire branches with brown floral tape.  This was good to give the leaves a thicker branch to hold on to and also if some brown shows through the leaves that's way better than silver wire. 
Same leaf application as before, just pipe a lot of leaves over and over.....an over.  There is still a really weird trunk ending up top.  I should figure a better trunk structure going forward for this odd look.
This tree reminded me of the twisting tree called "the womping willow" in the Harry Potter movies.  Here I tried to fix the weird top trunk problem by tapering the tree into large branches.  I also added a few more since adding branches after doesn't work so well.
Believe it or not, this is a tiny leaf cutter I used here.  I did not like the look so I gave up pretty quickly.
So in the interest of not loosing my mind, I tried this "look".  If I made large balls of fondant instead of these flat blobs, they would have been much to heavy for the structure I built.  I could make the structure much heavier and try that look next time.  For texture, I banded several toothpicks together with the floral tape and twisted it all over for lots of leaf fluff!

These trees took me hours to make and I want to emphasize that in case you decide to make a forest!  I hope you have picked up a trick or two for your trees!

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