Want to make (and support) a sugar willow tree topper to adorn one of your creations?
Just get your hands ready, ’cause… yeah…well, you’ll see.   This project is NOT for the faint of hand. 😉

And though some of your fingers may be numb for a few days afterwards… it’s kindo’ like having a baby. Once you’re finished, and you’re looking at what you birthed, you forget about the pain and it’s all worth it in the end!
Mostly. 😉

Have fun!

Large, hollow Wilton plastic dowel in styrofoam block

 

Wrap with wires for branch support
(use 18 guage wires)

Cover with modeling chocolate

 

Finish covering wires

Needed: green fondant, push clay extruder , scissors, and color shaper (optional)
Drape fondant over branches and cut.  Over and over and over again.  I then added a second layer over top of the first.  After that, I added some random longer pieces as well.
(Yeah, umm…. your hand may cramp up by the end.  Just sayin’.)

If you like the look at this point, you can just dust some shading on and be finished.
I tried, but my mind wouldn’t let me be done.  I had to see what it looked like with a little royal icing piped onto the fondant with a leaf tip (Wilton number 67). 
I’m glad I did.  It gave it the leaf look I was looking for.

I just sort of “messily” piped it on so that the leaves weren’t too defined.
Then I dusted it with some mossy green to give it a second color tone, some silver dust on the tops of the branches to give it a sort of “glow” and some black towards the bottoms of the leaves to give it some shadow.And then I was definitely finished.
 Now, how was I going to get this baby to stay on the top of the cake without toppling over?
It was just too heavy to just stick the dowel in and leave it (which, incidentally, did not even occur to me ’till it was time to put it on!)

So , what I decided to do was use one of my small, 4″ round cake circles (the cardboard rounds used under each tier of cake) and cut a hole in the middle that the dowel could fit through, while still keeping it pretty snug.

I used four evenly spaced support straws (arranged in a circle) in the top tier cake, underneath where the tree and it’s cardboard base will be placed (like you would if you were adding another tier… click here to see how to add support straws to a cake tier! ) and then attatched that cake circle to the top of the cake (on top of the straws) with buttercream and buttercreamed over it as well to hide it.

Then, when I slid my tree dowel down into it, the tree rested on the cardboard and didn’t push down into the cake!   CRISIS.AVERTED.
But ya better believe I didn’t put that tree in ’till AFTER I arrived at the venue.

I’d decided that I’d rather NOT have a heart attack in the car while delivering.
Probably wouldn’t have been very helpful, you know?

Here’s my video on how to make modeling chocolate, in case ya need it…

K.  Now go soak your hand in some sweet smelling warm water while you watch your favorite show.
Maybe bust out the Bon Bons, too.
I’d say you deserve it. 😉

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