Mom made the cakes, one chocolate, one yellow cake and used cream-cheese frosting for the filling (to glue it together better). It was cold enough outside that it wasn't even a concern.
She also whipped up the chocolate frosting, which I used to decorate the one log with a rough bark effect. (They look a little glossy in the photos because the cakes had been refrigerated and then taken out for over an hour as we decorated and sweat a little bit... they firmed up nice and beautiful for the party the following day.
The birch log is covered with Marshmallow Fondant I made. It's super easy to make and tastes way better than regular fondant, but apparently doesn't have as long a shelf life. But this cake was massacred the following day, so no worries about expiring fondant. Here's the recipe I used: http://candy.about.com/od/fondantcandyrecipes/r/mm_fondant.htm I rolled out the fondant into strips, cut the edges with a knife and curled them up for the birch bark effect. I scored the fondant surface for some texture and then painted with food coloring. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get a good pale beige color with the limited McCormick 4 Count food coloring palette for the under layer of the birch tree. It turned out too yellow. I probably could've just left the cake exposed in the parts where the 'bark was peeling off'.
My mom tried using a marzipan recipe from a cook book, but it sucked. So she went online and found an alternative one that worked (and was quite proud of her technological savvy, being of a generation not so inclined for internet usage in a region where they only have dial-up, entirely useless internet access). (I would've linked to the recipe, but I didn't think to note where she got it.) This we made into mushrooms and tree fungi, as you can see. Also, my pseudo-sister made an adorable snail, inch worm and acorns. We also cut out leaves with small cookie cutters, and painted everything (but left the mushrooms marzipan off-white) with food coloring (the fancy icing colors/dyes were not at all useful... good old food coloring!).
The ground cover was leftover chocolate cake crumbled up and sprinkled with chocolate shavings for 'dirt'. And the green 'moss' is coconut died with food coloring and thrown in the oven at low temp to dry out until crumbly texture.
|Cute Bear Family cake topper, and my Pseudo-sister expressing how delicious it looks...|