How To Make Chocolate Branches And Twigs, An Easy Photo Guide
Branches on cakes must be tricky, because I've seen a ton of cakes that have branches that look like snakes or large ropes, or worse, on them.
If you're going to do branches or vines, look at some photos of real ones first. Don't just start piping a snake of brown icing on the cake. Look at CakeWrecks.com if you want to see how that turns out.
To make chocolate branches, sticks, or twigs, the easiest way is to pipe them out, then reinforce them by piping again. Using chocolate that has been overheated slightly will take it out of temper, and will allow the chocolate to develop a bloom on the surface as it cools. This will give it a varying appearance in color and a little visual texture.
To start these twiggy sticks, I piped branches onto a piece of parchment paper in the shape of branching bushes, and I let them set up.
|Chocolate branches piped onto parchment paper|
When those have set up, carefully remove them and turn them over. Be very careful moving them because they'll be fragile
For the materials to make these, check my Amazon affiliate links (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.):
If they do break, just glue them together again by attaching the sticks back to the main branch with more melted chocolate.
|Flip the dried branches over|
Pipe over the backs to reinforce the strength of the branches...If you're brave you can leave them alone and not overpipe them, but you'll have to be really careful handling them because they'll be more fragile.
You could either leave them alone or add small flowers or berries to them by attaching fondant or gumpaste flowers with more chocolate. You can also bunch a few together to create bushes, or make small ones individually if you need twigs.
To put some glittery "snow" on them you can sprinkle some sanding sugar on the chocolate before it sets up. I left these naked because they were for a cemetery cake.
Another way to make branches that would have more realistic detail is to use a silicone mold and either fondant, candy clay, modeling chocolate, or gumpaste.
This mold that I have on my website makes an edible branch that has realistic details, and can be used to make sticks and twigs for a cake: Silicone branch mold