I made this Avatar Tree of Souls Birthday Cake for my best friend's son's 5th Birthday. At first when he wanted an Avatar cake I thought she had to be kidding, but then I came up with the idea of creating the tree of souls using cereal treats and modeling chocolate. Recently I had been watching the Food Network and I have seen countless cakes done using this method, so I thought I would take a crack at it.
The base of the cake is two 9 X 13 cakes stacked on top of each other with buttercream icing in between. I used green buttercream frosting and a grass decorating tip for the edging. I used a dowel rod and jewelry wire for the skeleton of the tree. Then I molded chocolate cereal treats around the structure to create the trunk and the branches. I covered the whole tree in molding chocolate and made scratches in the trunk and branched with a modeling tool.
When I placed the tree on the base of the cake I used smaller dowel rods at a 45 degree angle on different sides of the trunk to stabilize it. I covered these dowel rods in modeling chocolate to look like the large roots of the tree. I allowed some of the roots to go over the side of the cake and once again made scratches in the chocolate to look like bark.
For the white "weeping willow" part of the tree I used pulled sugar. I pulled the sugar into long strands and then used a blow torch to soften them up and bend them into a "U" shape. I dusted the sugar strands in corn starch (my husband's idea) to remove some of the stickiness. Most of the pieces fit over the branches for the ones that broke I stuck them in the branches. We used the Avatar action figure to complete the cake.
I would love to make this cake again (I have already had requests), but I might try fondant the next time in place of the molding chocolate. I used milk chocolate to make my molding chocolate and I had to keep putting the tree back into the refrigerator every 15 minutes or so while I was working on it. I would also try to make my sugar strands a little thinner, which can be a challenge because they become so delicate, but I think it looks a little odd with the thick strands.
Overall everyone seemed to be impressed and I am pretty please with how it turned out.
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