Creepy Autumn Harvest
By Tammy Varela
Create a spooky tree and moon scene perfect for Halloween using gum paste, modeling chocolate, and isomalt techniques. Don’t be too scared! They are only sugar, after all.
Pale yellow gum paste
Petal dust: yellow, lime green, orange, red, and brown
Edible piping gel
Rice cereal treats
Gel food coloring: light gray, taupe, espresso brown, orange, yellow, and white
Yellow airbrush color
Edible spray glaze
Leaf veiner mold
Rippled sponge pad
Green floral tape
8-inch cake pan
Form the Leaves
- Roll out a small amount of pale yellow gum paste into a thin sheet. Cut out a leaf using a leaf cutter.
- Lightly press the leaf into the leaf veiner mold.
- Move the leaf to a sponge pad. Use a ball tool to roll around the edges.
- Use a point tool to intensify the middle vein and bottom edge.
- Let the leaf dry on a rippled sponge for about 48 hours.
- To color the leaf, use a small fluffy paintbrush and dust. Start with yellow, then add lime green, orange, and red. Add brown for the edge of the leaf. Repeat the process to create multiple leaves.
Mold the Tree
- Take a wood dowel and place part of it inside a Styrofoam board for stability.
- Lightly coat the dowel with edible piping gel.
- Wrap the dowel with floral tape.
- Add limbs by taking various lengths of floral wire and wrapping them around the main stem at various places. Then, wrap the limbs with floral tape.
- Use rice cereal treats at the base of the tree. Add piping gel to the dowel so that it will attach properly and not sink.
- Once the base is done, use modeling chocolate to cover the tree.
- Add the leaves by wrapping the wires around the limbs.
- Wrap modeling chocolate around the limb with the attached leaf.
- Use a ball of aluminum foil and a Dresden tool to add texture to the tree.
- Once the entire tree is sculpted, paint with the following gel food colorings mixed with Everclear: light gray, taupe, and espresso brown.
Make the Moon
- Take about 16 to 20 ounces of white isomalt and bring it to a boil. When the bubbles settle, add a very small droplet of yellow airbrush color and stir it in. Warm the isomalt for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the isomalt into a greased 8-inch round cake pan. Be sure to grease it with oil-based cooking spray, nothing with flour in it. Once it’s all poured, lightly torch surface to get rid of stray bubbles. Take some dental floss and lay the ends down in the isomalt. Add some more isomalt on top of the floss for added strength.
- Once cooled, carefully take out of the cake pan and wipe off excess oil. Using a paper towel, add depth and dimension with orange, yellow, and white gel food colorings mixed with dilution solution. When finished, spray the moon with edible spray glaze to seal it.
Want the rest of Tammy’s creepy harvest tutorial? Find it in the pages of the September/October 2021 issue of ACD!