Friday, April 6, 2012

Like Porcelain, Royal Icing Nests


This is such an easy little project.  I made these nests with the Easter holiday in mind, but I think they'd make cute place card holders for a wedding reception.  They'd even make an elegant table decoration for Mother's Day brunch.

Remember the chocolate bowls I made way back when?  Well, this project is very similar, and I might say - even easier! The nests will need to dry for 24 hours, so plan ahead.  They solidify to a hard candy finish, and remind me of delicate porcelain.

A few daily tidbits:

  • You may have noticed the Saveur tag in the upper right hand corner of my banner. I'm a finalist for best baking blog of 2012! I'm not sure how the folks at Saveur chose finalists from such a vast amount of entries, but I'm really honored that I was nominated and selected again.  There are several baking blogs that I love and admire deeply that weren't on the finalist list, and it makes me wonder how on earth I was picked! That said, voting is now open to everyone worldwide. If you like what I do here, then cast your vote!
  • My book comes out in less than a month (!), which fills me with nervous excitement. I'll be doing a book related post once a week until then with sneak peeks of recipes and pictures inside. On May 1st I'll be holding a giveaway for copies of the book and I'll be giving away a KitchenAid stand mixer! Tell your friends! We are going to party. There will be cake.

Feathering the nest with coconut.
Okay, a final note about the royal icing nests: make sure to beat the icing to stiff peak consistency.  The royal icing can't be the least bit lax or it will slide down the sides of the balloon.


Royal Icing with Meringue Powder
for Royal Icing Nests                                            [click for printable version]
YIELD: Approximately 3 cups of icing.  This recipe makes stiff-peak icing.

Note: Not all meringue powder is the same. Be sure to read the directions on the back of the meringue powder container for suggested amounts.

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4-1/2  cup warm water
1/2  teaspoon clear flavoring extract (lemon, orange, almond, clear vanilla)

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed until combined.
2. Add the water (1/4 cup first and add more as needed) and beat on medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add the flavoring and beat on low until combined.
4. Use the icing immediately or drape a damp tea towel over the mixing bowl or bowls to prevent the icing 
from drying out.

Note: Royal icing should be used immediately or transferred to airtight containers and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and stir before using.

Make the nests:
Yield: 10 nests - more or less, depending on how much you inflate the balloons.
1 recipe royal icing, stiff peak, placed in a piping bag with Wilton #3 round piping tip
10 latex balloons
About 2 cups toasted coconut
30 candy-coated chocolate eggs
  1. Inflate the balloons to an approximate 3 1/2 -inch diameter and tie off.  Place them upright on an egg crate or in the tops of a few plastic tumblers. Pipe icing over the top 1/3 of the balloon.  Make many circular passes around the balloon while piping until the top is covered in icing. Note: Don't overload the top with icing.  Pipe until the balloon is just covered with icing.  
  2. Leave to dry at least 24 hours. The icing will dry to a hard candy matte finish.
  3. When nests are completely dry, snip the balloon at the tie-off with scissors, allowing the air to escape slowly.  The balloon will pull away from the sides of the nest revealing a bowl-shaped cavity.
  4. Line nests with toasted coconut (make sure coconut has completely cooled) and place 3 chocolate eggs inside.


64 comments:

Mary @ Bake Break said...

What a creative idea! I love it!

Angie Barrett said...

Wonderful!! I thought it was a porcelain bowl when I first saw the picture! Great job!

Julie said...

You've done it again! :) Your work never ceases to amaze me. :)

paper + cloth said...

These are so beautiful, and I can't wait for the book to come out! Congratulations on all your success!!!

cookies and cups said...

What a fun idea! Dare I say I might actually be able to DO this?!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Soooo cute! What a splendid idea.

Happy Easter!

Cheers,

Rosa

Paula said...

I love your white nests and the coconut filling is a great idea. I never thought to use balloons!! Happy Easter.

Jennifurla said...

omg, such excitment happening over here! this is such an adorable idea, and looks so fancy..or with some crazy sebra stiped and polka dotted eggs could be adorably modern.

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

This is the most gorgeous and delicate looking Easter nest I've ever seen!

ButterYum said...

Completely adorable!

Sue/the view from great island said...

Congratulations on the nomination!

Not Your Ordinary Agent said...

Those are gorgeous! And adorable! Please link up to Foodie Friday
I'm a new follower too! I can't believe I haven't been here before... awesome blog!

Miss T said...

Ive voted! Im a shocking baker, but I love reading and looking at your posts
Good luck!

Dagmar said...

Happy Easter..these just make you smile..wonderful styling❤

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is such a fun idea! I want to eat everything out of it. Wonder how it goes with oatmeal?? lol

parvati said...

there no word to express my love...
looking forward for your book

Darla | Bakingdom said...

Congratulations, my sweet friend! You most certainly deserve it!

And I absolutely adore these beautiful nests! Thanks for sharing another brilliant idea (I wish I could hang out in your brain for a day, just to see how pretty and creative it is in there!). ;)

Cookbook Queen said...

First off, I love these. Like everything you do all the time. I think I've run out of adjectives bc I always sit here and stare the screen in amazement.

Secondly, I'm SO excited to see your book on Modcloth!! Nice to know they've got good taste :)

Jenn @ Icing on the Cake said...

Wow, how adorable and such a great idea. They look so delicate!

kouky said...

superbes!!

Elizabeth King said...

Wow! That's super cute!

Carola said...

Super, have a nice easter.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I am not the craftiest person in the world, but I think I could make these. Congrats on the nomination. You deserve it. I just voted for you.

vanillasugarblog said...

my goodness you're right, it's just like porcelain.
wow.
your talent....i wish i went to culinary school now. lol
can you imagine if i did? oh boy
happy Easter my friend
xoxo

SallyAnne said...

gosh I thought they were porcelain...doh! they are so lovely! You blog is lovely - congrats on your nomination! Will be voting after posting this comment :)

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots said...

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Totally pinning this. :D

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies said...

So so pretty. This entire post made me smile. You are such an artist.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

You're brilliant, as usual. These are adorable!
Happy Easter to you and yours, Heather. Give your 'puppies' a kiss for me. Well, OK, your husband too. ;)
Best,
Gloria

playfulpantry said...

OH MY!!! I love these, I may just have to make them tomorrow!!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

P.S. EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU AT THE LINK YOU GAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am writing this in caps because I do NOT think people saw your small "tidbit!!!!!!" You have to thank Debby at Feast for the Eyes, because when I went to leave my "Happy Easter" comment, hers was the last comment before 'Post a Comment' -- so if not for her, I would NOT have seen your request for US TO VOTE FOR YOU SILLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again, I am writing this in caps, so maybe others will see. But, PLEASE, get votes for yourself... put it in CAPS yourself at the beginning of your post. Please add an "UPDATE" at the beginning... people didn't see that 'tidbit' thing I am sure. You are very humble, not putting it ALL out there, so that's even MORE of a reason for all of us to vote for you: you are humble, you are nice. :)
Again though: if not for Debby/Feast for the Eyes, I never would have known to go to that site to vote for you!!!!!!!!!!
gv xxoo [sorry this is so long]

sugarswings said...

wow so elegant, i love these, will definitely be trying very soon! thanks!

Desiree said...

Oh my goodness! these are gorgeous! thanks for the inspiration :)

Becca said...

These little nests are just way too cute! And congrats on the almost arrival of your book. I bet you're excited. Heck, I would be so excited, I would probably be giddy 24/7!

The Partiologist said...

Your nest is so pretty and delicate! I made some nests out of candy coating, a balloon and filled it with Jelly Beans! http://thepartiologist.blogspot.com/2012/03/coconut-cake-jelly-belly-style.html

The Partiologist said...

Oops, I meant eggs out of candy coating!

Live a Sweet Life said...

These are so pretty!

Sue said...

So elegant and original, Heather! I looked at your book link and all of the extra photos~I can't wait for your book! You must be over the moon! Well, time to vote...

Jen said...

This is really cute!

Dani @ camolove.com said...

Genius! I love that idea!

Amber *SaltTree* said...

That's amazing! What a sweet treat to delight some guests! Your photography makes it even more appealing :)

jules p said...

I just finished making these..and they turned out really cute. Thanks for sharing this idea with us. The older ladies at my church are going to love them!

jules p said...

I also just voted for you...and tweeted about it. I hope people go and vote for YOU!~~

Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It! said...

I just love these and using balloons make for a more organic look. One more thing added to my l 'try' list! Thanks for the sneak peek into your book.

Miss Apple said...

What an awesome idea!!!

Heather said...

Beautiful! I pinned this :)

Tessa said...

Love, love, love your blog.

Kristina said...

stunning photos and such a beautiful idea!

congrats again on Saveur!

Yabel said...

The recipe is wonderfull, I like very much.

susan said...

these are perfectly adorable. i have tried using balloons for various thngs and have failed. I may have to give this a try. congrats on the Saveur nod - highly deserved! you have my vote. Your book, counting the days. Would gladly do a review!!!

Mary said...

Very, very cute! Congrats on the nomination from Saveur. Quite an honor - and quite deserved! You definitely have my vote. Good Luck!

Lora said...

I love these! I voted and can't wait until your book comes out. XOX

Punctuation Mark said...

what a cute idea and looks amazing!

SweetSugarBelle said...

You are really amazing and always an inspiration! Thanks for working so hard creating posts and a book to inspire people like me. I know it isn't easy! These are stunning, Heather!

Javelin Warrior said...

I love these nests - my mom made little Easter candy nests using chocolate and chow mein noodles, but these royal icing nests are so much more beautiful! (Sorry mom!) I am featuring this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It's a pleasure to be following your creations…

Anonymous said...

So cute!!! I will definitely be trying these next Easter!

Anonymous said...

You are such an artistic inspiration! You are my favorite food blog of 2012, for sure! I started my own gluten free food blog and hope to help others, as you do. These little nests are the perfect gluten free Easter treat. Thank you for such gorgeous goodies!

Lively Girl
www.livelyglutenfree.com

amy c @ thisheartofmineblog.com said...

These are amazing! I absolutely love this idea. Wow. Now I need to have a party.... :)

amy c @ thisheartofmineblog.com said...

These are amazing! I absolutely love this idea. Wow. Now I need to have a party.... :)

amy c @ thisheartofmineblog.com said...

These are amazing! I absolutely love this idea. Wow. Now I need to have a party.... :)

Magic of Spice said...

Oh wow, those are amazing, and so beautiful!

Thyme (Sarah) said...

That is adorable. Love this. Really can't believe how easy you make it. I don't know if I would have the same result but this is going in my "to do" folder.

Lili said...

Those are just the sweetest little birdie nests...and I love that you even have a nest pedestal for display. So pretty! xo ~Lili

amruta said...

This looks delicate. But this is an interesting to make. This is perfect idea for Easter.

Luzzy said...

WOW carinissimo.
I will be your follower
Bye

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