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.
  • Check out what’s on ModCloth’s coming soon list! (Be sure to click the extra pictures below the book!)
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.
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Mary @ Bake Break
Mary @ Bake Break
9 years ago

What a creative idea! I love it!

Angie - Big Bears Wife
Angie - Big Bears Wife
9 years ago

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

Julie
Julie
9 years ago

You've done it again! πŸ™‚ Your work never ceases to amaze me. πŸ™‚

paper + cloth
paper + cloth
9 years ago

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

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

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

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

Soooo cute! What a splendid idea.

Happy Easter!

Cheers,

Rosa

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

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
Averie @ Averie Cooks
9 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Completely adorable!

Sue/the view from great island
Sue/the view from great island
9 years ago

Congratulations on the nomination!

Becky McNeer
Becky McNeer
9 years ago

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
Miss T
9 years ago

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

Dagmar
Dagmar
9 years ago

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

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
9 years ago

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

parvati
parvati
9 years ago

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

Darla | Bakingdom
Darla | Bakingdom
9 years ago

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!). πŸ˜‰

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
9 years ago

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 πŸ™‚

Jenn @ Icing on the Cake
Jenn @ Icing on the Cake
9 years ago

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

kouky
kouky
9 years ago

superbes!!

Elizabeth King
Elizabeth King
9 years ago

Wow! That's super cute!

Carola
Carola
9 years ago

Super, have a nice easter.

Foodiewife
Foodiewife
9 years ago

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
vanillasugarblog
9 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

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 πŸ™‚

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
9 years ago

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Totally pinning this. πŸ˜€

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies
Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies
9 years ago

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

Gloria
Gloria
9 years ago

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. πŸ˜‰
Best,
Gloria

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

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

Gloria
Gloria
9 years ago

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… Read more »

Sugar Swings
Sugar Swings
9 years ago

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

Desiree
Desiree
9 years ago

Oh my goodness! these are gorgeous! thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

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
The Partiologist
9 years ago

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
The Partiologist
9 years ago

Oops, I meant eggs out of candy coating!

Live a Sweet Life
Live a Sweet Life
9 years ago

These are so pretty!

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

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…

Sweet Morris
Sweet Morris
9 years ago

This is really cute!

Dani @ camolove.com
Dani @ camolove.com
9 years ago

Genius! I love that idea!

Amber *SaltTree Creative*
Amber *SaltTree Creative*
9 years ago

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

jules p
jules p
9 years ago

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
jules p
9 years ago

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

Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It!
Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It!
9 years ago

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
Miss Apple
9 years ago

What an awesome idea!!!

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

Beautiful! I pinned this πŸ™‚

Tessa
Tessa
9 years ago

Love, love, love your blog.

Kristina
Kristina
9 years ago

stunning photos and such a beautiful idea!

congrats again on Saveur!

Yabel
Yabel
9 years ago

The recipe is wonderfull, I like very much.

susan
susan
9 years ago

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
Mary
9 years ago

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