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!)
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
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
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
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
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
- 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.
- Leave to dry at least 24 hours. The icing will dry to a hard candy matte finish.
- 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.
- Line nests with toasted coconut (make sure coconut has completely cooled) and place 3 chocolate eggs inside.
What a creative idea! I love it!
Wonderful!! I thought it was a porcelain bowl when I first saw the picture! Great job!
You've done it again! 🙂 Your work never ceases to amaze me. 🙂
These are so beautiful, and I can't wait for the book to come out! Congratulations on all your success!!!
What a fun idea! Dare I say I might actually be able to DO this?!
Soooo cute! What a splendid idea.
I love your white nests and the coconut filling is a great idea. I never thought to use balloons!! Happy Easter.
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.
This is the most gorgeous and delicate looking Easter nest I've ever seen!
Congratulations on the nomination!
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!
Ive voted! Im a shocking baker, but I love reading and looking at your posts
Happy Easter..these just make you smile..wonderful styling❤
This is such a fun idea! I want to eat everything out of it. Wonder how it goes with oatmeal?? lol
there no word to express my love…
looking forward for your book
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!). 😉
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 🙂
Wow, how adorable and such a great idea. They look so delicate!
Wow! That's super cute!
Super, have a nice easter.
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.
my goodness you're right, it's just like porcelain.
your talent….i wish i went to culinary school now. lol
can you imagine if i did? oh boy
happy Easter my friend
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 🙂
This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Totally pinning this. 😀
So so pretty. This entire post made me smile. You are such an artist.
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. 😉
OH MY!!! I love these, I may just have to make them tomorrow!!
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 »
wow so elegant, i love these, will definitely be trying very soon! thanks!
Oh my goodness! these are gorgeous! thanks for the inspiration 🙂
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!
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
Oops, I meant eggs out of candy coating!
These are so pretty!
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…
This is really cute!
Genius! I love that idea!
That's amazing! What a sweet treat to delight some guests! Your photography makes it even more appealing 🙂
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!
I also just voted for you…and tweeted about it. I hope people go and vote for YOU!~~
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.
What an awesome idea!!!
Beautiful! I pinned this 🙂
Love, love, love your blog.
stunning photos and such a beautiful idea!
congrats again on Saveur!
The recipe is wonderfull, I like very much.
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!!!
Very, very cute! Congrats on the nomination from Saveur. Quite an honor – and quite deserved! You definitely have my vote. Good Luck!