20sheets edible white wafer paperI used this rice paper
Ready-made rolled fondant in bright colors
Light corn syrup
Candy for filling the piñata
Prepare the balloon: Inflate the balloon to about 8-inches tall. Place the balloon sitting upright in a small cake pan or sauce pot. Cover the entire balloon with vegetable shortening and wipe away the excess with paper towels. You only want a thin trace of the vegetable shortening to remain.
Prepare the royal icing: Combine the meringue powder and water in a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until thick and opaque. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. The icing should be thick. Place a damp tea towel on top of the bowl of icing to prevent it from drying out as you work.
Paper mâché technique: Using an offset spatula, cover one side of the balloon with royal icing. Cover the icing with wafer paper strips in a single layer horizontally; cover the strips with another layer of icing. Some of the strips may want to pops up or buckle – just keep smoothing them down with the spatula. Turn the balloon and repeat until the sides of the balloon are covered in edible paper mâché. Cut three large circles of wafer paper and fringe the edges (see picture tutorial for visual). Turn the balloon on its side and frost the bottom of the balloon. Center the wafer paper circle on the bottom of the balloon and smooth down the edges; frost the wafer paper. Repeat this twice more with the remaining fringed wafer paper circles. Turn the balloon upright. Frost any exposed wafer paper and reinforce bare spots with pieces of wafer paper and icing. Don’t worry too much about making the egg look perfect at this point, its lumps and bumps will be covered with more wafer paper. Let dry overnight.
The next morning tap the egg to test its firmness. If it feels dry to the touch, then it’s time to remove the balloon. Hold the knotted end of the balloon and gently cut a hole in the neck with scissors. Hold the balloon firmly as the air deflates. Pull the balloon out and discard it. The interior of the egg will still be slightly moist, so let it dry for a couple more hours before decorating it.
Paper fringe technique: Stack three sheets of wafer paper and cut them into strips; fringe the strips. Repeat this process as you need more fringe to cover the egg. Using a small amount of corn syrup and an artists' brush, paint a line of syrup at the top edge of a fringe piece and adhere it to the egg. Repeat until the entire egg is covered. You may need to cut some of the fringe strips to cover smaller areas, like at the top point of the egg and the round bottom. Let the fringed egg stand until the wafer paper is well set, about 1 hour. Cut circles from fondant using a small icing tip, a bottle cap or a small round cookie cutter. Dot the backs of the circles with corn syrup and place them on the egg; hold for a few seconds to ensure the circles will stick.
Fill the egg with candy at the top opening – I used Jelly Belly jellybeans, regular jellybeans, all sizes of speckled malted milk eggs and spring confetti sprinkles.
Cut two round wafer paper circles and fringe the edges with scissors. Paint a little corn syrup around the top edge of the hole and center one circle over top. Press to adhere. Add a dot of corn syrup in the center of the circle and add the second fringed circle. Let stand until completely dry, one to two hours.
People with allergies to latex should choose a different project to make for Easter, unless a suitable replacement for the latex balloon can be found. I’ve seen non-latex vinyl balloons online but have no experience with using them for edible piñata-making.