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Pastel Meringue Nests

Pastel Meringue Nests via Sweetapolita I'm not sure what it is about meringue, but it has this sort of ethereal and angelic quality to it that makes it one of the most special treats you can make. It's hard to imagine that a simple whipping of egg whites and sugar can yield something so versatile, so delightfully tasty and so lovely. A quick few swirls from a pastry bag and you can have the sweetest little nests that, once baked, can be filled with anything from fruit and frosting to curds and creams. I also love that its snow-white "colour" is the perfect starting point for achieving any possible shade you wish (a frequent obstacle us cakers face when we want to colour buttercreams and the like ). As a lover of clean pastel shades, tinting meringue is a dream. Pastel Meringue Nests via Sweetapolita

I tinted these with a drop of turquoise gel paste and piped them using a large swirl tip, Ateco #887, for a kind of oversized swirled nest effect. While they baked I created some fondant feathers using a silicone feather mold I bought awhile back at my local cake decorating supply shop -- I've been dying to use this thing! I used the mold and then use a sharp paring knife to give the edges some small slices and imperfections (the key to creating something organic and realistic).

Pastel Meringue Nests via Sweetapolita

I filled the nests with a generous swirl of Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and then adorned them with a single fondant feather. You could also add in some fresh berries, or curd (one way to use up all of the leftover yolks!), or anything at all really. Either way, these are a truly sweet and special treat for little ones -- my cakelets not only love when I make meringue (Reese loves it straight from the bowl soft and billowy, and Neve loves it anyway at all), but they were enchanted by the process of making both the feathers and nests. Pastel Meringue Nests via Sweetapolita The girls' eyes lit up when they saw the finished treat  all put together and ready for their tea party. Do you think they'll still want me to bake them tea party treats when they're grown and on their own? I hope so.

I wanted to the feathers to be thin and delicate, yet I also wanted them to taste good, so rather than using gumpaste, which we'd typically use for something so thin, I just added some Tylose powder to my fondant before rolling out. I do this often when I want to strengthen my fondant for decorations, but don't want to use gumpaste. (As you've likely discovered, gumpaste may be super strong and dry like pure porcelain, but it doesn't taste yummy. At all.) Once dry, I gave the feathers a little paint with bright white soft gel colour. Pastel Meringue Nests via Sweetapolita Fairy-princess approved. ♥

Filled Pastel Meringue Nests & Feathers

  • 1 batch Pastel Meringue Nests
  • 1 batch Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Vanilla Fondant (about size of tennis ball)
  • Tylose powder
  • Confectioners' sugar or cornstarch for rolling fondant
  • Bright White soft gel paste (optional)

You will also need:

  • A small rolling pin
  • small sharp knife
  • silicon feather mold (small)

To make the fondant feathers:

  1. Press fondant until flattened and sprinkle with tylose powder, kneading in to incorporate.
  2. Roll small piece of fondant (placing extra fondant in small sealed bag) on a confectioners'-sugar-dusted surface until about 1/16 (I use the pink guides on the small Wilton rolling pin). Place one half of the feather mold onto the fondant and cut around the outline of the mold, about 1/2" bigger than the mold. Line up the other half of the mold, sandwiching the fondant in between by gently pressing straight down. Remove the top mold, and carefully remove the fondant feather, placing back on dusted surface. Use sharp paring knife or craft blade to trim excess fondant and to create some tiny slices along the edges for a realistic look. Let dry on crumpled paper towel, shaping them slightly to dry the way you want them (slightly curved, etc).
  3. Once dry, you can carefully paint them with a small paint brush and bright white gel color paste, if desired. Let dry completely. Dried feathers are fragile, so treat with care.

To assemble the meringue nests:

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain round tip and fill bag 2/3 full with buttercream. Fill each meringue nest until buttercream comes just above top of nest and top with fondant feather.

Filled Pastel Meringue Nests & Feathers

  • 1 batch Pastel Meringue Nests
  • 1 batch Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Vanilla Fondant (about size of tennis ball)
  • Tylose powder
  • Confectioners' sugar or cornstarch for rolling fondant
  • Bright White soft gel paste (optional)

You will also need:

  • A small rolling pin
  • small sharp knife
  • silicon feather mold (small)

To make the fondant feathers:

  1. Press fondant until flattened and sprinkle with tylose powder, kneading in to incorporate.
  2. Roll small piece of fondant (placing extra fondant in small sealed bag) on a confectioners'-sugar-dusted surface until about 1/16 (I use the pink guides on the small Wilton rolling pin). Place one half of the feather mold onto the fondant and cut around the outline of the mold, about 1/2" bigger than the mold. Line up the other half of the mold, sandwiching the fondant in between by gently pressing straight down. Remove the top mold, and carefully remove the fondant feather, placing back on dusted surface. Use sharp paring knife or craft blade to trim excess fondant and to create some tiny slices along the edges for a realistic look. Let dry on crumpled paper towel, shaping them slightly to dry the way you want them (slightly curved, etc).
  3. Once dry, you can carefully paint them with a small paint brush and bright white gel color paste, if desired. Let dry completely. Dried feathers are fragile, so treat with care.

To assemble the meringue nests:

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain round tip and fill bag 2/3 full with buttercream. Fill each meringue nest until buttercream comes just above top of nest and top with fondant feather.

Filled Pastel Meringue Nests & Feathers

  • 1 batch Pastel Meringue Nests
  • 1 batch Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Vanilla Fondant (about size of tennis ball)
  • Tylose powder
  • Confectioners' sugar or cornstarch for rolling fondant
  • Bright White soft gel paste (optional)

You will also need:

  • A small rolling pin
  • small sharp knife
  • silicon feather mold (small)

To make the fondant feathers:

  1. Press fondant until flattened and sprinkle with tylose powder, kneading in to incorporate.
  2. Roll small piece of fondant (placing extra fondant in small sealed bag) on a confectioners'-sugar-dusted surface until about 1/16 (I use the pink guides on the small Wilton rolling pin). Place one half of the feather mold onto the fondant and cut around the outline of the mold, about 1/2" bigger than the mold. Line up the other half of the mold, sandwiching the fondant in between by gently pressing straight down. Remove the top mold, and carefully remove the fondant feather, placing back on dusted surface. Use sharp paring knife or craft blade to trim excess fondant and to create some tiny slices along the edges for a realistic look. Let dry on crumpled paper towel, shaping them slightly to dry the way you want them (slightly curved, etc).
  3. Once dry, you can carefully paint them with a small paint brush and bright white gel color paste, if desired. Let dry completely. Dried feathers are fragile, so treat with care.

To assemble the meringue nests:

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain round tip and fill bag 2/3 full with buttercream. Fill each meringue nest until buttercream comes just above top of nest and top with fondant feather.
Sweetapolita's Notes: Good luck & enjoy!

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