Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bye Bye Birdie

Saw THE most adorable idea at Lauren's site around Easter. With the monthly bake sale starting up again at church (they were on hold during Lent)... I was thinking the nests would be a good spring treat, as well as a project Rhena would be able to help with.

Then, by coincidence, Rhena's preschool topic for the week happens to be birds, nests and springtime. We decided to make the nests for her class instead of the bake sale. (I've got other stuff up my sleeve for this weekend, anyway)

I had bought some gum paste on tuesday morning, with the idea that I would attempt top attach some flowers to the nests.. you know.. pretty them up a bit. but since this turned to a child-helping project, I opted to pass on the gum paste.

Overall this was a simple project. I double-boiled the chocolate morsels, which I just prefer cause it allows me to make sure there are no burned spots.. but I had to switch to a bigger bowl once I added the chinese noodles.

at first I was stressed about 'breaking' the noodles, but now having made a full batch, I would definitely toss and coat more vigorously next time. or maybe use a bag and a half of morsels to one bag of noodles. cause you know.. chocolate isn't necessarily a BAD thing to have more of.

this picture makes me hungry and kinda grossed me out at the same time. but see the uncoated spots?? the final products looked and tasted fine with them.. but again.. next time I would say more chocolate.

After the noodles were 'coated', we dropped them on to parchment lined bake sheets.

Rhena helped by 'squooshing' down the nests. I originally thought the shot glass would help to make a bowl-like indentation, but we made the nests smaller (needed at least 15 for her classmates, and again... keeping in mind the recipients were 3 and 4 year olds... didn't want them humongous) so the shotglass really didn't do much shaping. but don't tell her that.

instead of using a pre-fabbed egg or jelly beans as most of the posted noodle nest recipes call for.. I jazzed it up a little and made some 'Robin's Eggs' with blue-dyed white chocolate-coated mini oreos. Rhena decided to jazz up my day by choosing her own clothes... just in case you were wondering.

Once the cookies were dipped and fully coated, I let them cool on parchment.

Once everything had a chance to cool and set; the eggs were "glued" into place with canned frosting. I was GOING to make a batch of stiff royal icing, but opted for ease and availability.

I should have dyed the icing, too.. cause you can see the white upon close inspection.

Plated up and complete.

lessons learned; I would for sure make the nests a little bigger, so I could have more of a bowl shape. Also I would use more chocolate. The varying shade of brown in the final product isn't BAD, but again... more chocolate can't be a bad thing.

Next time I do this, I will play with gum paste.. maybe add some flower decoration? and for sure I will use the royal icing to glue the eggs in. the frosting was just too soft and didn't hold the eggs very well.


Anonymous said...

Very nice! I think it looks more "natural" (as natural as a chocolate nest can look) with some different color tones... was actually wonder if doing a dark and a milk chocolate batch and kind of layering them would work? Orobably just look like a horse past by instead... what do I know!? I think they look great! I'm sure they were a big hit at school. A good thing, indeed, Martha.

Jenni said...

what a cute idea!!! were they a hit at school?