Friday, 19 December 2014

Meringue Santa Beards

Nope. Not kidding.

Today is the day of my work Christmas party and our mission, should we have chosen to accept it, was to bring something along for the 'photo booth'.  This is what I am taking in my work bag.

What I Used:
1 egg white
40g white super fine caster sugar
[right click to save and print to your computer]

I started with a classic meringue girls base [40g of super fine caster sugar heated in the oven
and then gradually added to a whisked egg white until glossy and firm].
I then lined a tray with baking paper and drew a template beard to place underneath it:
I then used the back of a spoon to start spreading a generous layer of the meringue within
the shape of the template:
Once complete, I placed a wooden skewer at the bottom, with a good 2 inches or so covered
by the meringue to ensure it held in place: was then baked in a low heat oven [around 90 degrees C] for 2 hours until crisp and easily lifted from the baking paper [add on more time if the meringue does not remove easily]:
Beats a beard cardboard cut out any day.
How have we been having Christmas without them?
Wish me luck for getting them all to the party in one piece.
Have a great weekend - we're nearly on the home straight! x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Meringue Snowmen

Do you wanna build a snowman?
These little meringue treats are the perfect kitchen craft for kids big and small - either on their own
 or as a food toppers.

1 egg white and 40g of fine caster sugar made a total of 10 snowmen for me - but it all really depends on the sizes you want to create.  Using my new favourite method [the meringue girls way] I whipped up my meringue and transferred in to a piping bag:
Creating a variety of sizes, I piped meringue flat balls [sort of] around my lined baking tray - used the tip of the piping bag to level off tops so that stacking them later is easier [but don't worry if you forget/don't, I have a trick later on to do this without smashing the meringue]:
Once you have created as many meringue snowmen pieces as possible, pop the tray in a oven at around 90 degrees C for 2 hours:
Once ready [they should be easily removed from the baking sheet] you can start building.
Arrange your shapes so that you can stack them - if you have a shape that needs leveling at the top or bottom, simply apply a little pressure against a work surface and wriggle the meringue a little to flatten.
Then attach your snowballs together with a little melted chocolate or icing:
...and as a final detail [and excuse to buy more chocolate], I added a chocolate Rolo hat to a few,
fixed in place with more melted chocolate:
[do I just about get away with it? If time had allowed, I would have swapped the chocolate buttons for giant ones, to place under the rolo and act as a hat rim - next year.....]

Once you are happy with your heights and snowman shapes, you can begin decorating.
With a black icing writing pen, I added very simple eyes and buttons:
[you could also use sprinkles and sugar shapes to create decorative buttons]
...before finally adding an orange nose:
[if you have time, you could pipe royal icing details such as a carrot nose, scarf or piped chocolate arms to attach with more chocolate or icing]
They don't exactly look like Raymond Briggs snowmen, but they still look pretty cute.
add cocktail sticks to the bottoms to help secure them in any cakes, cupcakes or Christmas cakes:
more Christmas meringue here.
see you next time x
P.S - sorry if Frozen songs are now stuck in your head for the rest of eternity [as if they weren't already].

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Glitter Reindeer

I've been pretty restrained with the glitter so far - let's make up for it.

What I Used:
Plastic reindeer toys
Gold Nail Varnish
PVA glue
Loose Gold Glitter

To start this simple, easy and festive DIY, begin coating your plastic toys in a layer or two of
nail varnish [alternatively, spray paint / paint] - don't worry about covering every inch of the toy
 - the main aim of this is to create a block of colour and have a base not too dissimilar to the glitter colour if any come loose or doesn't stick to an area:
 Leave to dry [this wont take too long] and then start covering each toy in a thin layer of pva glue:
...before dunking in to a bowl of loose glitter and covering completely:
Remove from the bowl and stand the toys up to dry completely:
 Tap off any excess and add more glue and glitter if any large areas managed to be missed.
Secure your glitter in place with a generous spray of hairspray:
 ...and then use your glitter reindeer to embellish, decorate and add a little sparkle.
Here are a few ideas: jar tops, sweetie jar embellishments and decorative display:

Alternatively, you can add a step before the nail varnish to create place holder, like in this Easter post.

More plastic animal related DIYs here, here and here.
see you next time x