four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie cupcake
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Ahhhh ha ha, I was so tempted to make a cupcake from the original verse from 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' ...
Instead I went with the modern to version to tie in with this cute retro pie bird from Tala that my friend Jacinta gave me.
Thanks Jacinta, I love my pie bird :)
Live birds inside pies were actually served as an entremet during dinners in the 1500's. An "amusement" between courses, written about in Christoforo Ji Messiaburgo's cookbook on how to prepare a banquet, 'Banchetti composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale'.
Today's cupcake uses simple shapes, I've made a smaller cupcake but you could use a variation of the same design in a larger cake.
I use the heavily fondanted (that's not a word, but you know what I mean) cupcakes as place setting markers, or central cake surrounded by the eating cupcakes.
For a nursery rhyme theme go with the other verses, perhaps golden foil wrapped chocolate coins for...
Mini honey cakes for...
Start making today's cupcake by covering your ganached or butter cream topped cupcake with a thin layer of fondant. Today I use americolor ivory for the "pastry" colour.
Here I was still deciding what size bird head to go with, small if you want 24 birds in the pie or larger if you want the pie bird look.
Make your beaks, heads, cherries, wings etc with coloured fondant. I used a black food marker for the centre of the eyes and white food colour on the tip of a tooth pick to create a highlight on the eyes.
Roll more ivory coloured fondant out thinly and cut a circle big enough to cover the already fondant covered cupcake. Dampen the edges of most of the round (leave a little undampened so you can lift edge if you want a bird popping it's head out). Crimp the edges.
Cut, snip and generally poke holes through the top layer of fondant where you want your beaks, birds etc to be. Colour fondant using petal dusts and a small soft artists brush. I used Caroline's petal dusts, in brown, egg yellow and cream.
Fun part now... start inserting all your little pieces. Use a dampened paintbrush, water pen or cake glue to attach your pieces. Allow to dry and you've got your self a cute little cupcake that could be part of a major theme for your baby shower or the like event.
Happy Baking :)
Trivia: Four and Twenty pies are the iconic Australian meat pie synonymous with attending a football match.
Prefer a more realistic black bird... learn to a make a Raven.
Butterflies more your thing, learn to make a beaded sugar butterfly