Friday, March 1, 2019

Fake Food Friday - Marzipan Hedgehogs

What's cute, sweet, and a little prickly?  Marzipan hedgehogs!  



For this week's Fake Food Friday, I'm going to talk about these faux-zipan treats made for a production of Don Giovanni at the Santa Fe Opera.  The show was set in the mid 1600s and there is a big banquet scene.  We opted for mostly desserts and finger foods.  Many of which I'll probably be posting for future FFFridays.  

These cute little treats are usually made out of almond paste and shaved almonds, so they'd be a great candidate for salt dough.  However, we were using them at an outdoor venue with the possibility of being stored long term in trailers, so 'real' ingredients would just invite critters to munch on them.  (I personally don't use salt dough all that often, but it's very handy for pastry in most cases.)


If this little guy looks familiar, it's because his brother is our current Instagram icon!  I'm pretty partial to these because they're just so darn cute and spiky.  




Materials: Crayola Model Magic, beads, balsa wood, acrylic paint
Tools: Olfa knife


I found this super cute research picture on a gluten-free recipe blog and figured they'd be pretty easy to recreate, and barring some weird noses, they were!







I opted for Crayola Model Magic for several reasons.  You can find it at practically every craft store, it comes in big tubs, and it's very affordable.  It also dries very quickly, and if you're in the desert like I was, it dries MEGA FAST.  For those who haven't used it, Model Magic is a light, air-dry clay.  Michaels used to have it's own version of MM, which I've also had success with.  I usually opt for the white, because you can mix acrylic paint into it.  (If you add too much, it can get suuuper sticky...)  It's very easy to use, you just pull it out of the bag and it's ready to go.  Always put unused material in an airtight container because it WILL dry out.  
For the eyes, I found some beads in stock.  They were a weird blue and made the hedgehogs look a bit alien...


After forming the bodies, I shaved a a bunch of little pieces off of a stick of balsa and stuck them into the drying form.  It didn't really seem to matter when I did this, the Model Magic is somewhat flexible even when dry, and those shards were pretty sharp... 
(Please enjoy this view of my workspace.  I put wax paper down because the hedgehogs were sticking to the paper a bit.   You can also see the large tub of Model Magic we bought for the show.  We used it for several food projects.  This picture also includes the top 3 things you'll usually find on my desk: a Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencil, an Olfa knife, and my water bottle.  Hydration is VERY IMPORTANT.  Especially in the high desert where you are just right next to the sun and the humidity is basically negative.  I digress.)


Once they were dry and spiked, they were ready to hand over to paints!  In hind sight, I probably should have glued some of the looser spines in, but for the most part they stayed in pretty well.  


One of our props painters sprayed them almond and hand painted their little eyes (Thanks, Lisa!).  We did indeed name them all before sticking them all down.  I also made a riser to stick in the middle of the plate to elevate the center 'hogs.  We used Joe's Sticky Stuff to hold them down, and I think I'll have to make an entire post about that stuff because it's a miracle in a roll.  Unlike most of my food projects, I have zero desire to eat a marzipan hedgehog, but I would happily display a fauxzipan hedgehog on my Weird Shelf Of Stuff.  (Everyone has one of those, right?  Mine includes a fake macaron, a tiny statue of Jésus Malverde, and the most gorgeous copperleaf Cheez-it snowglobe a girl could ask for.)

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That's all for this week's FFFriday!  
Between my workspace and Weird Shelf, I feel y'all learned a lot more about me this week... 












(You can look forward to more gifs in posts because I think they're fun, and there's a very fair chance they'll be from Schitt's Creek, as it's my current tv obsession.)

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