Aubrey Beardsley Art Nouveau Oreo Pie
Posted on September 21 2016
Art Nouveau illustration and Oreo pie, together at last! This is Aubrey Beardsley's "Ballerina." In pie-form. Aubrey is my favourite of the Art Nouveau artists - his illustrations of classic Poe stories are hauntingly beautiful. His economic use of lines make his work a perfect candidate for an unforgiving medium like melting chocolate. A bit of strategic simplification is required on your part, but other than that, this is a pretty straight forward design to pull off. Here's how I did it.
Time to create:
- 20 min to make the pie
- 1.5 hours to make the top decoration
- melting chocolate
- mini chocolate balls
- 1 package of Oreos
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 small brick cream cheese
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 litre whipping cream
- 9" pie pan
- masking tape
- parchment paper
- fondu pot and candle, or your own (safe!) chocolate melting rig
- egg beaters
- mixing bowl
- something to smash Oreos with
- cutting boards
Step 1 - Make the pie part
Oreo pie is one of the simplest no-bake pies out there (and so delicious!) You can use any recipe you like, filling a 9" pie pan up to the rim. It is critical that your pie filling, crust, and pie pan rim be exactly level (use a cake leveller if you want it perfect) to ensure a smooth transfer of your chocolate design at the end.
You can check out my recipe for Oreo pie here:
Wrap up your pie and pop it in the freezer when you are done.
Step 2 - Prep your reference image
Find an image of line art that you like online and open it in an image editing program such as Photoshop. Then draw an 8" circle mask around the image and position the figure where you want it to appear on the finished pie.
Unlike stencil-making where you can trace directly off the image on your screen, you actually have to print this image, so I tinted the background grey to save on ink.
Reverse the image (since your final design will be flipped over like an iron-on transfer) and print!
Step 3 - Set up your work area
Set up your chocolate melting station carefully - if you are using tea lights be sure to have a fire extinguisher and oven mitts handy as the wax can ignite if you forget to change your candle out and let it burn too long. Or just buy a proper fondu rig. In any event, safety first!
Tape your reference image down to a flat surface that you can fit in the fridge such as a small cutting board. Then tape a piece of parchment paper securely on top of that. Finally, trace the shape of your pie pan around your image so that when you are flipping your finished pie on top of the chocolate at the end, you'll have these lines to guide your placement.
Step 4 - Paint!
Put on some happy background noise and settle in, this will take a while. For this particular design, it took me about an hour and a half to paint in all the lines with a toothpick and melting chocolate. I don't mind though, it's kind of meditative, and it smells nice. You just have to keep an eye on your candle.
If your chocolate starts getting crumbly, it is too hot. Just blow out the candle for a bit and give it a chance to cool. Or try lifting your bowl higher off the flame. I'm still learning how to keep the chocolate an even consistency for extended periods of time. If you've got any tips, please share!
There is a bit of an art to simplifying the lines as you go - obviously you can't paint in every strand of hair and every leaf on the dress - but just use your best judgement. It's unlikely anyone is so familiar with the original illustration that they'll call you on it. And if they do, they aren't your real friends anyway.
Step 5 - Chill the finished chocolate design
When you are finished filling in the design, pop the whole board into the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden up.
Step 6 - Transfer the design
Take your Oreo pie out of the freezer and your chocolate board out of the fridge. Carefully flip your pie on top of the chocolate board, making sure to fall within your traced guidelines.
Next, carefully flip both pie and board over so that the board is now sitting on top of the pie. Remove the tape holding the board to the parchment and set the board aside.
Gently pat down the chocolate to make it release from the parchment paper and stick to the pie top.
Slowly peel the parchment off and discard. Voila! A perfect transfer. (If your transfer was less than perfect, just touch up with your leftover melting chocolate.)
Step 7 - Finishing touches
I had a bit of a derpy moment here... My original plan was to pipe (for the first time!) a design in chocolate icing around the edge of the pie. But I hadda little issue with the piping bag. In that I don't understand how piping bags work. I bought a kit, figured "how hard can this be?" and, well, see photo above.
But I learned my lesson, have since come to understand that you have to put the nib and ring on the outside of the piping bag, and I finished the pie with some nice chocolate balls which look just fine anyway.
Step 8 - Done!
Done! Take a pie selfie and then nom it. Or bring it to your next Great Gatsby themed party and be a hero. Whatever floats yer pie boat!
Thanks for reading! If you liked this tutorial, please spread the word and give us a like on Instagram and Twitter and all that good stuffs... :)
See ya'll next Wednesday...
π > ∞
Jessica (aka @ThePieous)