Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zombies! ...scare me

I was asked to make something for the office Halloween party and when instructed to make it "gory" and "gross", I had to abandon the adorable pumpkin truffles I was imagining making. I came across this zombie cake by Dessert By Candy last year and looooooved the way it looked! And, also loving a challenge, I decided it was perfect for my needs.

I knew I wouldn't make that intense of a cake for a casual office party - the recipe she uses seems more of a one-layer, dense, flourless cake. Instead, I fell back on my favorite chocolate, the Beatty's Chocolate Cake Ina Garten put out a while ago. I use it for everything, I swear; it's delicious! Then, because this was supposed to be gory, I made my OTHER favorite chocolate accompaniment, raspberry filling! Like BLOOD! Get it??

That left the decoration which was really my focus from the beginning. The fingers are made of marzipan, which I've never worked with before. As I opened the box to find an air-tight tube, I got a little nervous to find the stuff hard as a brick. I should've done more research but I threw the log (unwrapped) in the microwave and heated it slowly until it was more pliable. It started to dry out immediately and I had to work VERY fast to get anything resembling a shape from it. In the end, I wasn't 100% happy with the results (because they didn't look like Dessert by Candy's) but everyone said it worked because the hand was a dead zombie so all the cracks were fine! (And the nails are almond slices, attached with extra ganache.)

Ultimately, the whole thing was a hit! Happy belated Halloween! (And get ready for pumpkin coming your way!)