October 31, 2014

Frankenstein's Monster Cupcakes

Do you guys realize that every year I've had this blog, I've done a classic horror movie monster cupcake for Halloween? Last year, I did zombie cupcakes. The year before that, I did vampire fang cupcakes. The year before that, I didn't have a blog.

This year, I knew I wanted to keep that ball rolling, so I asked a friend what monster cupcakes I should make this year. Her answer was immediate: Frankenstein.
But Frankenstein cupcakes had been done to death, and by better decorators than I. Or so I thought. Every Frankenstein cupcake I came across was abso-freakin-lutely stinkin' adorable. Don't get me wrong, I love the cute, but at Halloween, I want something a little more gruesome.

So I sat down to brainstorm. How did I do Frankenstein cupcakes that were a) a little more gruesome, and b) accessible to my general lack of decorating skills?
I went back to the monster's origins. Dead flesh stitched back together and reanimated with the use of lightning and mad science. If the monster was flesh that had been stitched together, I could take green Airheads and "stitch" them together over a cupcake. And the frosting should be red, and I could add some red dessert sauce (I used the syrupy part of cherry pie filling) to make the gaps in the "flesh" look all raw and bloody.

Yes, these are words I used to talk about cupcakes.
I had originally intended to use shoe string licorice to stitch the Airheads together, but I couldn't find any, and I didn't really want to order it online. I ended up using a tube of black gel icing from the grocery store. Cookie icing, or a small batch of royal icing would probably work better, since gel can sometimes run.

The Airheads actually ended up being a little more difficult to deal with than I thought. While they were beautifully pliable after being microwaved for a couple of seconds, they harden back up very quickly. Luckily, I wanted raggedy edges and unevenness, so it ended up working out for me, but that's something to keep in mind. And the cherry pie filling can cause the Airheads to "melt," so either add them right before serving, or skip the pie filling "blood." (You can even skip the gaps in the "skin;" it didn't end up having quite the effect I envisioned)
I also decided to buy a nuts and bolts chocolate mold so I could make the monster's iconic neck bolts. I just melted some Merckens black chocolate wafers with some Merckens super white (Merckens black is really more of a very dark brown-- Wilton's gives you a truer black but Merckens tastes so much better), and dry brushed on some silver luster dust, which made them actually look super realistic. Then I just added a touch of red gel icing around the edge for that added touch of gore. I wanted it to look like the bolts had been jammed right in.

But the decorations don't stop at the top:
I colored the cupcakes green and filled the with more cherry pie filling for added oozey gore when you bite into them.

These cupcakes were a bit time consuming, but easy enough for the novice decorator, I think. Except for the chocolate mold and luster dust, there's not a single thing I used that isn't easy to find, most of which can even be found at the grocery store. The cupcakes can be baked, filled, and frosted ahead of time, too.

Cupcakes: I used my Birthday Cake Cupcakes, but Almond cupcakes would go really well with the cherry pie filling
Frosting: I used the same recipe from my Zombie Cupcakes, just added a little raspberry extract (because I thought it would go with the cherry and the watermelon Airheads) and a little whipping cream.
Filling/Blood sauce: Canned cherry pie filling
Skin: Watermelon Airheads. I liked the color of the watermelon better, but Green Apple would also work
Stitches: Black gel icing (royal icing might work better)
Bolts: Black and super white Merckens wafers, melted and poured into this nuts and bolts chocolate mold, and brushed with silver luster dust
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