Remember the time I made cakes that looked like brains?
The unavoidable answer to that question is ‘no, what are you talking about?’ because I never did write a blog post about them. Until now!
I only have phone photos – and low lighting phone photos at that – but you’ll be able to get the idea. These were a Hallowe’en project. The G man and I dressed up as Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
Zombie Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, of course. Paul Zombiewood and Mary Deady, to give them the names the G man dreamed (or nightmared) up.
A plate of brain cakes seemed like the kind of thing Mary Berry would do if she was a zombie, so I put some together to serve as a prop, in case the floral jacket wasn’t clue enough to our Hallowe’en identities.
The cupcake on the bottom is your basic vanilla sponge. I also made cake pops with the same batter – half as many cake pops as cupcakes. Then, when everything was baked and cooled, I sliced the cake pops in half, so I had half-spheres to perch on top of the cakes. These were the base for my brains. I liked this much better than having a solid lump of icing on top of every one – combined with the cake and jam, it would have been seriously, teeth-grindingly sweet. There is only so far I’m willing to sacrifice taste for style, you know.
I made a vanilla buttercream, which I dyed a lilac-grey colour, then added a touch of red dye until the icing was a slighly mottled pink-grey – like raw meat. Appetising, no? I mixed it up too far, actually, so the end result was more pink than anything else. I suppose that did make them look a bit healthier, and your discerning zombie would eat nothing but the healthiest brains available, preferably free-range and organic ones.
I filled each cake with strawberry jam, leaving a big splodge on top of the cake to stick my half-cake pops to. Once they were all on, it was time to decorate – if I’d made the brains first, then tried to stick them on, I’d definitely have flattened and smudged the icing. The brain detail was piped on top with a fine nozzle. It was painstaking work, it must be said. I applied a straight line right across the middle, then used a back and forth looping motion to fill in each half, with any gaps being filled by extra little lines and loops.
They came out suitably gory, just right for a Hallowe’en party. For a last-minute idea (hence the lack of photos), they ended up being pretty great. This year I’ll be more prepared.
Unless Paul Zombiewood resurfaces and eats my actual brains.