Difficulty Rating 2 of 3
Make the decorations the day before baking.
Since zombies are already undead, killing them again isn't easy. One of the less well-known techniques for surviving a zombie attack is to sever your zombie assailant's spinal cord. This minty, chocolaty delight gives you pointers on where exactly to insert the knife. Each cupcake is topped by a generous swirl of chocolate ganache. The head is attached to the cupcake with a toothpick, so be sure to warn your guests to remove the toothpick before they take a bite.
1. The day before, make the decorations. Using 3 oz of the Half & Half (fondant/gumpaste mixture), roll two 1/4-inch balls and two 1/2-inch balls for each cupcake, to create the pelvis (you will have some Half & Half left over for the skulls). Roll out the larger balls into ovals and press them flat on to two strips of acetate, each 4 by 11 inches (see page 11 of the book). Using a paintbrush, paint the facing edges of the 2 flat ovals with water and press together so that they are attached and the ovals narrow at the bottom.
2. Paint the bottoms of the ovals with water. Press the 2 small balls flat below the joined ovals to form the bottom of the pelvic bone. The frosting shape should resemble a butterfly at this stage.
3. Paint water in the center of the pelvic bone, and press on 2 to 3 mint candies, side by side, to create the base of the spinal column. Using the small end of a medium plain piping tip, cut 4 holes from the pelvic bone. Repeat to make another 11 pelvic bones.
4. To make the skulls, roll 12 ovals from the remaining Half & Half. Use a craft knife to cut partway into each oval, about a third of the way up, to create the mouth Use the piping tip again to indent circles for eyes. With the blunt end of a toothpick, make an indentation below the eyes to create the nose. If desired, use the black edible marker pen to paint in the eyes. Gently push a toothpick into the base of each skull and let the decorations dry, uncovered, overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cupcake liners. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then stir in the milk and mint extract.
6. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into the mixture and then fold in using a large wooden spoon. Spoon the batter into the paper cases. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the tops of the cupcakes. Bake for about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until well risen and firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
7. When the cupcakes are cool, pipe a round swirl of Dark Chocolate Ganache on the top of each. Press the pelvis on one side of the cupcake, and use 6 to 7 mint candies, placed side by side, to create a spinal cord.
8. Place the tip of a Knife into the ganache at the place where the mint candies end on each cupcake. Use Piping Gel "Blood" in a pastry bag or parchment paper cone fitted with a fine plain piping tip to add some gore.
9. Use a toothpick to hold the severed skull to the side of each cupcake about 1/2 inch away from the spinal cord, to make it look as if it has dropped off.
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This page created October 2011
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