Introduction: Halloween Diaries: Dessert Table
This year, I decide to change things up a little for my dessert table. The whole ambience is eerie, disturbing yet pretty and hauntingly beautiful. It might be too morbid for some, but hey! It’s Halloween after all right? If you are serving party foods but want something different, this is definitely your go to project. General project tip: Even though most of my techniques require sculpting from clay, you can always skip this step and use plastic figurines to aid the casting and molding processes. Or if you already have a 3D printer, you can always make your own mold through the software.
Disclaimer: Please DO NOT leave open flames unattended, especially near flammable materials like spider webbing and shredded curtains.
Step 1: Introduction
Step 2: Star of the Table: Silence of the Lamb Cake
You will need:
5, 7 inch cakes ( I used Chocolate & Hot cocoa flavor for the bottom tier)
3, 4 inch cakes (I used Autumn Spice for the top tier)
A batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB)
A batch of Red Mirror Glaze
1 Wafer paper with either printed/drawn Death Hawk Moth
Modelling Chocolate in White, shaped into a Lamb.
2 cake cardboard base
Wafer Paper Instructions:
Select an image you would like to copy. I’m using a drawing of a Death Hawk Moth. Use a graphite pencil and draw on the smooth shiny side. Graphite pencils are non-toxic but that doesn’t mean you should eat them in large quantities. Then trace back the drawing with an edible marker in Black.
Baker’s Tip! Wafer paper tend to wrinkle after long exposure to moisture, hence DO NOT place them ahead of time. Place them just before presentation.
If you wish to skip this step, you can always print your image onto Edible Images sheet at most bakery in major supermarkets for a price.
Step 3: Stacking the Cake
Prep your working table, ensuring cakes are at room temperature. You can use a box cake but ensure they are frozen and thawed slightly before working, as box cakes crumble too easily when freshly baked. Freezing helps to hold their shape better. Start by placing a small dollop of buttercream on the cake board to ensure cake won’t slide around. Then start stacking your cakes. I did mine in alternative flavors.
Step 4: Crumb Coat & Smoothen
Then crumb coat the entire cake, then chill in the fridge
for at least 30 minutes. Repeat the same process for the second tier.
After chilling, spread a second layer of frosting and try to smoothen the sides as smoothly as you can with a bench scraper. Baker’s tip! If you have trouble with this step, you can always do an alternative look: Rustic stucco, tree bark and swirls.Then place the cake in the fridge to chill completely. Meanwhile start making shiny mirror glaze in red, and cool it till 90’ Fahrenheit.
Step 5: Stick the Wafer Paper & Mirror Glaze
After chilling till the buttercream hardens, remove from the fridge and begin doweling for support. Stack the second tier. I stick the cutout moth and painted a little bit of corn syrup around the edges as ‘glue’. Then stick it to the bottom tier.
The pour your red mirror glaze at the top tier and let it drip down slowly. Because we are not coating the whole cake, have fun with the uneven dripping! It will begin to set in a a matter of minutes. For extra gore, i speckled more red gel food dye. Place your topper at the top. Place some skulls if you desire. Then put your cake on a stand and enjoy.
Step 6: Shaping the Lamb
You will need:
1 lbs of white modelling chocolate (storebought or made)
If you would like to save up some money and make your own modelling chocolate, here is Tablespoon’s recipe:
Baker’s Tip!: This recipe is pretty easy but didn’t explain some problems you might faced. Just in case your MC is too crumbly, simply add more corn syrup and knead it back till it’s pliable.
Working with Your MC
Modelling chocolate tend to set very quickly especially in room temperature, and you will know it is hard as a brick. So before working on your sculpture, warm it up in a microwave for 5 seconds burst one or two times only. If not, you can cut a small chunk and knead it with your hands too.
I sculpt my lamb/sheep by using basic horizontal pear first, then slowly make my way sculpting the face, neck and valleys of the body. Then add some more skinny pear shapes for the limbs and tail.
Lastly, using a ball tool, I shaped his face face and make fur by poking it repeatedly with a needle tool.
Step 7: The Finished Lamb
Place the lamb topper on the top tier of the cake. I painted a little slaughter area just below the neck with some red gel food dye, to add some gore.Done!
Step 8: Petrifying Panna Cotta Cherubs
Making Panna Cottas couldn’t be simpler. However, for this project I decided to make it look like terrifying cherub faces (remember the scene from The Haunting? yea..) In addition i made a pomegranate syrup as well.
You will need:
1 & ½ tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoon of cold water
3 cups of heavy cream
1 & 1/2 cups of milk
2/3 cups of white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (i used paste)
Step 9: Making the Babydoll's Face Mold
I started by making a mold using a baby doll that can be
bought in the thrift store. Make sure to clean and disinfect it first. Then i use the polymer clay and press it down on the dolls face. Bake it at 275’ Fahrenheit and let it cool. Then use a another piece of clay to cast it and bake it again. Then using Oomoo silicone, i mold the baked doll face and let it cure for 4-5 hours. Wash the mold before use.
Step 10: Cooking Your Panna Cottas
Cook the Panna cotta according to the recipe’s instruction, then pour into little bowls, reserving about 2 cups for the little faces. Place the ones in the bowl in the fridge to set.
Step 11: Cherub's Faces
. For the faces, i pour just enought to cover the faces and
I freeze it till it’s frozen. Attempting to peel it before it hardens might risk breakage. Then once frozen, peel it away and transfer unto the individual bowl.
Step 12: Pomegranate Sauce
You will need:
1 Pomegranate, picked
1/3 cup of white granulate sugar
½ cup of water
For the pomegranate sauce, simply cut and pick out the pomegranate seeds. Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pot and cook on medium to high heat till the seeds starts to discolor and soft. Spoon out the seeds and discard it after it’s pale. Continue to cook the syrup till it thickens slightly. Then remove from heat and let it cool. You can add a few drops of lemon juice to add some acidity back.
Once cooled, spoon some syrup into the individual bowls.
Step 13: Blood, Guts & Skulls Eclairs
You will need:
A batch of Pate Choux dough https://www.marthastewart.com/349990/pate-choux
A batch of Red Mirror Glaze recipe https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mir...
Raspberry Cream Filling
White Chocolate Skull candy
Semi sweet chocolate chips, melted (for drizzling)
Recipe for the Raspberry Cream Filling:
6 oz of fresh Raspberries
½ cup of white granulated sugar
2 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of lemon juice *optional
1 cup of cold Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ of sugar
Red Gel food coloring
Step 14: Raspberry Sauce
Place raspberries, sugar and lemon juie in a sauce pot on
medium heat. Crush the fruit with a spatula and mix till it purees. As soon as it starts to disintegrate and bubbles slightly, add a few drops of water into the cornstarch to dissolves it into a slurry. Pour the slurry into the sauce pot and mix. Let it boil gently until it thickens and doesn’t look milky. Remove from heat and strain the puree to remove seeds. Chill in the fridge until it’s cool to touch.
Step 15: Turn Your Sauce Into Cream!
Beat the whipped cream and sugar till stiff peaks. Then add
in your food coloring. Once stiff, stop mixing and fold in your raspberry puree.
Step 16: Baking, Cooling, Piping & Dipping
After the pate a choux doughs are baked and cooled
completely, slice them in halves. Piped the filling on the bottom half and chill in the fridge/freezer. Dip th upper half into the mirror glaze and place some skull candy and drizzled chocolate to decorate. Keep in the fridge till ready to serve.
Step 17: Jar of Teeth & Mini Skull Candy
These candies like most of the project for the Dessert Table,
would require molding and casting processes. Even though I individually carved and shaped them from Sculpey’s Original Polymer Clay, you can use a collector’s human and animal teeth for this project...but it’s sorta creepy..
You CAN use this 3D molds for ANYTHING. Chocolate, Ice cubes, fondant, clay, resin...You name it!
You will need:
Sculpey’s Original Polymer Clay
Mini Ball tool
Oomoo’s Smooth Silicone (Food Safe varity)
Mini Ball tool: https://www.amazon.com/ARTISTS-BEST-Piece-Rounded-Sculpting/dp/B00VUG6XKY/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1510372153&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=sculp+mini+ball+tool
Containers: Dollar Tree & most major supermarkets. Party/picnic utensils aisle.
Step 18: Sculpting & Baking
After sculpting your clay pieces, you will need to bake them at 275 ’Fahrenheit for 15 Minutes, for every ¼ inch thick. Cool it completely before molding.
I place my baked clay pieces individually into disposable to-go condiment containers and plastic tupperwares . Prepare your silicone as manufacturer’s directions. Pour over the pieces and let it cure for at least 4 hours depending on thickness of the silicone.
Once cured, wash the molds and let it dry completely. Then you are ready to start your project!
Step 19: Making White Chocolate Candy Time!
I piped my white chocolate into this molds and to speed up,
i placed them in the freezer and it would harden in less than a minute. Repeat untill you achieve your desired quantity.
Tip! If you have trouble pushing the object out, cut a small slit (like an episiotomy..) on either or both sides on the hole.
You can also use milk, dark chocolate, hard candy or even water to make cute little ice cubes!
Step 20: Charmingly Creepy Curtains
You will need:
3-4 panel Sheer netted curtains (I use Ikea’s curtains)
1 cup of Instant coffee ground
6 quart hot water
First you need to warm up the water, either by boiling it or have it straight from the tap. Dissolve your coffee ground completely. If your pot is too small, transfer it into a bucket. Submerged your curtains and let it sit in there for an hour or untill it becomes noticebly stained. Once stained, remove from the coffee water, wring it and let it dry in bunches to create excessive wrinkles.
Once it is completely dry, shred and create big and small holes with your scissors. (Optional* i dirty my curtains even more with my bronzer and black eyeshadow)
I place some fairy lights before i hang my curtains randomly. It helps create a soft glow to the dessert area (very inviting!) Done!
Step 21: Benevolent Branches
You will need:
3 Fallen tree branches, de leaf
2-3 Garden hanging hooks or heavy duty sticker hooks
Collect freshly fallen tree branches and remove all the leaves. Ensure there are no insects, fungus or thorns on your branches. DO NOT USE branches from dead trees as they may contain termites and mold.
Tape the branches together. Drill (or remove tape from) the hooks onto the ceiling 2 to 3 feet apart depending on the length of your tree branches. Tie a thread at the two ends of the branches and tie a loop on the other end of the thread for hanging. Hang on the hooks, done!
Suggestions: Place a few spiders, webbing, upside down bats or roses to decorate your tree branch. I placed some dead crysanthemums on mine...nothing says Dead people’s flowers more than mums..
Decor tip! Candles make a great accent to the gloomy and morbid feel of this project, but do be careful!