Present your loved one with this anatomically-correct heart, a card ("You have my heart!"), and a ring hidden in the heart! When the heart is cut open, blood gushes out and the blood-soaked ring can be pulled out. Love all around! What sweetheart could resist such a display?
Step 1: What You Need
You will need the following items to make your own bleeding heart:
- One heart-shaped mold (either an anatomically-correct one, or a valentine-heart shaped cake pan)
- 1 large package of Strawberry flavor gelatin (6oz or 170g)
- 1/2 can evaporated skim milk
- Food coloring (the pastes are preferable to the liquids)
- Clean paintbrush to apply the colorings
- Clean produce bag for the blood (produce bags are light and thin)
- Corn syrup and Grenadine for the blood
- Non-stick cooking spray for the mold
I purchased my anatomically-correct mold from The Anatomical Chart Company at www.anatomical.com a number of years ago. You should be able to find one either there, or at science/education/medical specialty places.
Update February 2011: Alternate sources for a mold include http://www.egeneralmedical.com/heargelmol.html and http://www.thefind.com/kitchen/info-heart-gelatin-mold (Thanks mookiemueller !)
Step 2: Mix Up the Heart and Prep the Mold
First, prepare the gelatin mixture using the following directions:
1. Mix 1 cup of boiling water into the gelatin powder. Stir until the powder is dissolved.
2. Add 1/2 a can of evaporated skim milk and stir well.
3. Now, prepare the mold by spraying it lightly with some cooking spray. This will prevent the heart from sticking in the mold later.
4. Sit the mold in a bowl surrounded by a towel to hold it upright. Pour in a small amount of the liquid. Just enough to cover the bottom about a half-inch worth. Stick this in the fridge to cool. We will come back to it later. Put the rest of the liquid aside for now.
Step 3: Make the Blood
Combine Corn Syrup, Grenadine, and red food coloring to make blood.
If you want your heart to OOZE blood, then use more corn syrup for a thicker blood.
If you want your heart to SPURT blood when stabbed, use more grenadine for a thinner blood.
TIP: The color of the blood can be deepened by adding a small amount of green coloring.
Put the blood into the corner of the clean produce bag and tie it off with as little air in it as possible so you have a nice snug blood bag.
The size of the bag should be such that it will fit into the heart mold.
Step 4: Complete the Heart
Make sure the small amount of gelatin mixture we put into the mold has firmed up enough for the blood bag to sit on.
If so, remove from the fridge, cut any excess bag "tail" off the blood bag, and place it carefully in the center of the mold, resting on the firmed-up layer we poured earlier.
Then, fill the rest of the mold with the remaining gelatin mixture and place the heart into the fridge to cool and set.
Allow to chill at least several hours. Preferably overnight.
Step 5: Remove From the Mold and Trim
Once the heart has set, remove the heart from the mold by loosening the edges with your fingers then turning it out onto a plate.
Then, trim away any excess from the edges. Cut at an angle (i.e. make an inward bevel) for a better effect.
With a small spoon, scoop out the arteries up top. Use a straw for the smaller ones.
Step 6: Paint the Heart With Food Coloring
Now we apply some food coloring with a brush to make it look more realistic.
Of course, we're only making look "realistic" in a comic-book sense. The colors won't really be much like a real heart fresh from a ribcage would look - but it will look like what most people expect a heart to look like.
Use purple for the ridged areas shown. Try to paint darker near the bottoms and sides, and lighten up on the tops. You can paint a little red on the top part as a highlight. Just don't overdo it and you should be fine.
Now go over each vein with red. Just a little should do it. Color some parts of the heart's surface with a bit of red too to bring out color.
Now, only a couple more things to do. Trace each vein with a little bit of pale blue. Don't do the whole vein - just enough to give it a tint.
Finally, color in the holes we made in the arteries with black.
Step 7: Presentation!
Now use it in any way you see fit!
- Impressing that cute Goth girl you've been mooning over.
- Driving away someone too square for your tastes.
- Serving as a dessert for a Valentine's Day meal. (Remember, don't serve anyone a piece of plastic bag from inside! To paraphrase Penn and Teller, this is to help you amuse and terrify your guests - not be a criminally negligent dumbass.)
I used a heart similar to this for a past Cannibal-Themed Halloween Supper, so it's not just for Valentine's!