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I had an idea for halloween, which involves baking a sponge cake and piping icing on it to make it look like a brain. For bit more authenticity, I was hoping to get some red jam or something to vein the cake.

After a bit more thinking about it, to get proper veins, I'd need something like strawberry bootlaces.

  • Has anyone done anything like this?
  • Any problems with it?
  • Is there a better way to go about it?
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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I wouldn't bake them in, for a start, as I wouldn't be confident of what the bootlaces would do in the oven. Thinking about it, a possible way of going about it is to 'thread' the bootlaces through the cake before you ice it.

Cut the cake in half (vertically), get a big needle like a darning needle or something similar, and (carefully) thread a few laces through, cutting them off flush with the surface, then stick the cake back together with icing or jam and pipe on the outer icing. The tricky thing will be getting them to follow curvy paths.

The other thing you could do is use said needle (or perhaps a chopstick) to poke little tunnels through the cake, then pipe red jam into them. This would perhaps give a nicer result - it might be a bit odd to be eating a slice of cake and then to suddenly be chewing a rubbery bootlace.

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I hadn't thought about threading at all - great idea, thanks. – HorusKol May 16 '11 at 22:51
I like the idea of the surprise texture change a rubbery bootlace could give! – Debbie A May 22 '11 at 18:45

You can try cooking a cake with jam/jelly already in it, so that the stuff will ooze in appropriate places. That will work better on a sponge mix that is short on flour, so it becomes a pudding. You could serve that with green colored "custard".

Nothing looks more like a brain than a cauliflower cooked without cutting! That could be "decorated" with cranberry sauce and served with "MEAT" - don't tell 'em what the meat is!

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The pudding/custard sounds fun... I personally don't like cauliflower, and was looking for a sweet dish rather than veggie, but nice idea. – HorusKol May 16 '11 at 2:46

Do the "veins" have to be liquid? Why not use red food coloring on a small reserved portion of your batter, then swirl some of the retained batter as you would with a marbled pound cake?

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I'd considered the marbling, but really wanted a way to get nice stringy red veins ;) – HorusKol May 16 '11 at 22:50

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