I’m always up for a cupcake challenge, especially a nerdy one. However, my friend Autumn was having a baby shower and she special requested cupcakes themed for the tv show Game of Thrones. In the show Daenerys eats the heart of a horse to give her unborn son strength. Uh…I’m not even going to link to that clip, just…yeah.
Autumn, never one to miss an opportunity to incorporate pop culture/fantasy/gore into a party – baby shower or no, had to have horse heart cupcakes. (I made normal not-so-gross cupcakes for other guests, like her Grandma.)
I have a hard time making things that aren’t pleasant to look at, (I like cute things!) and this was a challenge. When the Baby saw them and gagged…well, I knew I was right on track.
16 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup cold water
red velvet cupcakes
cream cheese frosting (recipe here)
2/3 cup guava jelly
red gel food dye
After many sketches and ideas, I decided to make the heart out of pâte de fruit – which is basically a French fruit jelly, think of a more solid jell-o. And I bought anatomically correct heart molds from my local candy supply shop. Me: “Do you have heart molds? No I mean real hearts.” The store: “Of course! What size would you like?” Craziness.
To make the pâte de fruit put the thawed strawberries in the blender and pulse until smooth. Then add the jam and sugar and puree it all together.
Strain the puree into a large pot and then boil for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t boil over. Set aside.
In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin packs over the cold water. Once the gelatin is absorbed (into a gross clump) microwave it until the gelatin dissolves. Approx 15 seconds, depending on your microwave.
Stir the dissolved gelatin into the fruit puree and let it cool down slightly.
Spoon the puree into the heart molds, filling it up to the top. My molds were for lollipops and using the sticks actually helped get them out of the mold easier.
Place the filled molds in the freezer. Even tho they become solid, they thaw out perfectly and retain their shapes.
When you are ready to unmold, pop them out and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Slide them off the lollipops stick and place them on top of the frosted cupcakes. The white frosting helped the heart show up a little better on top of the cupcake.
For the oozy ‘blood’ I added a touch of red food gel dye to the guava jelly and whisked it quickly to loosen it up. I spooned that over the hearts to give a more realistic look.
The pâte de fruit held up great and really took to the molds! The hearts looked very real in person (ew) but thankfully were still tasty! May Autumn and her new baby have a happy, healthy future! (I hope her Grandma didn’t freak out.)