Hello fellow ghouls! Guess what special day is tomorrow? That's right, it's Friday the 13th! Never mind that nothing bad had ever really happens to people on that date. I take note of the date because it gives me an excuse to make something deliciously ghoulish. I mean Hallowe'en is soooo many months away!
This year's Friday the 13th eyeball cupcakes are for Mr NQN's colleagues at work. They have all learned the hard way that he is nothing but the naughtiest trickster who delights in playing tricks on them. He will literally turn anything into a chance to play a prank on some unsuspecting soul. A few weeks ago, one of his colleagues was walking down a street in the city when he found a memory card on the ground. Curious, he took it back to work and put it in his computer. In it he saw that there were surveillance files from a government agency.
Nervous, he told a few of his colleagues about it including Mr NQN (big mistake-huge! I hear you say and you'd be right). Mr NQN's ears grew pointy and his nose long and a cheeky grin spread across his face. He quietly slipped his mobile phone out of his pocket and switched it on silent. Around the corner he texted his colleague with the message.
"We know what you have..."
His colleague was nervy and decided to go for a walk with another workmate, a tall man. Mr NQN saw this and then texted him
"Don't be alone with tall agents."
Then unable to resist with more cryptic texts "I know what you did last Summer."
By now his colleague was on the verge of wetting his pants, seeing possible snipers on every rooftop. That's when Mr NQN pounced with his last message.
"Orders are to take you out"
He then wheeled his chair over to him grinning his monkey grin at his poor white as a sheet colleague.
These cupcakes are for that poor soul. After Mr NQN told me about what he did, after I wiped the tears from my eyes laughing, I promised Mr NQN that I would make some cupcakes for his victim. But of course they wouldn't be normal ones would they? I saw this idea in my new favourite book "Zombie Cupcakes" by Zilly Rosen and they are surprisingly easy to make and mainly require the fashioning of an eyeball which is really quite easy.
I love baking with sour cream and buttermilk because it gives cakes such a moist texture and I thought that the swirls of chunky jam would give the cake an appropriately blood clot look. The eyeballs themselves are very easy to make using fondant and basic cutters and for the blood I just used more of the jam. And voila, a cupcake to perhaps scare the pants off any nervy soul!
Happy Friday the 13th for tomorrow! So tell me Dear Readers, have you ever found anything mysterious or interesting? And has anything ever had happened to you on Friday the 13th?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Sour cream, rhubarb and berry cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 150g/5 ozs butter
- 1 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup / 250grams light sour cream
- 1 cup cake flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 heaped tablespoons rhubarb or strawberry jam (chunky strawberry is good=blood clots!) I used an Anathoth rhubarb and red berry jam
- White fondant
- Chocolate fondant
- A small amount of blue fondant
- Edible red ink pen
- Rhubarb or strawberry jam
- A few drops of red food colouring
- You will also need a little water and a small paintbrush
Buyer's tip: You can make cake flour by placing 2 tablespoons of cornflour in a measuring cup and filling up to the 1 cup level with plain all purpose flour.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 170C/340F and line a cupcake tin with liners. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time combining well after each addition. In another bowl mix the baking powder and flour together until well combined.
Jam swirls aka blood clots!
Step 2 - In alternate lots add the sour cream and flour until mixed together. Add the jam and swirl through so that you get streaks of "blood" and clots. I know it's gruesome but hey you're making an eyeball cupcake so don't give me that look ;) Using a mechanical ice cream scoop or two spoons scoop the thick batter into the prepared tin.
Step 3 - Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
I know, it looks like a giant sperm...
Cutting out the irises
Bloodshot sperm ahem eyes!
Step 4 - To make eyeballs: just pinch of a round of white fondant and roll it into a ball and pulling a little at one end to make the tapering connecting tendon. Roll out the blue fondant very thinly and using the large end of a piping tip, cut out a blue circle. Affix this to the end of the eyeball to make the iris using a little water applied with the paintbrush. Roll out a small amount of the brown fondant thinly and cut a smaller disc out and affix this to the blue fondant with water to make the pupil. Roll out some balls of brown fondant and shape into a sausage form and use your fingers to shape into an eyebrow-they are surprisingly easy to make. Use a small knife to draw eyebrow hair patterns in the eyebrows.
From ball to sausage to eyebrow
Stick your thumb into the centre of the cupcake-yes it's fun!
Step 5 - Take the cooled cupcake and stick your thumb into the centre to make a depression. Brush the cupcakes with a little jam (I used white chocolate ganache as I had some handy but that's an extra item to make) and roll out the white fondant to cut out rounds that will fit on top of the cupcakes. Affix these using the stickiness of the jam making sure to press down the centre.
Step 6 - Add a few drops of red food colouring to 2-3 tablespoons of jam and mix together. Fill the centre with the red jam. Affix the eyeball to the side of the cupcake as shown using a little water and the paintbrush and affix the eyebrow above it. You're now ready to scare the pants off anyone that plays any tricks on you ;)