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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 10/02/13

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LOOK OUT BARBARA! IT'S ZOMBIE BRAIN TRUFFLES!

 This diy/recipe comes from www.instructables.com.   They can even be served or given to someone in a bleeding heart box.  Chocolate!   Chocolate!   Chocolate!








Okay, I fell in love with Zombies at the time the movie Fido came out.  I'm also a researcher for the ZRS and my husband is the one who got me into these monsters.  Those are the reasons behind these Zombie Truffles!  There was a part in Fido, where Mr. Theopolis (the neighbor) comes over and says "Zombie Troubles?" and that's where my chocolate brains got their name!  I put different things in my candy, and you can always change it up to best fit your taste buds!

** This is to celebrate May, which is Zombie Awareness Month!  :)

** Most important part to remember, if you use this to gift, or to display, you want to think about your presentation.  You want the end product to fit the mood that you're going for.  :)  The rest should be easy!

** Here is a message from the CDC on the Zombie preparedness topic, and my chocolate video below.  :)








------------------------------ My favorite scene from Fido !! ---------------------------

http://youtu.be/RNurrFsufcA




Step 1Stuff You Need!

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*White chocolate melts (wilton)
*Black food coloring
*Some stuff for blood
*Brain mold (candy or ice)
*Stuff to put in your candy
*Ziploc bags
*A way to present end product
*Coffee cup to melt chocolate in microwave
*Spoons, etc.




Step 2Prep!

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If you want to put things into the candy, make sure to have them ready, in small enough sizes to fit into the mold when it's ready.  Have your chocolate ready to melt, arrange everything nicely so that you aren't scrambling at the last minute and think about what you want to do.  :)  Be ready because you need to have all decisions made before you melt the chocolate.




Step 3How to make bloods!





Okay, I did two kinds of blood at once.  Basically, I wanted something thick and disgusting.  I took from my cake supplies and mixed a crazy, nasty bloody mess out of the things you see in the photo.  You can always choose to make yours differently or use other ingredients.  He tasted the bloody brains and said they were good.  That makes it a success for me.  :)

You can go one of two ways...taste and "feel" or...accuracy.  I've seen red syrup and we all know that it represents blood but doesn't look like it.  These things that I used, they really added up to the look.  Maybe not the sprinkles...but I had to throw something pretty in there. haha.  And the bonus is that it passed the taste-test.

After I mixed the bloody concoction, I scooped it with a spoon into a baggie for piping into the brains when the chocolate was melted.  The container was still full of blood residue so I added some Mirin or rice wine and it held the consistency for the drippy blood that I wanted to drizzle with.  PERFECT!  You can use some other alcohol if you want.  You won't really be tasting it much, anyways.  It's just to decorate with.  :)  Then I poured my drippy blood into a ziploc to use it as the last step.  (Drizzle each brain lightly.)




Step 4Melt Chocolate & Add Color!

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Okay, I may be one of the only people who use the microwave.  But it's easy.  I put the chocolate melts into the coffee cup, about 3/4 full.  Put it in the microwave and wait 20-30 seconds, pull it out and stir them.  They won't be melted, but you want to keep them moving.  Put it in again for another 15 seconds or so, pull them out... they should start to lose their shape.  You will see the edges melting away into blobs.  At this point, you want to mix really well.  Toss them around in the cup, get them moving.  If your chocolate starts to melt even more and you can't see the shapes anymore, don't put it back in the microwave.

But if they aren't melting, put them back in.  Another 10-15 seconds and pull them out, mix again, help them melt by moving them around and constantly mixing.  This will make your chocolate super smooth, not burnt and ready to color!

Get TINY TINY TINY drops of the black coloring and put them in one at a time, mix into the chocolate really well.  Keep adding TINY bits of color until you get the result you want.  It's important not to make charcoal brains!  :)




Step 5Pouring Grey Matter!

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Okay, I just used a spoon.  Once it was to the color I desired, I got a spoon full of chocolate, dropped a small dollop into the brain cavity and poked it down with the tip of the spoon.  You want to put less chocolate if you want to put things inside of your candy.  Just remember to make room, so that you can seal the top of it.  ( Put 1/4 full of chocolate, then filling, then top it off with another small dollop.  Use your spoon to smooth out the peak and you're done!

Fillings I used:  blood mixture, heath toffee crunchy candy stuff, marshmallows, sugared jelly candy.




Step 6Fridge!

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Put your chocolates, carefully, onto a flat surface into your fridge and be patient.  If you take them out too early, the tops will have set, but the bottom of the mold won't be set.  One way is to feel the tips of the brains to see if they are cold from the outside of the mold.

After 10-20 minutes, they should be done.  Mine just popped out really easily and I didn't use any spray in the mold or anything.  Rinse and clean out any leftover brain chunks in the mold, that way your next set gets the same impressions.

*TIP* You can change the color of your chocolate each time you mold a new set, and put different fillings in them so that you know what color has what item inside.  Also, a coffee cup of chocolate pretty much takes up the whole mold, so it's easy to cycle them through, clean stuff up, let them chill and begin again.



  

Step 7Brain Sculpt!





Everyone makes mistakes!  I over pour, you over-pour...that's life.  :)  So what you do, is take a knife that is too sharp to be using this close to your fingertips and try not to cut yourself open like I did.  4 times.  :)

Basically, you scrape the edges and the chocolate will shave off.  You can do this to the flat bottoms of the brains too, if they aren't level and you want them to be.  When you clean up your edges, you just need to run your fingertip around the edge and it will round and smooth it out with your natural body heat.  It's cool.  :)




Step 8Presentation!





Ways to present ---

Gift, for a friend, loved one, surprise, in a lunch, at a party, etc.

Think about whether you just want to throw it in something, or if you want to make it elaborate, or if you need a platter, maybe you want a gift box...you can do this any way you want.  If it were for a party, I would probably make it up on a silver platter with TINY round shreds of lettuce with a brain on top of each piece and blood drizzled atop each of them.

For a lunch, just throw them into a ziploc with some drizzled blood and zip it up.

My idea was to put them into a Valentines Candy box.  I used cut up napkins to put under each brain, carefully.  If you use tissue, napkins, soft materials like this, make sure that you do it close to the presentation time because the napkins will absorb the blood and look sloppy.  Another great idea is fabric.  White fabric, cut into tiny pieces.  That would be really cool.  :)  Strong, and visually creepy.

Most importantly, enjoy!  Grey chocolate will look the most accurate, but if you don't like white chocolate, do them in milk chocolate, or dark, or whatever you'd like.  I made these for the accuracy and gave them to my husband.  I don't like white chocolate and these brains look gross, so it just adds to the effect for me. LOL.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RAVENS AND CROWS!!


The Raven


The Crow







   Raven are the largest members of the crow family, so it's only natural that the two species look similarly.  Ravens are clearly spotted when they are next to crows by their sheer body size.  But ravens and crows do not always conveniently stand next to each other when a human observer is trying to identify them.  Then, the observer has to look at other features on the bird.





The Crow




   A Note On Species Differential
   There are several species of ravens, but the most familiar species is Corvus corax, or the common raven.  Unfortunately, this species is not so common now due to hunting and habitat loss.  Other species of ravens in the world do share similar characteristics, including a mostly black body.  There are raven species that have dark brown feathers or white marks on the back of their necks.  Also there are dozens of species of crows in the world.  Many of these species come in other colors, making it easy to distinguish them from ravens.  But sometimes, a species like the carrion crow  comes in an all-black sub-species.  Then, there are species like the American crow that are also all black, no matter what their age, sex or subspecies.

Beak Shape
   Crows have a basic long spear-like beak shape that's similar to many other species of songbirds.  Ravens have vastly different bill shapes than crows.  They almost seem grotesque in comparison.  If looking at the bill profile, it seems to curve upwards into a shape that bird watchers call "hooked".  One species in Africa, the thick-billed raven has a bill so large that it almost looks like a second head.
   Some species like the common raven and the Australian raven will also have feathers on the part of the bill closest to the head.  In comparison, a crow's bill will be feather-free.  Some species of crows will have a small but prominent hook at the very end of the top half of the beak.  In the thick-billed raven, this tip is white while the rest of the beak is black,  however you have to get pretty close in order to see that.





The Raven




Tail Shape
   The only way to see the tail shape of the bird properly is to see the bird in flight.  Since it flies by so fast, just look at the basic shape the silhouette of the tail creates.  In many all-black crow species, this tail shape is triangular.  But in ravens, the shape is usually more like a wedge.

Attitude
   Although individual birds vary, in general ravens are much shyer than crows.  However, juvenile ravens have often been observed behaving as bold as crows while their elders admonish them from their hiding places.

LADY BATHORY "COUNTESS OF BLOOD"!






    Lady Bathory, "Countess of Blood", the first female vampire, may have been the bloodiest of all. She married into nobility and was the distant cousin of the vampire that started it all in modern time, Vlad Dracula, "Vlad the Impaler". She lived a life of leisure and peace in her Hungarian castle home.
    That is until, so they say, a servant girl spilled a drop of her own blood upon her while bathing and grooming her. The countess noticed how the young servants blood made her skin seem rejuvenated and fell in love with its hypnotic effect.
    Soon the countess was luring more and more local females to her mountain perch to be sacrificed to her. When the local flesh started drying up, the countess started a so-called "finishing school" for daughters of nobility and continued her reign of terror until she was caught in the early 1600's.
    She devised many ways to make this harvest of blood more painful and efficient, she did this by including tools that pulled chunks of flesh from victims that were hoisted high above her bath. She did this all with the help of her four loyal servants.
Though there is some confusion on why she killed the girls, it was rumored that they were all killed so that the countess could bathe in their blood. It was said that the town's people hated her so much that she seldom left the confines of the castle.
    When brought to trial most of her co-conspirators were found guilty and sentenced to death but Elizabeth because of her nobility was allowed to escape the executioner. She died a couple of years later. It is rumored that she was allowed to live out her life in the castle with no sunlight or mirrors and it was boarded up with only a small slot where food was placed once a day.
    Tales of the pealing of flesh from live victims and the feasts of blood have added much to folklore, movies and dime novels for centuries, how much if it is true is hard to say.
    Much of this tale is shrouded in folklore and fact, so details are hard to uncover, it is best just to say that the lady was truly depraved.