SCARY SKULL BAKES | Bewitching Kitchen

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One pan, many possibilities to scare your family and friends, because now is the time to really go for it!

RED VELVET SKULL CAKES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Jo-Ann)

275g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp Red Velvet Emulsion (LorAnn)
red food gel (I used Super Red Americolor, about 1/2 tsp)
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

chocolate buttercream (home-made or store-bought)

Fondant (I used Renshaw)
Gun Metal food gel (Americolor)
Air-Brush silver (or Wilton silver spray)

Skull pan from Nordicware (available here)

Heat oven to 350F. Spray your skull pan with baking spray or coat with butter and flour. Reserve.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring, Red Velvet emulsion and cocoa powder to form a smooth paste.

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs, one at a time, then add the cocoa-red gel mixture, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix well, then add half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. As the mixer is going, whisk the baking soda with the vinegar, and as it is sizzling, add to the mixer.

Fill the cavities of the skull pan about 2/3 of the volume. You might have a little batter leftover. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert on a rack for the cakes to cool.

Coat them with a very thin layer of buttercream, place in the fridge. Grab a portion of fondant and dye it with gun metal gel. Roll it thin to a size large enough to coat one of the cakes. Remove the cakes from the fridge, and coat with the fondant. Use a fondant baller tool to get the fondant to go into the eyes and nose cavities. Trim the excess. Air-brush the surface with silver, or spray with Wilton Silver Shimmering Mist. Once the fondant is fully set, you can carve out a small portion to reveal the red cake underneath.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I saw these mini-cakes at Jo-Ann site, but the instructions were a bit vague, and it also used a boxed cake mix, so I took baking matters into my own hands. My only shortcut was to buy buttercream icing at the store because my schedule was tight and I figured that the buttercream was such a tiny component, basically just a glue to get the fondant to stick to the cake. You can serve it in two different ways, intact or with some of the skull exposed…

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Just grab a fork and go at it… yes, the baker can eat the piece removed, and call it “quality control”. I really wanted to make a knife in fondant to stick into the cake, but my skills were not good enough and I don’t have a knife mold. I know, SHOCKING!

The red cakes can also be decorated with a simple buttercream, if you prefer them to be more festive. I think they get a little scarier this way.

The skull mold also works for savory bakes, but I cannot share a recipe yet because it is a work in progress…. I need to tweak the tortilla component.

The tortilla was gluten-free and the recipe I used was impossible to roll out thinly. It turned out too dense and heavy. But I will work on it some more. The filling was ground turkey with the usual taco seasonings, corn, black beans and peppers. But I definitely like the way the mold behaved for a savory bake.

I am already sad that Halloween is almost gone… I feel that for one reason or another, I did not bake enough scary things. Oh, well… there are much more serious problems in life. Let’s go with the flow and embrace…………. THANKSGIVING!

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