Eat Like You Read It: Final Girls
I'm no cook, and I'm an infrequent baker, but I love to eat, and I love to read, and every so often I find a way to combine the two, generally through decorations.
Like with this Amulet of Orynth cupcake I decorated back in June, inspired by the jewelry designed by Janet Cadaswan.
You may be thinking "Cake decorating, that's a random skill." I learned how to decorate cakes from my mom who used to have her own cake business. I grew up using paper plates to practice my piping techniques, using up the leftover frosting from her projects. As an adult my mom made a point one Christmas of gifting me my own set of various tips and bags and every time I use them I'm reminded of working by her side.
In an effort to find new and interesting ways to incorporate my bookish ways into my everyday life, and to dare myself to try to spend a little more time in the kitchen, I thought I would take inspiration from the books I read and pair the occasional story with a treat or meal.
I'm not the first, nor (thank heavens) will I be the last to conjure real-life food from the pages of a fictional book or from pop culture. Many other people, especially those with actual cooking and baking resumes, do a great job of this. My hope is to occasionally introduce you to their work as I try some of their recipes, and the rest of the time share my own simple techniques for creating book-inspired food. Fair warning- there's likely to be pre-packaged food and kits involved in my work, so if the idea of food not made from scratch offends you, that's cool, but don't read on!
The idea for this new section of my blog came, strangely enough, from starting "Final Girls" by Riley Sager. I had been dying to get my hands on a copy after Stephen King gave it his praise. Thankfully, Dutton, through NetGalley gave me an ebook copy. It was a hell of ride, but I'll be waiting to share a full review until closer to the publishing date.
The main character, Quincy, besides being the survivor of a massacre, a baker and blogger. As I read about her baking and snapping pics it reminded me of my experience as a bookstagrammer and a frequent eater of cupcakes.
And it made me want to pair her baking character and the dark and gory aspects of the book with something dark, and something red and gooey, like cherry pie filling.
I'm calling these cupcakes "Sorry, Quincy"
For this first impromptu project I went with all pre-packaged ingredients. I made the chocolate cupcakes with Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix, Simple Mills Organic Chocolate Frosting, and Duncan Hines Simply Cherry pie filling.
First- make the cupcakes and let them cool completely, no melting frosting here. If you're like me and you're not making these for an event or live in a household with many people, you can use a few of the undecorated cupcakes and freeze the rest. In my experience even the gluten free cake thaws well and maintains a lot of its elasticity. Freezing the extra means you'll already have some bases on hand for future decorating projects, or just an emergency stash of chocolate cake!
Using a multi-opening tip you can either create a border of tall bursts, or you you can swirl it around in a double stacked wall. The purpose of the frosting on the edges are to provide a dam for the cherry pie filling that will be spooned on top. While the pie filling is thick, things are neater, not to mention tastier, with a chocolate border.
The final product is both delicious and vaguely unsettling, those pulpy red cherries and that dark red cover deign.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to more edible pairings?