A Haunted House From Your Kitchen (Slideshow)
October 7, 2013
A house of horrors could be hiding inside your cabinet
One of the quintessential haunted-house staples has got to be the red stuff. There are a handful of simple techniques for replicating lifelike blood, but why not go for the yummiest version? Begin with a clear or light gold corn syrup and gradually add red food coloring. For an authentic bloody hue, incorporate some blue dye to bring down the brightness. Thicken the mixture by adding chocolate syrup. Remember to add each ingredient in small quantities to avoid oversaturation.
Cobwebs with Chocolate Spiders
To give your house that old, haunted vibe, creepy cobwebs dangling from the rafters are a must. Fake cobwebs are easy to come by this time of year and can be applied to anything from a staircase banister to a hanging chandelier. One way to customize this look is by adding a few edible spiders to your web. There are several spider molds on the market, but you can also craft your own at home. Simply fill your mold with melted baking chocolate, let it harden, and voilà! Mix it up with bats, worms, and other creepy crawlers to establish a full menagerie.
So you've got your blood, now you just need an icky, gooey heart to freak out all who enter your haunted house. Like the chocolate spider, the Jell-O heart begins with a plastic or silicone mold. Simply pour in your Jell-O mix and refrigerate. Finish your gory creation with a healthy helping of homemade blood. In addition to a jiggly Jell-O-based ticker, the mold can also be used to make ice cubes for keeping your party punch the proper bone-chilling temperature.
Halloween is all about trickery, so get in the spirit by fooling your guests into thinking they're groping around a big bowl of eyeballs and guts. Peeled grapes are a classic eyeball stand-in. Thick pasta like bucatini helps add a vein-like texture. And if you've got some pumpkin innards leftover from carving jack-o-lanterns, throw those guts into the mix and you've got a bowl full of yuck!
Who ever thought a severed limb could look appetizing? Fashioning a bloody hand or foot is simple when the magic of marzipan is employed. This sweet wonder is comprised mainly of sugar and almond meal, oftentimes with almond oil or extract in the mix as well. Marzipan is very pliable, making it easy to mold into any shape you like. Its texture closely resembles skin, making it the perfect tool to use in creating severed limb props.
Lighting (or the lack thereof) can make or break the frightful atmosphere of your haunted house. Black lights can be key when it comes to keeping your guests on edge. One recipe that is sure to both shock and impress is a glow-in-the-dark icing. The active ingredient quinine found in tonic water facilitates the glowing effect. The trick is balancing the sweetness of your icing with the bitterness of the tonic. This recipe recommends adding tonic to gelatin and then using that as a dip for frozen icing. The lighter the icing's hue, the better the glow.
Nothing says gore like a fresh disembodied head served up on a silver platter. Food-ify this classic prop by beginning with a Styrofoam head. Get creative — remove a chunk of Styrofoam from the top of the head to create the illusion that a hungry zombie snagged a quick bite. Icing or spreadable cheese can be applied to the entire surface of the head to imitate skin. Shape a piece of hard-boiled egg white for the eyes, adding a smidge of pimento for a possessed, devilish look. Don't forget to utilize some of that chocolaty blood for the finishing touch.
Puff Pastry Intestines
There are many ways to cook up some stomach-churning faux intestines. The tastiest version involves store-bought puff pastry and an array of possible stuffing options. Use ground beef if you want a savory finish, or chocolate chips for those with a sweet tooth. Simply insert your ingredients into the puff pastry dough and mold into a cylindrical shape. Arrange the intestines into a coiled configuration, brush with egg whites, and bake.
Halloween is all about the kids, but their adult chaperones also deserve a little treat. Keep your parental supervisors in mind when throwing your haunted house bash with a tasty cocktail. Try a Sinister Cider Cocktail or Bloody Rum Punch to keep the moms and dads happy. Reward your younger haunted house guests' bravery with "eyeballs" disguised as cake pops.
Achieving a gory rotting flesh look is easy as long as you have cornstarch on your side. A simple addition of cold cream, water, and a bit of food coloring will give you the horrified reaction every haunted house host is seeking. Use this technique for wounds, warts, and more!