anatomical heart cake

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after completing this, i couldn’t decide whether to label it as “anatomically correct heart” or “bloody rotisserie chicken.” that last picture, especially, just screams chicken to me. either way, this cake is striking, and it’s also pretty easy, as sculpted cakes go.

i baked two red velvet cakes in oven-proof glass bowls. after letting them cool and leveling them, i adhered them with chocolate ganache, carved the sphere into a rough heart shape, and crumb coated it with more ganache.

i used blue fondant to create lots of thick veins (arteries?), then wrapped the whole thing in some thin ivory fondant. the ventricles, aorta, and various tubes are all sculpted from more fondant.

notes:

  • i found it helpful to roll up balls of paper towel and stick them in the tubes’ openings while the fondant hardened to prevent them from sagging.
  • the ‘blood’ is 1 oz of red liquid food coloring mixed with some big spoonfuls of seedless raspberry jam. ideally, the blood should be a bit darker; next time i’ll add some burgundy food coloring.
  • use wilton ivory food coloring to dye white fondant (yolanda’s recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs of fondant; i used 2 1/2 total).
  • dip your finger in a cup of water, then use it to smooth the seams of the tubes and the rest of the cake.
  • carve the cake to be a little wider than it is tall. mine is not, and i think this is one of the reasons it looks so chicken-esque.
  • when covering the cake with fondant, push it down around the veins so that they’re more defined.
  • yolanda uses italian meringue buttercream to crumb coat it. that’s a lot smoother than ganache, but i find it annoying to make, and ganache works fine.

here is the tutorial! i highly recommend watching the video, using yolanda’s cake recipe, and following her detailed instructions.

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