At some point over the last summer I started collecting anatomical heart designs after I found a necklace shaped like one in the Pacific Science Center. A heart, after all, is not heart-shaped. In design, an anatomical heart is a scientific representation of an emotional metaphor. Blame Sherlock or Frankenstein MD or Hannibal for encouraging this aesthetic, but I am enjoying decorating my new place with vintage culinary and medical drawings.
At the beginning of my newfound creepy heart appreciation, C found Sprinklebakes,* a book which happened to have an anatomical heart cake. It took us almost a year, but we finally made it right around the time we finished watching season 2 of Hannibal. They designed the “tablescape” with Janice Poon’s food design for Hannibal in mind. Our friend P took most of the “finished product” photos you see here.
The cake is a black forest cake (chocolate cake with cherry filling) covered in chocolate frosting and fondant dyed with red and blue, then covered in cherry sauce. Heather Baird hasn’t (yet?) shared the recipe online, but if you like food design, buy it or snag a copy from your local library! I’m really excited to make some of the other recipes as well, and I’ve just discovered her blog. (Plus, I fulfilled one of my 2015 goals of using fondant–now I just have to make it from scratch with her recipe.)
Whether you’re celebrating Halloween, med school graduation, or the end of the Hannibal “HeAteUs” (JUNE 4), don’t be too intimidated to make this cake. The recipe is easy to follow with clear instructions, even though it has four major components and design work. Best of all: as gross as it looks, the cake is delicious–the frosting under the fondant is a keeper; the cake is moist and rich; and I love the cherries with the chocolate. It’s decadent, sexy, and more than a bit morbid. Bon appétit!
Edit: here’s the “after” shot: