From TV shows to the novels of Jane Austen, zombies have infested popular culture. Thanks to professional cupcake designer Zilly Rosen, a legion of adorable, edible undead are now emerging through the cracked frosting of that other irresistible craze – the cupcake.
Half and half
Makes about 8 ounces
4 ounces store-bought white fondant
4 ounces ready-to-use gum paste
White vegetable fat (optional)
Knead the fondant and then the gum paste separately on a counter until smooth, then combine and knead until well mixed. If the mixture becomes sticky, add a little white vegetable fat.
Cover with an upturned bowl or cup to prevent a crust from forming. To store, roll the mixture into a ball, double wrap in plastic wrap, and keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
1-1/2 ounces half and half, colored gray with a dab of black paste food coloring
1-1/2 ounces half and half, colored pale brown with 1 drop brown and 1 drop yellow paste food coloring
Roll the gray half and half into 4 balls. Squeeze into a triangle shape. Flatten the triangle to create the blade of the shovel. Pinch the edges so that it appears to be sharp, especially at the point.
Roll the pale brown half and half into a thin sausage shape three inches long. Flatten one end and attach it to the back of the shovel blade with water. Repeat to make another 3 shovels. Let dry overnight. Store in a cool, dry place, but not in the refrigerator.
2-1/2 ounces half and half, colored pale brown with 1 drop brown and 1 drop yellow paste food coloring
Roll the half and half into 4 thin sausage shapes that are thicker at one end and gradually become thinner at the other end. Cut the thinner end so that it is blunt. Push the blunt end to create the handle of the bat.
Use a toothpick, rolled on the edge, to define the handle of the bat further. Repeat to make another 3 bats. Let dry overnight. Store in a cool, dry place, but not in the refrigerator.
1 ounce half and half, colored black with 3 drops black paste food coloring
Roll the half and half into 4 thin sausage shapes. A quarter of the way down, bend the sausage shape at a right angle, then pinch the short end flat.
Use a craft knife to cut a "V" out of the flat end of the crowbar. Repeat to make another 3 crowbars. Let dry overnight. Store in a cool, dry place, but not in the refrigerator.
Makes about 8 ounces
1 large egg white, plus extra if necessary
Pinch of cream of tartar
1-3/4 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Paste food coloring (optional)
Put the egg white and cream of tartar in the bowl of a large freestanding electric whisk and whisk together until frothy.
With the machine still running, gradually add the confectioners' sugar until the mixture begins to stiffen and turn opaque white. Scrape down the side of the bowl and whisk briefly on high. The mixture should be stiff but still pliable.
If necessary, thin the mixture with a little extra egg whites or a drop of food coloring. Cover with a damp dishtowel to prevent a crust from forming. To store, put it in a container, place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming and seal the container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To color the icing, add the appropriate paste food coloring in drops or on a toothpick or the tip of a knife and beat in until you achieve the required color.