Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TILL DEATH BLOG TOUR: BOOKS & CUPCAKES

  Thanks for stopping by, there be cupcakes here today!
*whispers* Really creepy cupcakes.

If you have followed this blog or my Instagram or Pinterest board for any length of time, you've probably seen some of the bookish cupcake creations I've made over the past few years. Book inspired cupcakes, characters as cupcake flavors, release party cupcakes, that sort of thing. Making cupcakes for people makes me happy. 

However, of all the different kinds of cupcakes I have been asked to make, today's definitely take the cake--or the cupcakes--or the finger. 
Wait. What? 
Stay with me, I'll explain. 

But first...

Publication: February 28, 2017
By: William Morrow


In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.



******************
I really enjoyed this! Even if it did almost give me nightmares while I was awake. 
Second chance romance is my favorite trope and this one did not disappoint. It had all of the components I love about a JLA book: humor, romance, and swoon. But TILL DEATH also has elements of mystery and hide-behind-your-fingers-suspense.

Read it!

And then enjoy a TILL DEATH inspired cupcake.  



******************

Trailer Link:
https://video214.com/play/nWBQQPmNYruuznYL0PEY8Q/s/dark



******************
About Jennifer L. Armentrout:


# 1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website: http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlarmentrout
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjlarmentrout/?hl=en




******************

Till Death Cupcakes
~ Red Velvet Cake
~ Vanilla Frosting
 ~ Severed Finger Fondant Toppers

I have never made severed finger cupcake toppers before. And I have to admit, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull this off. Blood and body parts tend to make me queasy, but since my local party story did not carry edible severed fingers--I asked--I had to make them myself.

Here is the finished product. Directions follow at the end of the post.

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes


Here's how I did it...

I made flesh colored fondant by adding a few drops of brown food gel, working it in until I reached the desired Average White Girl color I wanted. 

I prefer gels to traditional food coloring because gel doesn't change the consistency of whatever you're making. It's also concentrated so you use less. You can do this by hand, or use can use a stand mixer with a dough hook. 

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

 Roll the fondant into a ball, cover in plastic wrap (greased with a little butter so it doesn't stick), place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

When you're ready, pull off a hunk of fondant and roll it into finger length shapes. 
 
Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

I used my own ring finger as a guide.  

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Use a fondant tool, toothpick, or tip of a sharp knife to form a nail bed, knuckles, and creases.
 
Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

 I used a paintbrush and food gel to paint the nail beds. I used red along the jagged end to make it look like blood.

I hadn't told my family what I was working on, so when my 12yo walked into the kitchen and saw these, he was a little freaked. He actually looked ready to pass out.

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes


 Allow the gel to dry before placing the severed finger on top of the cupcake.  
Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Jenuine Cupcakes


Red Velvet Cake

You can totally cheat and use a box mix. I won't judge you.

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 Cup salted butter
1 1/2 Cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons red food coloring 
1 Cup buttermilk* (*Mix 1 Tablespoon white vinegar with 1 Cup milk, let sit for 15 minutes and viola! Homemade buttermilk.)
2 1/2 cups Self-rising flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 Tablespoons cocoa

Icing:
2 1/2 sticks salted butter at room temperature
4-6 Cups powdered/confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup OR water depending on your sweetness preference. (I do 2 TBS light corn syrup and 1 TBS water)

Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners. (yields 24-36 regular size cupcakes) 
2. Combine butter and sugar, mix well. Add eggs and beat well.
3. Make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring; add to creamed mixture, mix well. If it looks like something bled to death in your bowl, you are doing it right.
4. Add the vanilla and buttermilk together and then add that to the creamed mixture making sure you alternate with flour until mixed well. 
5. Add the baking soda and vinegar and then fold into the batter, gently. 
6. Pour batter into cupcake liners, filing them 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester or knife inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
7. Let cool completely before frosting.

Icing Directions:
1. Cream butter well.
2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and light corn syrup/water. Mix on low until combined. Then mix on medium for 5 minutes or until smooth. 
3. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. 

Severed Fondant Fingers:
*The marshmallow fondant needs to be made at least one day ahead.
Ingredients: 
10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
2-4 TBS of water
2lbs powdered sugar
Butter for greasing 
Plastic wrap
Air-tight container
Various food gel colors: brown, orange, blue, red
Mini paintbrush or Q-tip 
*Day One:
1. Combine marshmallows and 2 Tbs water in a microwave safe bowl. 
2. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
3. Stir mixture.
4. Repeat until all of the marshmallows have melted. 
5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar 1 Cup at a time, mixing well. You want a pliable texture: not too soft, not too hard. 
6. Add a few drops of brown food gel, mix well until you get the desired "flesh" color you want.
7. Unroll some plastic wrap and grease it with a little butter. I drag my stick of butter across it a few times.
8. Grease hands with butter. 
9. Shape fondant into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, place in air-tight container and refrigerate at least 24 hours. 

Day Two:
1. Tear off a chunk of fondant and roll out onto a greased surface. 
2. Roll into finger sized portions. I used my own ring finger as a guide.
3. Using a fondant tool, toothpick or tip of a sharp knife--whatever you have lying around, really--begin to make impressions for knuckles, creases, and a nail bed. 
4. Make a jagged cut on the end so it looks like someone sawed it off. 
5. Using the paintbrush, dip it into the blue, orange or red and paint on the nail bed like nail polish. Use red along the jagged end to make it look like blood.
6. Allow the gel to dry before placing the severed finger on top of the cupcake. 
7. Keep some in your fridge so you can freak out your family and friends.
8. Enjoy!


******************
Schedule:
 

Wednesday 2/22  - Reads All The Books  - Book-Inspired Cocktails & Brews
Thursday 2/23 -  Vi3tBabe/Deity Island  - Book-Inspired Manicure
Friday 2/24  - The Irish Banana Review – Book-Inspired Makeup   
Monday 2/27 - No BS Book Reviews – GIF Review
Tuesday 2/28 - Jenuine Cupcakes – Book-Inspired Cupcakes 
Wednesday 3/1 - Vilma’s Book Blog – Book-Inspired D├ęcor
Thursday 3/2 - Kimberlyfaye Reads – Book Cover Reimagining
Friday 3/3 Stuck In Books – Favorite Bed & Breakfast Destinations



******************
Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway