I started my surgery clerkship two weeks ago and it sure has been busy! While that means I am learning lots of things (like how to tie a proper knot and how to evaluate a surgical patient), it also means less time for baking and blogging. Sad face. However, I had Martin Luther King, Jr day off last week and that meant cupcake time. And after being in the hospital 15 hours a day what kind of design did I choose? SURGERY!
Oh yes. Surgery cupcakes. Somehow my classmates and I are able to talk about abscesses and weeping wounds while eating pudding, so I thought that laparotomy cupcakes wouldn't be unappetizing to them. I used a my vanilla cupcake recipe and Martha Stewart's fluffy vanilla frosting. I thought about putting some blue and red sprinkles into the cupcake mix so that it would look like veins and arteries, but I thought that was going a little overboard.
I used caramel candies with cream fillings for the abdomens. I scooped out the cream filling and filled the depression with red pop rocks that I had lying around (I keep all kinds of candies around the house just in case), however it would be easy to fill it with red icing. What was neat is that the moisture in the icing made the pop rocks melt and gave it a translucent, serosanginous look to them.
I covered the cupcakes with a light layer of frosting and then place the prepared abdomen on the center of the cupcake. Next, I used an offset spatula to frost the sides of the caramel candy so that the cupcake was rounded on top.
I then used blue gel food coloring to color some ready-made fondant. It is important to use gel food coloring when dyeing fondant. Also, it's important to wear gloves, otherwise your fingers turn blue. Trust me, I know from experience. I rolled it out on a clean surface and used the top of a class to cut out a circle. I used a small square cookie cutter to make a hole in the center of the fondant. And viola! Sterile drape.
I used a little square of white fondant and an edible black marker to make the little instrument tray (scissors, retractors, scalpel). If you imagine, it is reminiscent of an operating room. I am actually on the minimally invasive service, but showing an open surgery seemed easier to replicate in cupcake form.
If only the OR was really this yummy.
Just in case someone didn't find the laparotomy cuppies to be appetizing, Sara helped me make some other, less graphic surgery-inspired cupcakes. They were all done using fondant (you could just as easily use marzipan, however).
Surgeon's hat and mask
I am hoping to make more medical cupcakes in the future. It is time consuming to make all of the shapes and a pain to dye the fondant, but everyone was so excited to see them in lecture that it made all of the hard work worth it :)