For Halloween This Year, I'm Going To Be Baking Vampire Cakes
This historic recipe has been handed down through the ages, often going missing for centuries until a cake is unearthed in a family crypt or kiln! This very versatile and long-lived folk-recipe has spread to many different cultures and appears in a wide variety of forms.
I have been on the trail of the original recipes for some time and now have in my hands the pieces of several manuscripts, from which I am painstakingly deciphering the recipe itself. While the original version is still worth making, timeless and immortal as it is, it isn't always practical for the modern kitchen. I have been developing the recipe further, adapting it to slightly more modern techniques and ingredients.
The extremely adventurous baker may want to experiment with some of the more esoteric recipes from China or Indonesia, if they dare, but reliably translated instructions are difficult to find (and I would appreciate any contributions from fellow researchers).
The History and Culture of the Vampire Cake in Europe
Baking through the ages: notable events in the recipe's history
In eighteenth century Europe, the Vampire cake became incredibly popular, leading to mass bakings and Vampire cake parties. However, there was no single standard recipe and results varied from a suave, dark cake to a crumbling, dusty meringue! Dried fruitcake variations were also popular. Many cakes failed miserably, successful recipes were closely guarded secrets, achieving near-mythical status, and rivalries between various 'coven' groups (slang for "Clique Oven") were vicious. Local regions clung to individual recipes, and 'burnt' (shunned) foreign muck ('foreign' being anyone more than a day's travel away).
Johann Polydories' definitive recipe treatise "The Vampyre Cake", published in 1819, firmly established the more sophisticated cake we know today. In 1897, B. E. Stoked's popular "Devil Cake" (translated from its original Romanian, "Drac Kolc") collected and republished various recipes from around Europe in one classic volume.
How To Create Your Vampire Cake - The ideal Vampire Cake should be dark, rich, slightly dusty, and very old. Preferably, bring out from the basement the one you
[Disclaimer: Research still in progress. I am constructing these recipes from old manuscripts, however much of the writing is very shaky, missing, or covered in dark stains (I assume ink). I will add to these instructions as I decipher them.
Furthermore, someone was obviously quite paranoid that someone would steal their prized secret recipe, as much of it is encoded and the pages were hidden separately - I found one in an old Bible and another in a stone bottle, in the water of a holy spring in an old church!]
- Five eggs (from a black hen, apparently, but this is a little hard to trace in this day and age of slack food labelling regimes). Separate the eggs, and put the yolks aside. Beat the whites with two ounces of sugar.
- Sift a quarter cup of flour over the mixture (writing was unclear as to whether it was wholemeal or bonemeal - I find plain white flour works fine)
- To raise your Vampire Cake, leave it in a darkened place for a full day until nightfall. This is a yeastless cake, and the final 'fluffiness' depends on how much you beat the eggs.
- Optionally, you can dust it with edible glitter and fairydust, but this is not advised as it will destroy its credibility.
Buy A Vampire Shaped Cake Pan - ...keep up the theme by giving your vampire cake a vampire shape!
The Vampire Cake is a rare and unusual kind of baked goods. Or rather, baked bads. Oh yes, the Vampire Cake is bad, bad, bad. Some might even say it's evil! When you go to lick up the yummy red filling, the Vampire Cake sucks back on you! The Vampire Cake has No Soul!
Care of Your Vampire Cake - Warnings and daily care
While a properly made vampire cake can just keep going and going, like dwarf bread or your aunt's baking, the fantastically long shelf-life comes at a price. Preserving your cake requires following some basic instructions.
- Do not cut with a wooden knife as it will promptly fall apart into dust. Always use metal cutlery to cut and serve your Vampire Cake.
- Keep it in a light-proof tin and never expose it to daylight. Airflow is unimportant.
- To keep it moist, add a sprinkling of fresh blood. Water can be substituted in desperate situations but be VERY CAREFUL that it has never been blessed as this will cause your cake to boil and burst into flame.
- If your Vampire Cake does fall apart into dust (for example, your adorable child stabs it with a stick to 'see what would happen' or you accidentally leave it out during the day) you can sacrifice an unwanted relative, or annoying Halloween visitor, and drain their blood. Mix this blood with the Vampire Cake Dust and you'll have a reconstituted Vampire Cake as good as new!
[Translator's Note: I'm not sure this is correct, as human blood sounds a bit... dark, for baked goods. I may have my notes mixed up with research into abandoned Druidic films (Which is a very fascinating area and covers some film proposals such as Vengeance of the Stones and The Sickle Strikes Back. A shame they were all mysteriously abandoned due to the writers and cast coming down with mysterious illnesses and incurable death.)
- Do not add garlic or lemon (although this should go without saying!)
- Plenty of drama is advised as the Vampire Cake craves theatrics.
- Do not keep it with other cakes, as it will drain the moisture out of them during the night.
- Avoid tainting your mixture with a soul of any kind (Adding a soul into the mix will create a stale brooding quality and damage the whimsical nature of the cake).
- Vampire cakes are generally not suitable for baking small trinkets into, especially silver coins, small crosses or items with mirrored surfaces.
The vampire cake, as we know it today, probably originated in Russia, but precursors to the cake in its current form can be found throughout various Slavic cultures. It is known as Vrykolakas Topt in Greece, Wampir ciasto in Poland, Vampyre gateau in France, Vampir-Kuchen in Germany and Strigoi Tort among Romanians. Remnants of similar recipes, all sharing some common features and clearly early variants, have also been found from cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans.
The Chinese Jiang Shi Bing (Also known as Stiffbread or hopbread) is a superficially similar recipe, although researchers doubt that there is any real connection. This bread is quite unusual and has a rather unappetising appearance, being covered with greenish fur. True connoisseurs cultivate mould growth over the bread, similar to cheeses, but most people simply substitute food colouring or green vegetables.
Among Hindus, vampire cake is made without any liquid, resulting in a very hard, light cake that can absorb large quantities of liquid. Bhuta bread is a variation from India, and vampire bread from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia (Manananggal and Penanggalan loaves are the most common variety) comes with self-slicing properties.
In Madagascar, the Betsileo people bake the toenails of local nobles into ceremonial cakes, to make an 'outlaw' or 'vampire' cake. In Africa, Impundulu 'cake' is actually a type of roasted predatory bird.
It should be noted that due to translation difficulties and the untimely deaths of many professional vampire cake bakers, reliable accounts and recipes for vampire cake varieties are often hard to come by.
A small but select selection of the best vampire cookbooks available today
Everything's better with vampires--even dinner! Now you can serve up delicacies your guests will love, and satisfy your ravenous cravings at the same time. Love at First Bite is a unique collection of more than 300 suckulent recipes sure to tempt the taste buds and leave everyone begging for more.
This is an exceptional variation on a recipe book as the author has taken normal ingredients and replaced the ingredients names and cooking terms with very funny labels. [Amazon review]
This book is a myriad of authentic recipes from around the world and throughout time with one thing in common: Blood! Two threads have woven themselves throughout all cultures at one time or another: the belief in vampires and cooking with blood. Here they meet and entwine in a "blood curdling delight" for the curious and the hungry. An indispensable reference you will pick up time and again for blood recipes and obscure vampire lore. Enter into the world of Dark Dreams and Blood Puddings as you explore the mysteries of the Undead and cooking
What To Watch While Eating Your Vampire Cake - Movies to give you a taste for... dessert
It's Elena's first day back at Mystic Falls High School since the tragic death of her parents. Along with her Aunt Jenna, Elena tries her best to look after her troubled younger brother, Jeremy, and salvage what family they have left. The first day is already shaping up to be a struggle for Elena until she meets the mysterious new kid at school, Stefan. Elena is touched that he can relate to what she's going through. What Elena doesn't know is that Stefan is a vampire, constantly resisting the urge to taste her blood. As their undeniable connection grows deeper, Stefan's dangerous older brother, Damon, shows up to wreak havoc on the town of Mystic Falls - and claim Elena for himself. The Vampire Diaries is based on the bestselling book series from Alloy Entertainment.
THE FUTURE OF MANKIND RESTS IN THE HANDS OF MASTER SLAYER JACKCROW AS HE MOVES TO PREVENT THE MASTER VAMPIRE FROM REACHING HISULTIMATE GOAL FOR THE LEGIONS OF UNDEAD, THE ABILITY TO WALK IN DAYLIGHT. IF YOU'VE ALWAYS BOUGHT THE MYTH THAT VAMPIRES CANONLY WALK IN THE DARK, YOU HAVEN'T MET THE MASTER.
The selfishly evil vampire Lestat (Cruise), seduces Louis into a life of immortality, where he is troubled by the need to kill to maintain his own life. He confesses his 200 year erotic and bloody adventure to an unbelieving journalist.Genre: Feature Film-Action/AdventureRating: RRelease Date: 3-FEB-2004Media Type: DVD
When it was announced that Tom Cruise would play the vampire Lestat in this adaptation of Anne Rice's bestselling novel, even Rice chimed in with a highly publicized objection. The author wisely and justifiably recanted her negative opinion when she saw Cruise's excellent performance, which perceptively addresses the pain and chronic melancholy that plagues anyone cursed with immortal bloodlust. Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst are equally good at maintaining the dark and brooding tone of Rice's novel. And in this rare mainstream project for a major studio, director Neil Jordan compensates for a lumbering plot by honoring the literate, Romantic qualities of Rice's screenplay. Considered a disappointment while being embraced by Rice's loyal followers, the movie is too slow to be a satisfying thriller, but it is definitely one of the most lavish, intelligent horror films ever made. --Jeff Shannon
Welcome to the Cirque Du Freak, a traveling sideshow filled with magical creatures, misunderstood freaks, and the mysterious vampire, Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly). Drawn to the dark, unpredictable world of the Cirque, 16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) decides to trade in his ordinary life for a chance to become an immortal vampire. As Darren explores his newfound powers and faces unexpected enemies, hell find that his existence as a member of the undead is filled with more challenges, suspense and fun than he ever thought possible. Based on the best-selling book series and co-starring Salma Hayek, Josh Hutcherson, Ken Watanabe, and Willem Dafoe, its a fast-paced, suspenseful journey critics call, Imaginative! (Peter Hall, Cinematical.com)