Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yeah, you can pretty much buy anything online

As we approached yesterday's big anniversary, I searched online for a meaningful gift to commemorate the day.

So imagine my delight when I discovered a plastic mold, designed to be used with chocolate, in the shape of...

...a brain.

I put it in my online shopping cart, added chocolate pieces meant for melting, threw in some coconut filling, and eagerly awaited January 2, brain-making day. (If it surprises you that I'd make dessert in the shape of a brain, you haven't been reading this blog very long.)

Yesterday morning, I found online chocolate-molding instructions and got to work.

I didn't have a double boiler for melting the chocolate, so I had to make do with what was in my kitchen. Thank goodness for Google; the search phrase "don't have double boiler" provided me with plenty of ideas for alternatives.

That's a small pot resting on a steamer in a big pot. It did the job.

I then used a pastry brush to paint layers of chocolate into the top and bottom portions of the brain mold, keeping it hollow inside. I ended up totally filling the bottom with chocolate, but I left a good-sized cavity in the top, and then put the coconut filling inside.


After covering the coconut with a layer of melted chocolate, I put the bottom of the brain on the top, let the still-wet layer of chocolate act as a "glue," cleaned up my messy seam, and wondered why, with my obvious neurology expertise, we didn't just save a bunch of money by me doing the actual surgery in the first place.


After freezing it briefly to make sure it was set, I popped it out of the mold, and admired the tasty-looking wrinkles.


We met friends at a restaurant for dinner to celebrate The Engineer's birthday a few days late. When The Engineer was away from the table, I hunted down our server, gave her the brain, and asked her to bring it out for dessert. I suppose it was one of the strangest requests she's gotten, but I briefly told her the reason for the chocolate grey matter, and her response was enthusiastic. "That's awesome," she said.

After dinner, the server brought out the brain with a flourish, and I was thrilled to see that she'd improved greatly on my waxed paper-wrapped presentation.


The Engineer loved his gift, even when our friend Kevin asked him if it was life-sized. He was surprised and thrilled.


When he saw the chocolate brain, Kevin commented that it was good The Engineer's surgery was on his head, not "the other end." I'm glad too--a Google search for "chocolate mold colon" did not provide any relevant results.

We polished off the cookie at the restaurant, and later on at home we each had a slice of chocolate and coconut.  The Engineer pronounced it "one tasty brain," and I'm pretty sure we each gained a couple of IQ points by ingesting it.


beckiwithani said...

Well, if he'd had surgery on the other end, you could've made him this. Or if it had been at the far more extreme end of his body, you cold've made these - which I think are kind of freakier than the previous link, somehow.

You did a great job surprising him! :)

C. Beth said...

Becki--For some reason I'd have more trouble eating the chocolate bubble butts than a chocolate brain. The feet, though, I think I could eat. Freud would have a heyday with my preferences. Great links!! :)

beckiwithani said...

I think it's the fact that the feet are stuck on lollipop sticks that freaked me out. A foot-pop is just weird. Any body part on a stick is.

Laurel said...

Loved this post. It was cool to see how it came out considering we were on the phone for a bit while you were making it. What's even more cool is you celebrated this anniversary with a sense of humor and love!!

Call Me Cate said...

I love that your server was game. And now, for the rest of her life, she'll have an interesting tidbit to share. "This one time, a lady asked me to serve them a chocolate brain!".

Michelle Brunner said...

The brain turned out amazing! How nice that your server was so into it as well! haha I loved those links becki:)

Eternal Lizdom said...

What a fantastic gift!! Great job!

Love the new look, too!

Katie said...

that is perfect! I love it!

Dan & Hillary said...

I am glad that the day was a day of celebration!! (Besides, who wants a boring old cake, anyway??!!) Great job! Any ideas for A's b-day cake?

Lyndsay said...

I'd lose my mind if I had to eat a chocolate brain.

(That is the best brain joke I could think of.)

Seriously though, great job!

Bobbi said...

Congratulations on the anniversary!

BTW, if you want another way to create a double boiler, you can use a cookie cooling rack, instead of the steamer. Place the cooling rack on top of the lower pot of boiling water, and the other pot on top of the cooling rack!

Annelie said...

That is one nice looking brain! Well done! Congrats on the anniversary!

DiPaola Momma said...

I'm with Cate on the story that server will be telling forever! "this one time, when I was working at foodmart, a lady brought in a chocolate brain. NO I'M SERIOUS".. he he he.

How lucky you are that you can celbrate every year.. though now that you've done cookies and chocolate brains where do you go from there? Brain shaped stromboli? eeeewww

Anonymous said...

Beth -- You never fail to impress me with not only having great ideas, but being able to follow through and make them work! Great execution of your game plan! I know The Engineer must have been really impressed.

Good job.

Heather said...

This is so funny, but at first sight my thoughts were mmmmmmmm...yummy. I love melted chocolate.

You're pretty creative there, C. Beth. Love the big smile of appreciation on hubby's face.

Good job and most fun.

Mike said...

That's the most adorable brain I've ever seen! The Engineer looks/looked very happy.

I love the new favicon and header!


C. Beth said...

I'm not going to personally respond to all the comments tonight because I'm fried after a very long day--more on that in tomorrow's post! But THANK YOU to everyone who commented! It was so nice to come home to lots of praise from people who liked my brain. :)

Tiffany said...

I think that is one of the most unique and sweetest things you could have done for your hubby.

P.S. This story is exactly why I have an award waiting for you at my blog :)

Scriptor Senex said...

After a rough couple of days yours was the first non-family blog I visited today. What a delight. It's set me up for the rest of the day, so, thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

Hilarious and creative! I love it!

Anonymous said...

Beth that was too cool! Glad he liked it, and even better that he's made a full recovery!! I remember your posts on BBC and how terrified you must have been. praise God!

Omah's Helping Hands said...

What a neat fun idea! You have a great artistic side to you. Am so happy for all of you.

TesoriTrovati said...

That is so awesome! What a fun way to celebrate. Now save that mold for Halloween and make jello brains in it!
Enjoy the day!
Erin, TesoriTrovati

C. Beth said...

Erin--Now, that's a great idea!

Rachel Cotterill said...

That's so sweet. Almost makes me wish I had an excuse to make a chocolate brain... but I will probably stick to Easter eggs! (Though, frankly, my husband would appreciate any shape of chocolate...)

Oh, and you did much better than me - the first time I tried to melt chocolate without a double boiler (many years ago) I tried sticking it in the microwave. I ended up with cacao-based charcoal and a melted plastic bowl to show for my efforts...