thewhitelily: (Lily)
The White Lily ([personal profile] thewhitelily) wrote2017-01-01 04:30 pm
Entry tags:

Surprisingly Okay

So, this would be me finally getting around to crossposting my writeup of the amazing birthday present vampirekitty made me from the flashwork community onto my own journal.  Yes, I know, it took me until next year and everything--but now, I'm getting all set up with a couple of eyeballs I've been saving for the Season 4 Sherlock premiere, and it seemed... an appropriate moment.  :)

Still stoked about how amazing these look, and what a lucky lucky girl I am to know such an awesome person as vampirekitty!  :D

Presenting... Surprisingly Okay:
It was my birthday yesterday!  Yes, yes, happy birthday to me and all, but that wasn’t the exciting thing.  The exciting thing was this present, which my niece vampirekitty made for me, apparently entirely out of win.  Well, chocolate and win.  It’s often hard to tell the difference.  Particularly in this case.

If you’re confused, these are hot chocolate melts.  Solid chocolate balls which you put into a cup of hot milk, stir until it melts away and mixes in, and voila you have hot chocolate.  These ones, however, based on the blowtorched eyeball Sherlock drops into his tea in The Sign of Three, are shaped like startlingly realistic eyeballs.  The blue eyes are white chocolate, the green eyes are milk chocolate.

*flails*  I mean seriously!  Happy fangirling birthday to me, right?

So, how they were made: to start with, a sphere mould.

These moulds were designed for ice, and vampirekitty was a little disappointed that the finished product had an unexpected hump in the middle where the two halves locked together - she tried shaving the edges of the finished product down to make the junction smooth, but apparently they looked weird.  She also tried some silicone sphere moulds but they had a strange texture to the surface, whereas the plastic moulds left the chocolate looking smooth and glossy.  I think they look cool with the little bulge, actually, like a reminder of the way the cornea bulges out on a real eyeball.

She formed the design by putting dark chocolate into a piping bag to place a small dot onto the bottom of the solid side of the mould for the pupil.  She tried colouring the pupil black with food dye, but the chocolate seized and she ended up deciding dark chocolate was dark enough.  Once this had set, she coloured white chocolate (more successfully) and piped it in a larger blob over the top for the iris, waited for it to set again, snapped the spheres together and then topped up with white chocolate.  For the milk chocolate ones, there was the added effort of painting the inside of the mould with white chocolate before snapping it togther, waiting for this to set as a thin shell for the sclera, poking out the film that had formed over the cap in the top of the sphere with a skewer, and then filling the inside with milk chocolate.  When they were all set and refrigerated to make them hard enough to demould on a 31°C spring day, she drew the blood vessels on the outside with a food marker.

And of course they were all packaged up in a box with a handmade printed cover contacted into place.  Hubby, who missed some of the conversation around present-opening, wasn’t sure why I was still geeking out so much about them hours later, because they looked so professional in real life that he hadn't managed to work out she’d done anything but buy them from some incredibly fannish online site.  :)

Oh.  My.  God.

As the eyeball melts, the food marker blood vessels came off fairly quickly, but the way it was made meant the iris and pupil stayed around being eyebally for some time.  The white hot chocolate apparently ended up looking a little teal from the food colouring once it was all melted in—I haven't tried that one as yet, but the milk one looked like a totally normal hot chocolate post melting and tasted… surprisingly okay.  (Just kidding, it tasted fantastic!)

Edited to add:
The offshoot is that Vampire Kitty and I had a glorious time watching the Sherlock Season 4 premiere, armed with eyeballs--which as it turned out fortunately, we hadn't warmed the milk for quite enough.

You know it's going to be a fantastic Sherlock day when you're putting a mug of eyeballs into the microwave.  :D

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