My mum is literally obsessed with the TV series Murder She Wrote. In Italy they still show it every day at lunch time and this has been going on for probably 20 years! I’m not joking when I say that she knows by heart every single episode!
So when I heard that Angela Lansbury was back on stage in London for the first time in 40 years, I quickly phoned my sister and together we decided that a ticket to go and see the famous “Jessica Fletcher”, was the perfect present for my mum’s birthday. Note, my mum doesn’t speak or understand a word of English but still we thought that meeting her fictional hero would have been the experience of a lifetime. And it truly was!
This happened back in May and my mum was all over the moon! She flew to Edinburgh to see us and then with my sister went down to London to see Angela Lansbury performing on stage, she even managed to meet her after the show when she was leaving the theatre, wonderful!
Inspired by this I decided to create a Murder She Wrote dessert table to remember my mum’s experience in London and her birthday.
For this table I thought using our antique typewriter would have been perfect! To be honest my first idea was to make an edible one but it’d have been too challenging. For this table I made a chocolate book, knife vanilla cookies and glass cupcakes. I wanted to make finger prints on the marshmallows but after I dipped my finger in dark edible colour and press on one marshamallow it just looked to messy so I just added them to the table as “marshmallow clues” (any excuse to eat marshamallows!).
Making the chocolate book was pretty elaborated. I found a video on youtube which explained how to do it and it made it look so easy! Definitely wasn’t! The chocolate was not melting properly, then it was too sticky to work with, then too hard to fold urgh! I had to make around 25 white thin chocolate pages and I got fed up and made only 10 which are not as thin as they were supposed to be but I thought they did not look too bad. To make the writing I just piped some yellow chocolate on parchment paper which was placed on the top of the font letters “Murder She Wrote”.
To make the glass cupcakes first I made “the blood” by cutting some strawberries and cooking them on gentle heat with some sugar until they become soft. Then I passed them through a sieve so I could get a smooth sweet sauce.
The cupcakes are just normal vanilla ones and the fosting is a simple butter and icing sugar mix. The tricky part was making the “glass” . I found different recipes which called for corn syrup (a kind of Golden Syrup but with no colour). I could not find that in supermarkets so I decided to follow Martha Stewart recipe which adviced to cook some sugar with water and just before it starts turning golden colour, you take it off the heat and spread it on a parchment paper. Didn’t work first time as I got distracted by the kids. Second time around went better and although the sugar glass is not crystal clear I think it looks alright.
To make the “Murder knifes” I made simple vanilla cookie dough and used a knife cookie cutter I bought online, to cut the shapes. Once I baked the knife cookies I prepared some royal icing (this time using meringue powder), added some black edible colour for the handle and made some grey edible colour for the sharp part.
TIP: did you know that to make the grey colour you need to use white royal icing and then add few drops of black edible colour and a tiny bit of blue edible colour? If you only add black rather than grey you get something that looks like light purple