The Art of Darkness

Eat My Face

April 15th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Chocolate FaceBompass & Parr is a sort of culinary think-tank, whose projects include a whiskey pipe organ called The Flavour Conductor, a theatrical “dinner adventure” with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and something called Scent of Darkness in which they “traversed London between sunset and sunrise to chart the scents of the city at night. Londons (sic) aromas were composed as perfumes and shipped to Thomas Brown who photographed them with stylist Lyndsay Milne.” I’m a little fuzzy on the point of photographing perfumes, but I am clearly not high-concept enough to be their target audience.

Anyway.

Their latest offering is Eat My Face, a 3-D printed cast of your face suitable for molding chocolate or gelatin. Putting aside the fact that “eat my face” sounds like a mild epithet, the price for one of these beauties is “available upon request” which means that they’re likely well outside the range of anyone so plebian as to wonder why somebody would bother photographing perfume.

However, if you simply can’t bear the idea of not owning what amounts to a chocolate death mask, this is DIY-able with a little time and effort.

Bompass & Parr’s service uses facial scanning software and 3-D printing. The low-tech approach is to take a mold of your face (or, um, body part of your choice, I guess), make a positive plaster cast from that, then use the cast to create a food-grade silicone mold. (Note: There are “lifecasting” products that use silicone, but unfortunately it’s not food-grade silicone, so you can’t skip the plaster-mold step.)

Casting your face is a fairly straightforward process; googling “how to make a cast of your face” will turn up several helpful tutorials like this one. You use a material called alginate, which is available online at Amazon or at companies that specialize in lifecasting products like Reynolds.

Make a positive plaster cast from the alginate mold as described in the tutorial, then use food-grade silicone to create a mold from that. Smooth-On and Make Your Own Molds sell the right kind of silicone, and also have instructions for using it for mold-making. You can also get tips on successfully making silicone molds (such as making sure you have room to wiggle out the original cast) by googling for tutorials like this. (Once you’re done with the original plaster cast, incidentally, you can display it as an objet d’art. Paint it like a calavera. Cover it with rhinestones. Follow your bliss.)

Finally, it’s time to cast the chocolate. You can get general guidelines for molding chocolate from a variety of tutorials, such as here and here. After going to all the work of making a mold, you’ll want to make sure to temper the chocolate so it doesn’t develop white streaks. Rather than just pouring in chocolate, you may wish to paint on a thin layer with a (new!) paintbrush or basting brush to make sure there aren’t any teensy bubbles. If you do pour in the chocolate, give the mold a couple of whacks on a firm surface to help burst the bubbles and ensure a nice smooth surface.

Once unmolded, you can present the chocolately face as-is (preferably nestled in a pretty box), or you can paint on details with a (new!) small paintbrush and colored candy melts.

Bonus link: When researching this article I discovered that edible chocolate buttholes are a thing. If you want to try that at home, you are totally on your own.

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