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How To Make a Bloody Valentine Heart

It's almost Valentine's day and nothing says LOVE more than a card and a heart and a ring!

Now, whether you're making a Valentine wish of your own, or simply making a gruesome dessert, this Bleeding Heart recipe is guaranteed to shock your guests and delight your friend(s)!

What The Heck Is This?

The mangled heart above once looked like this:

It's a gelatin heart with a bag of "blood" inside, so that once cut/stabbed/slashed, the blood within sprays and oozes out. The heart itself is strawberry flavored, and the blood is cherry flavored. It's perfectly edible.

I used this for my Cannibal-Themed Halloween Supper as a dessert.

But here, as part of a Valentine's day wish it had a ring hidden inside. A knife and a gentle hint as to what to look for, and your sweetheart is guaranteed to be touched. Or horrified.

How To Make One

You will need the following items:

  • One heart-shaped mold (an anatomically-correct one is available at The Anatomical Chart Company. You can also use a Valentine heart-shaped cake pan or tray if you like.)

  • 1 large package Strawberry flavor gelatin (6oz, or 170g)

  • 1/2 can evaporated skim milk.

  • Food coloring - pastes are preferred.

  • Clean paintbrush to apply food colors with.

  • A clean produce bag for the blood.

  • Corn syrup and Grenadine.

  • Non-stick cooking spray.

Mix 1 cup of boiling water into the gelatin powder. Stir until the powder is dissolved.

Add 1/2 a can of evaporated skim milk and stir well. The result should look like the image on the left.

Now, prepare the mold by spraying it lightly with some cooking spray. This will prevent the heart from sticking in the mold later.

Sit the mold in a bowl surrounded by a towel to hold it upright. Pour in a small amount of the liquid. Just enough to cover the bottom about a half-inch worth. Stick this in the fridge to cool. We will come back to it later.

Now, let's make the blood-bag while we're waiting for that little bit of gelatin in the mold to firm up.

Pour some clear corn syrup and Grenadine in the blood bag. Use more Grenadine if you want the "blood" to be runnier (more of a 'spurt' if the heart is stabbed) or more corn syrup if you want it thicker (more of an 'ooze').

(This version is an "oozer". For an example of a "spurter", take a look at this video.)

Add red food coloring if it's not red enough. Add a couple drops of green food coloring to make the red darker if needed.

If you want any "extras" to be inside the heart (like a ring), you should put them in the blood bag.

Now tie off the bag carefully so you have a triangle or cone-shaped bag of blood. Cut off the "tail" of the bag right above the knot.

This bag will sit inside the heart. Note that while the heart and the blood is edible (and even kind of tasty), the bag is not! If your intention is to use the heart as a dessert and not just a prop, you may want to consider making two hearts -- one with a blood bag for show, and one without a blood bag for eating.

Once the gelatin in the bottom of the mold has firmed up enough, place the bag of blood on it and center it as best as you can. Try to keep it away from the edges of the mold. Then, pour the remaining gelatin mixture over the blood bag until you fill the mold.

Cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge until it sets (preferably overnight).

TIP: If you lay the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the liquid, it will prevent the top layer from forming a tough "skin".

After the heart has set, loosen the edges of the mold with your fingertip, then simply turn it out onto a plate.

Trim away the excess from the sides of the heart with a knife. Cut on a bevel (i.e. at an angle towards the bottom-inside of the heart) so it looks better. Scoop out the arteries with a spoon. Use a drinking straw for the smaller one.

It's starting to look like a heart!

Painting and Finishing Touches

Now we apply some food coloring with a brush to make it look more realistic.

Of course, we're only making look "realistic" in a comic-book sense. The colors won't really be much like a real heart fresh from a ribcage would look - but it will look like what most people expect a heat to look like.

Use purple for the ridged areas shown. Try to paint darker near the bottoms and sides, and lighten up on the tops. You can paint a little red on the top part as a highlight. Just don't overdo it and you should be fine.

Now go over each vein with red. Just a little should do it. Color some parts of the heart's surface with a bit of red too to bring out color.

Looking pretty good so far!

Now, only a couple more things to do. Trace each vein with a little bit of pale blue. Don't do the whole vein - just enough to give it a tint.

Finally, color in the holes we made in the arteries with black.


Presentation and Uses

Well, the presentation is up to you. I combined it with a card, and hid a ring inside the heart - a knife was needed to cut open the heart and fish out the bloody ring. Here are some other ideas:

  • This works great with a traditional "My Heart is Yours" kind of Valentine's Day Card.

  • It can be a good dessert for a Valentine's Day meal. (Remember, don't serve anyone a piece of plastic bag from inside! To paraphrase Penn and Teller, this is to help you amuse and terrify your guests - not be a criminally negligent dumbass.)

  • Use it to impress that Goth girl you've been swooning over, or:

  • Use it to drive away a too-square-for-your-tastes boy/girlfriend.

Want More?

My Cannibal-Themed Halloween Supper page contains some more video of a bloody heart for dessert!

Also, while we're talking about body parts, why not check out my guide on How To Make A Charred Corpse?

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