Spooky Prawn Cocktail Brain: Recipe

RECIPES | This Spooky Prawn Cocktail Brain recipe is one of the most impressive dishes we created for Halloween. It’s based on a Martha Stewart recipe that we altered to make a tasty, spooky starter. Below are two sets of instructions, the first is for the mannequin head, then second is for the prawn brain.

spooky prawn cocktail brain recipe

Preparation Time: 1 hour / Setting Time: 5 hours / Serves 6-8

Ingredients – Mannequin Head

  • 1 foam mannequin head
  • 1 inexpensive makeup contour kit
  • 1 pair false eyelashes and glue
  • 1 makeup setting powder
  • 1 inexpensive black liquid eyeliner
  • 1 meter of muslin cloth
  • 20ml the lightest foundation you can find
  • 2 paint brush or foundation brush
  • cling film
  • a handful of sewing pins
  • a knife or shape cutting tool

Method – Mannequin Head

  1.  Liberally coat the face of the mannequin with the liquid foundation. Allow it to dry.
  2. Paint the mannequin with two more coats of liquid foundation.
  3. Once the foundation is dry apply the darkest shade in the contour kit from the ears down to corner of the mouth, on the eye brow bones, down the side of the nose, under the nose and on the temples.
  4. Apply the lightest colour in the contour kit to the top of the cheek bones, forehead, eyelids, bridge of the nose and the chin.
  5. With a dry,clean brush blend the contour colours into the foundation.
  6.  Using the black eyeliner, draw two crosses where you would expect the eyebrows to be located. Smudge this slightly
  7. Draw two nostrils and paint the lips with the black eyeliner.
  8. Measure the fake eyelashes against the mannequins eyelid and cut to size.
  9. Place a little glue along the base of the eyelashes and attach to the  mannequins water line.
  10. Using a sharp knife or blade cut off the about 3-4cm off the top of the mannequin head. Make sure this surface is flat as the prawn brain will sit on top of this surface.
  11. Cover the surface that was cut and the neck with cling film. Hold this in place with a few sewing pins.
  12. Wrap the muslin around the head and neck, ensuring that you do not cover the face.
  13. Hold the muslin in place with a few pins.

Ingredients – Prawn Brain

  • 1kg large cooked and cleaned prawns
  • 14g gelatin powder
  • 5g creamed horseradish
  • 100ml lemon juice
  • 5g sweet paprika
  • 2g mild chilli powder
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 350ml water
  • 20g mayonnaise
  • 1 large brain mould
  • cling film

Method – Prawn Brain

  1. Place the gelatin, horseradish, lemon juice, garlic, water, paprika and chilli powder into a saucepan.
  2. Bring the saucepan to a simmer, stirring constantly ensuring the gelatin completely dissolves.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  4. While the gelatin mixture is cooling, cover the brain mould with cling film.
  5. Arrange the prawn in the brain mould with the tails facing upwards in vertical rows.
  6. Pour the gelatin mixture on top of the prawns.
  7. Cover the prawns with a layer of cling film pressing down on the surface.
  8. Place a small plate on top of the cling film and weigh it down with a can or heavy object.
  9. Refrigerate the brain for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight.
  10. When you are ready to serve, remove the plate, can and cling film.
  11. Invert the mould onto the mannequin head and remove the layer of cling film that was lining the mould.
  12. Serve immediately.


The prawn brain can get stuck in the mould once it’s been refrigerated. Don’t be scared to give it a good whack to separate it from the mould.



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