My 2019 dessert project was one I had in the back of my mind since a bit after Death Stranding was announced, but held onto until the year it was actually coming out.
To create the effect of oil-filled handprints in wet sand, I created a layer of graham cracker crust (1 package of regular graham crackers crushed with 1 single chocolate graham cracker), and then added an additional layer of the graham cracker mixture with extra butter to create the loose top layer and shape the handprints. The oil was clear gelatin, flavored and partially colored with vanilla, and colored with black food coloring. For the “meat” of the thing, I knew I wanted something that would not aborb too much of the gelatin before it set. I decided on cheesecake, but I wanted to keep it all in the theme, so I made a chunky raspberry jam, and made it thicker and a little chunkier it by mixing in freeze-dried raspberries while it finished cooking, so it could adequately represent all the human flesh materials in the Death Stranding trailers when mixed into the top half of the cheesecake. The bottom half was swirled with fudge on top of a chocolate crumb crust to represent the earth under the oil and flesh on the beach—though if I were to make it again, I would double the fudge-to-cheesecake ratio because the fudge swirls ended up not being as visible as I had hoped.
Overall, it was as experimental as ever—I was familiar with graham cracker crust, cheesecake, jam, hot fudge, and gelatin, but never all together like this. I was very worried about how it would all hold up (mostly in taste, but also in structure) when everything came together, but the result was absolutely delicious!