TWIN FALLS• For some people, this is the best time of year — when they dress in costume, carve pumpkins and decorate their homes with ghosts and witches. And when it comes to ghoulish foods, these Halloween lovers are just as creative.
Take Billy Elser, for instance. His scary Halloween recipe is something that sends shivers down the spine if you just think about tasting it. His dish, which is just as much a trick as a treat, is something he calls Kitty Litter Cake.
“It’s pretty nasty looking,” he said.
Yes, it is.
The crumbly cake, which resembles cat litter, is topped with spots of green food coloring and half-buried brown lumps.
You know what those brown lumps represent, he said. But don’t worry, they’re just reshaped Tootsie Rolls.
Elser came up with the recipe years ago when he and his sister used to compete to see who could come up with the best, ickiest homemade Halloween dish. It was a fun way for the siblings to celebrate the ghoulish day, and they’d always try to outdo each other.
Elser’s cake was a win.
These days, an Internet search will turn up recipes for similarly disgusting litter box cakes.
Elser, who owns Cactus Grill on Home Depot property in Twin Falls and plans to open a restaurant south of Hansen along Rock Creek Road in November, said Halloween is one of his favorite days. The cake is not something he serves at Cactus Grill, he said, but it’s always a hit at Halloween parties and family gatherings. It draws plenty of “ewws” and “yucks” — it’s presented in a real cat litter box and served with a kitty litter scoop.
Don’t worry: The box and scoop are always new, never-used items.
Still, the gross factor abounds.
His wife, Laurie, remembers the first time she saw the cake. She wouldn’t walk with him into a party. He went in first, and she followed a few minutes later.
“I didn’t want to be seen with it,” she said.
What did the partygoers think of the cake? The same thing everyone else thinks when they first see it, Laurie Elser said.
“It’s a pretty icky, disgusting cake,” she said. “But if you can get past the visual, it does taste good. ... It really is just a cake.”