Trick or treat? Three freaky bakes for Halloween 2018
PUBLISHED: 17:39 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:52 24 October 2018
Charlotte Smith-Jarvis conjures up some spooky bakes for Halloween.
Halloween is one of my favourite times of year. I flipping well love everything about it – from carving pumpkins, to watching horror films (with a pillow in front of my eyes) and taking my kids trick or treating.
It’s also a pretty cool time in my kitchen. Health goes out the window as we pull out all the food colouring, sweets, cookie cutters and decorations to make a bunch of gory-looking, calorie-laden cakes, bakes and cookies.
My children Ella and Ethan have great fun getting stuck in helping and watching their eyes open wide with delight as we put together our monstrous creations is brilliant.
This year we’ve gone with a spider/zombie/witch theme. All perfect for a bewitching party this October.
Sweet spiced butternut, orange and chocolate tart
If you’re like me and you’re a bit scared about cutting pumpkins (I always feel like I could chop my hand off by accident) this tart is the perfect compromise in place of a pumpkin pie this Halloween. It might sound a bit weird but the vegetable totally works in a dessert, with the brown sugar, evaporated milk, spices and orange making it really quite scrumptious. At the bottom is an oozing layer of Scarlett & Mustard’s new chocolate and orange sauce but you could use any other chocolate spread maybe mixed with a touch of orange liqueur.
For the base:
200g plain flour
50g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, cubed
For the filling
1 large butternut squash, cut into large wedges and seeds removed
180g light brown sugar
3 large eggs
175ml evaporated milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch sea salt
1tsp vanilla extract
1 beaten egg for brushing
Set the oven to 200C, place the butternut on a tray and bake for about 40 minutes until soft and a little caramelised. Allow to cool slightly then scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth.
Pop the butter, flour and sugar for the pastry in a food processor and blitz to make breadcrumbs. Add iced water, little by little until it comes together as a dough. Wrap and chill.
Add the butternut flesh to a food processor and throw in the sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, spices, salt, cornflour and vanilla. Whizz until smooth. Pop into a saucepan and cook on a low heat, whisking all the time until very thick and smooth – it will almost come away from the bottom of the pan. If there are lumps pass through a sieve. Allow to cool.
Set your oven to 190C, roll the pastry out on a floured surface to ½cm thick and line a 23cm tart tin. Line with greaseproof, add baking beans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, brush all over with the beaten egg and return to the oven for five minutes.
Remove and allow to cool completely. Cover the cooled base with the chocolate sauce/spread then dollop over your cooled filling. Decorate the top however you like (I went for a cobweb), glaze with more egg and bake for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. It’s lovely with sweetened mascarpone cream.
The decoration ideas for these came from my son who is into both zombies and wizardry at the moment. Any children will love helping to make the toppings. You can make your own eyeballs easily by rolling white fondant into balls and colouring with edible icing pens. The Co-op has some fantastic jelly sweet eyeballs though which are hard to resist!
For the cakes
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
110g self-raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
For the toppings:
Lime jelly, strawberry jelly, purple, black and white fondant icing, gold food colouring spray, buttercream, eyeball sweets (or make your own as above)
Whisk together all the cake ingredients. Set the oven to 190C. Line a cupcake tray with cases and evenly spoon in the mixture. Bake for 12 minutes, remove to rack to cool.
To make witches’ hats roll 1tsp pieces of purple fondant icing into oblong shapes. Begin to roll one end a bit more to make it pointy. Set it down on a flat surface and press the base down to make the rim of the hat. Roll out small ropes of black fondant icing and flatten them before fixing to the middle of the hat with a little icing sugar and water. Cut out tiny squares of icing, spray gold and fix to the centre of the black parts of the hats. Leave aside to set.
Make up the lime and strawberry jellies in separate bowls using half the recommended amount of water. Once set scrunch them up to look like clots.
Pipe buttercream onto half the cakes and top with witches’ hats. Scoop the top off the other half of the cakes and add dollops of jelly. Finish with an eyeball. Ewwww.
These look more cute than creepy and are our family take on Oreos. It’s our go-to chocolate biscuit recipe because it’s easy, doesn’t spread and keeps well.
100g unsalted butter, cubed
100g light brown sugar
1 medium egg
150 plain flour
To finish: red buttercream (I make mine with 75g butter, 150g icing sugar, 1tsp vanilla and milk to soften), red lace sweets, white ready made fondant, red food colouring pen
Set the oven to 180C. Put all the biscuit ingredients in a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Add a little chilled water to bring into a dough and wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
On a surface floured with cocoa powder, roll to 1/2cm thick and cut out 3cm circles. Place on trays and bake for nine-10 minutes.
Set on a rack to cool. Spread half the biscuits with buttercream and top with four 5cm long pieces of strawberry lace. Top with another biscuit to sandwich.
Roll tiny balls for the eyes, making pupils with the red icing pen and fix to the top of the biscuits with a little icing sugar and water.