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Halloween Baking

If you're throwing a fancy dress party or just fancy having some fun in the kitchen this Halloween, why not give some of our recipes a try?

We promise they're utterly spooktacular!

A great selection of mix-and-match ideas that are as much fun to make as they are to eat.  

You'll find scary-but-delicious skeleton gingerbread men, two creepy cupcake recipes and 5 ideas for deathly decoration, there are no tricks here folks, just TREAT TREAT TREATS....

Gingerbread Skeletons

Makes approx 20 large (4 inch) and 40 small (2 inch) biscuits

Gingerbread Biscuits
150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
70g caster sugar
70g soft dark brown sugar
100g golden syrup
360g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  • Line 4 baking sheets with greaseproof/baking paper
  • Melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a pan, stirring until smooth and well combined
  • Sift the flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl
  • Pour the butter mix into the flour mix and bring together
  • Knead the mixture until it forms a good dough - if it seems too dry you can add a drop of water but be careful not to make it too wet
  • Roll the dough into a ball, flatten to about 2cm thick, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins or so
  • Once cooled, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out onto a flour dusted surface until it's 5mm thick
  • Cut out your gingerbread men, divide among the baking sheets and place in the oven to bake - approx 8 mins for mini men and 12 mins for the larger men
  • Once baked, remove from the baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks ready for decorating...

Icing

250g icing sugar
2 - 3 tbsp boiling water

  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, mix in the boiling water, then beat until very smooth
  • Pour the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle - alternatively, use a freezer bag trimmed at one corner to pipe your decorations
  • Now skeletise those biscuits!
  • We added faces to ours by piping melted dark chocolate onto the dried icing but they look just as good when left blank
  • The mini men can also be used as cute cupcake toppers - we added some to Vanilla Cupcakes with piped Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12

180g unsalted butter, softened
180g caster sugar
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
60-80mls milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases
  • Place all cupcake ingredients into a food processor and mix until well combined
  • The mixture should be of dropping consistency, so add extra milk if necessary
  • Spoon the batter into the paper cases so that each one is about two thirds full
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the buttercream

If you don’t have a food processor:

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix through
  • Gently fold in the flour and add the milk, taking care not to over-mix

Vanilla Buttercream

Enough to frost 24 cupcakes

100g unsalted butter, softened - 250g icing sugar - 1 tbsp milk - 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Beat the butter until smooth
  • Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until well combined
  • Sift in the remainder of the icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
  • Pipe or spoon onto your finished cupcakes and decorate however you wish
  • If piping, depending on which nozzle you're using, you might need a larger quantity of the buttercream to cover all of the cakes.

Monster Cupcakes

  • Use the Vanilla Cupcake and Vanilla Buttercream recipes above, adding green food colouring to half the icing until you get your desired shade
  • Go crazy decorating the frosted cupcakes with a mixture of monster faces a with a selection of kids sweets - chopping them to size for different features and finishing off with piped melted chocolate for some of the eyes
  • We used the following for ours: marshmallows, mini marshmallows, strawberry laces, fizzy cola laces, mini jelly beans, smarties and gummy teeth!

Muddy Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24

225g unsalted butter, softened
400g dark brown soft or dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
200g plain flour, mixed with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml boiling water

  • Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  • Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with paper cases
  • Melt the dark chocolate and leave to cool slightly
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Pour in the eggs along with the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly
  • Add in the cooled melted chocolate and gently combine
  • Fold in spoonfuls of the flour and bicarb alternately with splashes of water until all the ingredients have been added - the batter should be fairly liquid and free of lumps
  • At this stage it’s easiest to decant the cake-mix into a jug
  • Pour the batter into the paper cases so that each one is about two thirds full
  • Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through

N.B. Given the ‘muddy’ nature of these cupcakes you can expect each of them to have a dip in the middle - don’t worry about it, you haven’t done anything wrong!

Chocolate Buttercream

Enough to frost 24 cupcakes

175g dark chocolate, finely chopped - 100g unsalted butter, softened - 250g icing sugar -
1/2 tsp vanilla extract - 100mls milk

  • Melt the chocolate and leave to cool slightly
  • Beat the butter until smooth
  • Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until well combined
  • Sift in the remainder of the icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy
  • Pour the chocolate into the mixture and mix until combined
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
  • Pipe or spoon onto your finished cupcakes and decorate however you wish
  • If piping, depending on which nozzle you're using, you might need a larger quantity of the buttercream to cover all of the cakes.

Ghost Cupcake Toppers

Makes 12

  • Press 12 round lollies into a block of syrofoam to hold them steady while decorating
  • Roll out a package of white fondant icing to a thickness of 3mm
  • Cut 12 x 2inch and 12 x 4inch discs
  • Wrap each lollipop with a 2inch disc of icing (to hide the lolly colour), then drape each one with a 4inch disc to form a ghost
  • Add eyes by piping or dotting melted dark chocolate onto the finished ghosts
  • Stick the ghosts into iced cupcakes

Spider’s Web Cupcake Toppers

Makes 12

  • Take 12 Chocolate Cupcakes iced with Chocolate Buttercream
  • Print out our Spider’s Web Template
  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof/baking paper sliding the template underneath so that you can see it through the paper
  • Melt 100g white chocolate and use to fill a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle - alternatively, you can use a freezer bag trimmed at one corner to pipe your decorations
  • Carefully trace the printed webs with the melted chocolate, moving the template after the first 6 so you can use it for the remaining 6 webs
  • Place the baking sheet in the fridge so that the chocolate can set
  • Remove from the fridge then gently pop them on top of your cupcakes adding a plastic or gummy spider to each as a creepy finishing touch

Scary Spider Cupcakes

  • Take some Muddy Chocolate Cupcakes, topping them with a layer of Chocolate Buttercream
  • Dip each cupcake into a small bowl of chocolate vermicelli and press down gently so that it adheres to the buttercream
  • Cut mini marshmallows in half and press them in to the icing to form the spider's eyes
  • Use a skewer or lollipop stick to make 4 holes down each side of the cupcake and insert a cola lace into each one - we used fizzy laces so that our spiders would look more like tarantulas!
  • Finish off the eyes with a couple of spots of piped melted chocolate

All recipes can be easily doubled or halved to suit your requirements. The biscuits should keep well in an airtight container for up to a week but the cupcakes are best eaten on the day they are made.

If you have a go at any of these recipes, please let us know how you get on. Better still, why not tweet or email us a photo - we'd love to see your Halloween handiwork!

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