Your Total Guide To eating and drinking

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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

Gingerbread Skeletons

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

Gingerbread Biscuit Ingredients:

  • 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    

Icing:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 - 3 tbsp boiling water

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  2. Line 4 baking sheets with greaseproof/baking paper
  3. Melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a pan, stirring until smooth and well combined
  4. Sift the flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl
  5. Pour the butter mix into the flour mix and bring together
  6. 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
  7. Roll the dough into a ball, flatten to about 2cm thick, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins or so
  8. Once cooled, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out onto a flour dusted surface until it's 5mm thick
  9. 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
  10. Once baked, remove from the baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks ready for decorating...
  11. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, mix in the boiling water, then beat until very smooth
  12. 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
  13. Now skeletise those biscuits!
  14. We added faces to ours by piping melted dark chocolate onto the dried icing but they look just as good when left blank
  15. The mini men can also be used as cute cupcake toppers - we added some to Vanilla Cupcakes with piped Vanilla Buttercream.
Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes: 12

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  2. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases
  3. Place all cupcake ingredients into a food processor and mix until well combined
  4. The mixture should be of dropping consistency, so add extra milk if necessary
  5. Spoon the batter into the paper cases so that each one is about two thirds full
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the buttercream
  8. If you don’t have a food processor:
  9. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  10. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition
  11. Add the vanilla extract and mix through
  12. Gently fold in the flour and add the milk, taking care not to over-mix

Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients:

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

Method:

  1. Beat the butter until smooth
  2. Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until well combined
  3. Sift in the remainder of the icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy
  4. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
  5. Pipe or spoon onto your finished cupcakes and decorate however you wish
  6. 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

Monster Cupcakes

Makes: 12

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

If you don’t have a food processor:

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

Buttercream

Ingredients:

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

Method: 

  1. Beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until well combined.
  3. Sift in the remainder of the icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  5. Use the Vanilla Cupcake and Vanilla Buttercream recipes above, adding green food colouring to half the icing until you get your desired shade.
  6. 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.
  7. We used the following for ours: marshmallows, mini marshmallows, strawberry laces, fizzy cola laces, mini jelly beans, smarties and gummy teeth!
Muddy Chocolate Cupcakes

Muddy Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes: 24

Ingredients:

  • ?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

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan).
  2. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with paper cases.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Pour in the eggs along with the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and gently combine.
  7. 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.
  8. At this stage it’s easiest to decant the cake-mix into a jug.
  9. Pour the batter into the paper cases so that each one is about two thirds full.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through.

Chocolate Buttercream

Ingreidents:

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

Method:

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

Spider Cakes

Makes: 24

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° (160° fan)
  2. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with paper cases
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and leave to cool slightly
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  5. Pour in the eggs along with the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly
  6. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and gently combine
  7. 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
  8. At this stage it’s easiest to decant the cake-mix into a jug
  9. Pour the batter into the paper cases so that each one is about two thirds full
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through

Chocolate Buttercream Ingreidents:

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

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate and leave to cool slightly
  2. Beat the butter until smooth
  3. Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until well combined
  4. Sift in the remainder of the icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy
  5. Pour the chocolate into the mixture and mix until combined
  6. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
  7. Pipe or spoon onto your finished cupcakes and decorate however you wish
  8. If piping, depending on which nozzle you're using, you might need a larger quantity of the buttercream to cover all of the cakes.
  9. Print out our Spider’s Web Template
  10. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof/baking paper sliding the template underneath so that you can see it through the paper
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Place the baking sheet in the fridge so that the chocolate can set
  14. 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
Mummy Cupcakes

Mummy Cupcakes

Makes: 24

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix (such as Duncan Hines®)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • ? cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) can vanilla frosting
  • 48 chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners, preferable dark-colored or Halloween-themed ones.
  2. Combine cake mix, water, eggs, and oil in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed until batter is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 21 minutes. Remove from oven and cool tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before decorating, about 1 hour.
  4. Spoon frosting in an pastry bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Pipe strands of frosting onto the top and bottom of the cupcakes, leaving an oval eye shape exposed in the middle. Pipe 2 dots in the exposed middle for the mummy's eyes. Place 2 chocolate chips flat-side up in the middle of each dot for the pupils.
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