Archive for Halloween

Cadbury Screme Eggs for Halloween

Posted in English food, Gifts, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , on 01/10/2011 by libbyplummer

Cadbury Screme EggFans of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs will be pleased to hear that they’re no longer confined to Easter. The legendary chocolate manufacturer is selling a slightly more macabre version in celebration of Halloween. Renamed Screme Eggs, the sinister treats sport a suitably seasonal green, purple and black wrapper, while the traditional yellow yolk has been transformed into a toxic green.

After a Twitter-based tip-off from Miss Cakehead, I hotfooted it down to Selfridge’s on Oxford Street to pick up a few (half a dozen to be precise). In my defence – I’ve only eaten one so far.

Keep your eyes peeled in the shops or order direct from Cadbury – 15 notes for 24 eggs.

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Halloween weekend

Posted in Cakes, Out and about, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , on 01/11/2010 by libbyplummer

Well, it’s certainly been a busy Halloween weekend. As well as knocking up a batch of ghoulish cakes, and watching a selection of horror films including Night of the Demon, Halloween 5 and the BBC’s Ghostwatch, I also took a visit to the world’s first 18+ cake shop. The Eat Your Heart Out pop-up shop was open between 29 and 31 October and was located in the basement of Maiden in London’s hipster central – Shoreditch High Street. Each day, a selection of 666 gruesome cakes and biscuits were on offer to fans of slightly sinister food.

Among the delights offered by the shop were Lily Vanilli‘s red velvet Bleeding Heart cakes, Occult Jam from jelly experts Bompas & Parr and the particularly grim-looking Human Centipiede biscuits from Alice Rose Cakes & Cookies. I was also especially impressed by the Psycho ‘to do’ list cupcakes from CakeyPigg.

After spending a fair bit of time wandering round in the dingy basement, I eventually opted for a Wolfsbane cupcake from The Poison Series by Leshie Loves Cakes. Along with purple-tinged sponge and a handmade Wolfsbane flower decoration, the scrummy morsel was topped with black Courvoisier icing which, if I’m honest, is what swayed my decision.

Still high on a mixture of sugar and brandy-flavoured icing, I set about making my own batch of creepy cakes. As I still had a Halloween costume to make, and a dwindling amount of hours available, I decided to keep things simple by making vanilla-flavoured cakes with contrasting orange and black cases and icing (see main picture, and the one below).

A special mention must also go to my mum who whipped up a batch of red velvet Dracula’s Bite cakes from Lily Vanilli’s A Zombie Ate My Cupcake book. I’ll think you’ll agree they look suitably ghoulish.

After hastily lining my stomach with a champion’s dinner of toast and a homemade cupcake, I set off to my chum’s halloween party dressed as a zombie girl guide, as you do. Upon arrival, preposterous amounts of rum and diet coke were consumed.

Pumpkin and ginger cake

Posted in American food, Cakes, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , on 29/10/2010 by libbyplummer

As the countdown to Halloween continues, I thought I’d post a quick pic of one of the pumpkin and ginger cakes that I made last year. Apologies, I didn’t intend to capture the kitchen sponge in the background…

Pumpkin pie

Posted in American food, Pies, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , , on 28/10/2010 by libbyplummer

Apart from Halloween, the best thing about this time of year has to be pumpkin pie, although of course the two go hand-in-hand. I usually use the flesh from my Halloween pumpkin to make the pie, but I also get a few tins of Libby’s pumpkin puree in too, partly for convenience, and partly from the narcissistic joy it gives me to buy something with my name on it. It’s not very easy to find in the UK, so I get mine online from www.americansweets.co.uk.

You can make the pastry yourself if you want, but I prefer to cheat and use a ready-made pie case as they’re much less likely to burn or go soggy. Here’s the recipe that I use:

What you’ll need:
2 x ready-made pastry cases (around 8in diameter)
4oz/110g/1 cup light soft brown sugar
A good pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1 large egg
14oz/450g/4 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 pint/150ml/just under 3/4 cup whipping cream

What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C/gas mark 5 (170 degrees if using a fan oven). If using fresh pumpkin, boil the flesh until soft and then drain. Make sure that it’s as drained as is possible, otherwise you’ll end up with far too much moisture in your mixture. Next, mash it up with a potato masher.

If you’re using tinned pumpkin, then you can skip to straight to the easy bit. Mix together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, mace and egg and beat with a fork. Once it’s all mixed in well, add the pumpkin and the cream and mix together until it’s all combined. Dollop it carefully into the two pie cases and even the mixture out with a spatula. Bung in the oven for about 35-35 mins until the filling looks slightly firm and the pastry is just beginning to go golden brown. Leave to cool. Serve on its own or top with cream (there’s usually some leftover whipping cream if you’ve bought a big enough pot).

Halloween chocolate biscuits

Posted in Biscuits, Seasonal food with tags , , , , on 18/10/2010 by libbyplummer

After watching a double bill of Halloween 4 and Suspiria on Saturday night, I was definitely in the mood for a bit of seasonal baking on Sunday morning. I opted for chocolate biscuits using an excellent recipe from the Nigella Christmas book where the biccies are topped with festive-coloured hundreds and thousands (which, inexplicably, seem to be referred to as nonpareils in countries outside of the UK).

In keeping with the current season, I used some orange and black hundreds and thousands from Wilton that I tracked down in a US Target store last October.

The best thing about these sweet snacks, as with many of the best chocolate cakes and biscuits, is that they don’t actually contain any chocolate (bear with me). The choccy taste is instead accomomplished with cocoa and sugar, so that you don’t get the sickly sweet, greasy results that chocolate tends to bring with it. If you don’t believe me, get yourself a copy of the book and try it out for yourself…

Halloween – the best time of year for baking

Posted in Seasonal food with tags , , , on 17/10/2010 by libbyplummer

Anyone who knows me will know that my favourite time of year is autumn (that’s the fall, to our American cousins). Not only do we get crisp, sunny days, Guy Fawkes Night and the overwhelming urge to drink red wine in cosy pubs again, we also get Halloween – the best time of year for baking.

The UK didn’t really celebrate Halloween in a big way when I was a nipper in the 80s – only in more recent years has the commercial influence from the US hit these shores, bringing with it a host of Halloween-inspired goodies. Considering that when I was young, there was only one type of witch’s hat available throughout all the shops in and around London (a flimsy black and orange disappointment, unlovingly crafted from cardboard), the selection available now is immense.

However, in our house, we always made an effort for Halloween. Not that I wish to paint my close relatives as some sort of modern-day Munsters, but we always dressed up and had some kind of Halloween nibbles. Pumpkins weren’t widely available in the UK back then, so we used to have a lantern carved out of a swede instead (a tradition handed down from my South African gran).

Nowadays, there are pumpkins aplenty in the local supermarkets which opens the door for plenty of seasonal recipes, as do the cans of Libby’s pumpkin that I stock up on every year through www.americansweets.co.uk.

I’ll be posting updates of my Halloween-based baked goods over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here’s a piccie of the pumpkin that I carved last year…