6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween

Get ready to be the Hot House on the Trick or Treaters Hit List…
6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

Happy *almost* Halloween from this incredibly ferocious maneating(/cuddling) lion and I! Last year I spent Halloween out in Florida. Sunny and I crashed a costume party dressed up as Spongebob Squarepants and a Pineapple (I drew the short straw on that one…), went to a pumpkin patch (in 90° Floridian heat…), experienced an All Hallows Eve straight out of Hocus Pocus with lots and lots of Trick or Treaters, and just generally had an amazing time experiencing Halloween across the pond. But – obviously – I missed Bungle; he absolutely LOVES Halloween because we get lots and lots of visitors (his favourite thing), and he tends to get a lot of extra attention especially when we dress him up. I’m excited to be home for Halloween this year, but I’ve been really lazy getting myself organised for it. I finally got around to picking up a couple of pumpkins and some sweets for the Trick or Treaters this morning (hopefully I can resist and not end up scoffing them between now and Thursday night…), but I’m not going to have time to do any baking this week or come up with a brand new, Halloween-inspired recipe – so instead, here are six spooky recipes from the archives that are frightfully good (…yeesh). 😉

6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

Spooky Doooooooooonuts

Halloween Doughnuts, Spooky Doughnuts for Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

If you’ve never made doughnuts at home before then you’ll honestly be blown over by how easy they are to make – especially if you’ve got a breadmaker or mixer with a dough hook. These Spooky Doooooonuts (see what I did there?) are almost too cute to eat, and are the perfect treat to take along to a Halloween Party or have next to the door once the Trick or Treaters really get going. Once you’ve fried the doughnuts, all you need is a bit of royal icing and some chocolate gel to pipe on the eyes – easy peasy! And I defy you not to laugh every time you offer someone a *spooky voice* doooooooooonut. 🙂

Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries

Halloween Freaky Fries, Beetroot Freaky Fries - The Cardiff Cwtch

These Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries wouldn’t be out of place at Dracula’s Halloween Shindig or whatever party Hannibal Lecter’s throwing this year; the beetroots are sweet, the bacon’s salty, the sriracha gives everything a little kick, and the cheese… well, I don’t need to sell you on melted cheese, do I?  Also – bonus – cooking these will make you look like you’ve slaughtered someone; handling the beetroot is bloody messy – you’ve been warned!

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake - The Cardiff Cwtch

Hands up if you’ve ever thrown away all the guts after carving your pumpkin. Yup, me too. I think we’ve all been there; you get all excited to carve up your pumpkin, scoop out all the flesh and where does it all go? In the food bin. What a waste! This year, why not put all the good stuff to good use and whip up this very, very easy Leftover Pumpkin Traybake which not only makes use of the pumpkin flesh, but also the seeds to make a crunchy topping.

Bag o’ Bombs Doughnuts

Halloween Donut Holes - The Cardiff Cwtch

Trust me, learning how to whip up your own dozen doughnuts is just as DANGEROUS as a real bag o’ bombs. Once you’ve got the recipe for the dough down, you’ll be making them all the time! These Fresh Doughnut Holes are the perfect snack to take along trick or treating – especially when they’re warm and covered in cinnamon sugar. If you’re feeling creative, fill them with jam (blood) or even chocolate – if you can get hold of some Cadburry’s Scream Eggs, then you can even turn these Cream Egg-filled Doughnuts into Halloween Flavoured ones!

Teacake Cupcakes

Marshmallow Hi-Hat Teacake Cupcakes for Halloween - The Cardiff CwtchMarshmallow Buttercream Hi-Hat Teacake Cupcakes for Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

All the American bakers out there will probably recognise these as “Hi-Hat” cupcakes, but for the uninitiated Brits – let’s just call them Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes – just normal cupcakes with the added bonus of a marshmallow tea cake (/poo emoji) perched on top. With a little bit of strategic freezer time to allow the marshmallow buttercream to set before they get dunked in their chocolate coating, they’re a snap to make – and with a plate of these waiting by the door you’re bound to be the most popular house on the block! 😉

Werewolf Poop (Chocolate Brigadeiros)

Werewolf Poop, Werewolf Droppings - Halloween Recipes - The Cardiff Cwtch

If you’ve never heard of Brigadeiros before then all you need to know is that they’re the easiest chocolate truffle you’ll ever make. Four ingredients, a little hob time and a fridge is all you need to make them. They’re a little bit different from usual truffles – they’re a bit gooey and kind of a cross between caramel and soft fudge, but those are all good qualities in my book and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that these are dangerously delish. Dress them up as Werewolf Poop and you’ve got a very easy Halloween Treat to tempt the neighbourhood with.

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a good one! 🎃 🎃 🎃

Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries

Beetroot Filthy Fries

Halloween is upon us! I love getting creative in the kitchen this time of year and serving up spooky recipes. I’m kind of like Monica Geller when she tries to out-cook herself at Thanksgiving; I challenge myself to come up with ghoulish-themed grub that’s never been done before.  There was the year of the pumpkin guts traybake (don’t bin your carved pumpkin flesh!), and how about the ghostly ring doughnuts (Doooooooonuts) I made last year?

This year, I’ve gone for something a little bit different.  There don’t seem to be many halloween inspired recipes for freaky fries out there, so I came up with my own!  These Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries wouldn’t be out of place at Dracula’s Halloween Shindig or whatever party Hannibal Lecter’s throwing this year; the beetroots are sweet, the bacon’s salty, the sriracha gives everything a little kick, and the cheese… well, I don’t need to sell you on melted cheese, do I?  Also – bonus – cooking these will make you look like you’ve slaughtered someone; handling the beetroot is bloody messy – you’ve been warned!

Beetroot Filthy Fries

Bloody Beetroot Dirty Fries (serves two)

Ingredients

  • 3 large beetroots
  • 250g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 50g chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp sriracha seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • onion relish (optional, but this one from Marks and Spencer is the bomb-diggity)
  1. Peel and chop your beetroot into chunks shaped like fries.  Pop them in a saucepan and boil them with some salt for 20 minutes until soft.  Drain them, then leave them to dry out for an hour.
  2. Put the fries in a bowl and coat them with the olive oil, then spread them out evenly on a lined baking tray.  Set the oven to 200°, generously season the fries with some salt and pepper and then bake them for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. While the fries are cooking, fry up your bacon, chop your parsley and grate your cheese.  Once the bacon is cooked, I like to coat it in some onion relish – but frying up some chopped onions is a good alternative.
  4. Once the fries are cooked, load them with the bacon and half of the cheese and pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Finish things off with the last of the cheese, and then sprinkle with parsley and sriracha seasoning.  Scoff!  🙂


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Happy Halloween everyone! 🎃

 

Dooooooooonuts

The toughest thing about making these ghoulish donuts was coming up with a name for them.  There are so many great spooky names for food this time of year (I still maintain that Cadburry’s Scream Eggs are even better than normal Cream Eggs), but when Sunny asked what the hell these were and I replied excitedly “Ghost-nuts!” (easy now…) I realised that it just wasn’t going to cut it.  I came up short and just settled on Doooooooooonuts instead.

Anyway, as I was saying, these mini donuts are easy peasy to make  – especially if you’ve got a bread maker at home – and would make a great little Halloween Party treat!  🙂


Dooooooooonuts (makes 9 mini donuts)

Ingredients

  • 125g strong white flour (and a little extra for dusting)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 75ml of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp of softened butter
  • Half a sachet of instant dried yeast
  • vegetable oil for frying (use a small, deep saucepan to save wasting too much!)
  • Black food colouring (I used one Dr Oetker gel tube)
  • Ready to roll white Royal Icing (you could probably make your own, but I wanted that smooth white finish for my ghosts)
  • Piped chocolate for the “eyes”
  1. If you’ve got a bread maker then you’re all sorted; put the water in first, then the dried ingredients and hit the dough program.  Easy!  If you’re a hand baker, then you’ll need to sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and then add the water, butter and yeast – gradually bringing the dough together.  Knead for 5 minutes, then cover with cling film and leave to prove somewhere warm.  Within about an hour the dough should have doubled in size.
  2. Knock back the dough and roll it out on a floured surface.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out your doughnut shape, and a smaller one to cut out the hole in the middle.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium-low heat.  You can use one of the doughnut holes to test whether it’s hot enough; if it puffs up quickly then you’re good to go.  Watch out though, due to the black food colouring it’ll be harder to tell whether your donuts are cooked so you’ll have to be extra vigilant when cooking them.
  4. With a spoon, dip each doughnut into the oil for about five minutes each – tipping  them over half way.  Dry them off on a plate with a paper towel and leave to cool.
  5. Use a large cutter to cut out the rolled icing, then place over each donut like a table cloth.  I used a piping nozzle to poke through each hole to create the “mouth”.
  6. Pipe on the eyes and then try not to laugh every time you offer someone a *spooky voice* doooooooooooonut.

Happy Halloween everyone!  (Calan Gaeaf Hapus!) 🎃

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

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I finally got around to carving up my pale pumpkin today, and I was faced with that annual dilemma; what the hell do I do with all those pumpkin guts?  I’ve been guilty of just chucking it all in the bin many a time, until last year, when I blitzed it all into a puree and attempted to make soup and pumpkin risotto.  But both were a massive flop and ended up in the bin anyway!  So this year I decided to make something sweet instead and settled on this spiced pumpkin traybake with cream cheese frosting and roasted pumpkin seeds on top.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out… which is good, because there’s a whole tub of pumpkin goo in the fridge to get though!  I think I’ll be making batches loooong after Halloween is over with!  🙂

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

Ingredients

  • 100g Pumpkin Puree (just blitz or boil and mash your pumpkin guts)
  • 100g Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (I roasted mine with salt and cinnamon for 10 mins)
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 150g Butter
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g Cream Cheese
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  1. Grease and line a deep rectangular baking tray and set the oven to 180°.
  2. Cream together 100g of butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger, then stir in the pumpkin puree.  
  3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then stir into the main mix.
  4. Add the flour and baking power, then fold in to make a batter.  Spoon into your baking tray and bake for around 25 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).  Once baked, allow it to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  5. To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar and stir until smooth.  Spread over the top of the cake, then cut into equal squares.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped pumpkin seeds.  Yum!

Hope everyone’s having a good week!  🎃

Salted Caramel Macarons

It’s National Dessert Day tomorrow (*shrugs* apparently… When’s National Naming Days Day, I wonder?), not that I need any excuse to scoff sweet things, of course – especially around this time of year.  I’m already on to my second pack of Fiendish Fancies, and today I decided to make some Halloween-ish Macarons.  I’ve made them a couple of times before and they’re a bit fiddily, but there are a few short cuts you can take to make the job a little easier (like buying butter cream rather than making it yourself, shh!).  I mean, alright, they’re not going to win any awards or put Ladurée out of business, but they taste good – and that’s all that matters, right?

Salted Caramel Macarons

Ingredients

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 90g egg whites
  • 110g caster sugar
  • A couple of drops of orange food colouring
  • Pre-made Buttercream icing
  • Salted Caramel Flavoring (yep, you can buy it!)
  • Melted chocolate to decorate
  1. Whisk together the caster sugar and egg whites to form stiff white peaks, then add the food colouring.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into the mixture, then fold in.
  3. To get a perfect coin shape use a piping bag and nozzle, but you can do just as good a job with a pointed spoon and a steady hand.  Pipe out onto a lined baking tray, then leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake at 160° for about 10 minutes.
  5. Sandwich with your flavoured buttercream, drizzle with chocolate, then scoff!

I’m going to carve up my pale pumpkin this weekend (although it’s meant to be really hot here in Wales – very un-Halloween like!).  Have a lovely weekend everyone! 🙂