A couple of weeks ago, on the 29th October to be precise, I did a lot of baking for my families Halloween party but unfortunately due to work commitments eating through my time I don’t seem to have gotten round to posting my pictures!
So here they are, my final Halloween offerings for the year.
Between me and my little monkey we made:
- Butterscotch chocolate monster cakes with chocolate ganache topping (and some great eyes that I bought ages ago!)
- A bleeding cake which was a chocolate and vanilla sponge with an extra surprise of being full of smarties which fell out when the cake was cut
- Vanilla and raspberry bad teeth cupcakes
- And finally, my monkeys offering of green fairy cakes which were actually strawberry flavoured. A great idea and confusion for the brain all at once
My sister was fascinated how made the piñata cake with the smarties inside. She asked how they didn’t melt when baked – hehe. I politely explained in all of my big sisterly kindness how I cut out a hole and filled the cake after it was baked.
The cake actually was iced this way due to an accident from me. Because I forgot to put jam down the sides before icing so the icing slipped down and tore.
I was determined not to be stressed out by it so I filled the ‘cut’ with strawberry jam which left it looking like some gruesome surgery. Phew!
Onto Christmas next and this time it’ll be properly iced.
Today it was Mcmillan charity cake day at work and naturally I offered to bake something for it.
The problem was that in my head I was going to bake a quick fruit cake and ice with a nice funny phrase. What actually happened was the day of the bake sale I had to work 50 miles away from my office at another site and the day before I had to do a 100 mile round trip for work! Dilemma.
I wanted to bake but they had to be something sturdy, easy to transport and ok to sit in my car whilst I drove around and attended a meeting. In the end I settled for chocolate brownies, the wonderful sturdy baked goods. Not fancy but very tasty and most importantly able to withstand my driving.
The recipe I used was from Donna Hay: http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/15140/standby-brownies
I saw her bake this recipe on TV one day and then my auntie bought me her cookbook as a present when I was visiting in Australia. Since first seeing it on TV I’ve never used another brownie recipe since, honestly this never fails and chocolate doesn’t keep in my cupboards (yes. I mean I eat it!) so this is perfect.
I was going to put the chocolate chips inside but I kinda forgot so they became a good sprinkling.
Although I didn’t get to go to this bake sale, I did hear that the brownies sold quickly so I’m glad I got to make a small but chocolatey contribution.
And the place I went for work today had their own cake sale so I had cake for breakfast and lunch… Shh.
Most people don’t like the same things, like Marmite or marzipan they divide opinions; but there is one flavour you always seem to be able to rely on as a crowd pleaser and that is chocolate orange.
Just the smell of it makes me think of Christmas although this year was the first one in a while that I didn’t end up with an over abundance of Terry’s chocolate oranges that I had to devour before I took the Christmas tree down.
I wanted to make some cakes for my cousin and thought instead of the standard vanilla I would make chocolate orange ones. It’s a really easy recipe to do but looks and tastes really good, especially if you swirl the icing using a flower nozzle.
I decided to use some Nutella in the buttercream icing to make it more chocolatey and it worked very well.
Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
4oz Caster Sugar
4oz Self Raising Flour
1oz Cocoa Powder
1tsp Orange Essence
Handful chocolate chips
For the icing – a very large tablespoon of margarine mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of icing sugar and 1 level tablespoon of cocoa powder. Once this has been mixed together till it is very light add a tablespoon of Nutella and a teaspoon of orange essence.
Pre heat the oven to 180c Gas 4
In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and sugar together till it becomes pale.
In a separate bowl combine the flour and cocoa powder.
Add one egg and a third of the flour and cocoa powder then mix in till just combined.
Do the same with the 2nd egg and flour and cocoa powder.
Stir in the remaining flour along with the orange essence and chocolate chips. You want the consistency to be a little thick but easy to stir. If it looks a little dry add a small drop of milk.
Separate into cake cases and bake in the oven for at least 20 minutes, or until you can press the top of the cakes and they spring back up.
Once cool, top with the chocolate buttercream and decorate how you like. I used gold glitter and a jelly orange slice.