Welcome back sisters, our time to fly is almost here. Halloween is just around the corner, so close in fact I can almost smell the cursed pumpkin pie and wart infused custard tarts... Yummy!
Listen up, we need to pull out our hats and get our bake on, for the greatest Halloween buffet isn't going to prepare itself now is it? Grab your cauldrons girls, as we turn up the flavour on ghostly treats and wicked delights.
How to impress your fellow witches... Here are a few cunning treats that'll make your dinner party a real 'scream!'
Slime Bug Cups
Starting with the 'Slime Bug Cups' - Dig deep down beyond the biscuit dirt, to find spooky sweets, spiders, snakes and worms wriggling in jelly. Oooh how thrilling!
- 4 x 135g packs lime jelly
- a selection of animal and bug sweets
- 2 x 154g packs Oreo biscuits
Make up the jelly following pack instructions. Pour a third of the mixture into 12 small glasses or plastic pots. Add a couple of bugs to each pot, then leave to set in the fridge, keeping remaining jelly at room temperature.
Once set, add more bugs to each container (lean some against edges, so they stick out the top). Pour over a third of the jelly and leave to set in the fridge. Repeat with remaining bugs and jelly.
For the soil topping, place cookies in a plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, bash into crumbs, then tip onto a plate.
Just before serving, sprinkle a layer of soil over each set jelly, then top with a mushroom, a slug and some ants or your choice of creepy crawlies.
Eerie Eyeball Pops
Lolly shaped cake treats that'll be eyeing you up as much much as you're eyeing them up!
- 100g/4oz madeira cake
- 100g Oreo cookie
- 100g bar milk chocolate
- 200g bar white chocolate
- Smarties and icing pens, to decorate
10 wooden skewers
½ small pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded, to stand pops in
Break the cake and cookies into the bowl of a food processor, pour in the melted milk chocolate and whizz to combine.
Tip the mixture into a bowl, then use your hands to roll into about 10 walnut-sized balls. Chill for 2 hrs until really firm.
Push a skewer into each ball, then carefully spoon the white chocolate over the cake balls to completely cover. Stand the cake pops in the pumpkin, then press a Smartie onto the surface while wet. Chill again until the chocolate has set. Before serving, using the icing pens, add a pupil to each Smartie and wiggly red veins to the eyeballs.
Get your guests wriggling with a tray of 'Pastry Snakes'. Garnish these little critters with toasted seeds or go wild and splash them with red current juice to look like snakes from hell.
- 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
- 50g grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
- flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- poppy seeds or sesame seeds to decorate
- black or green peppercorns
Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Unroll the pastry and top with a couple of handfuls of parmesan, then fold in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a thickness of 2mm. Cut into 1cm strips, then twist each strip several times to form a snake.
Lay out the snakes on a baking sheet, then brush each one with egg and sprinkle with more cheese. To decorate, scatter over the seeds. Flatten one end of each snake and press in two peppercorns for eyes. Bake for 12-14 mins, or until golden. Leave to cool. Will keep for two days in an airtight container.
Try making your own extra evil 'Toffee Apples', pop them on wooden twigs for a wicked witchy feel!
- 8 red apples
- 400g caster sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- red or black food colouring
- red or black food glitter (optional)
You will need:
- 8 sturdy, clean twigs or lolly sticks
Pull any stalks off the twigs and push the sharpest end of each stick (or the lolly sticks) into the stalk-end of each apple, making sure it is firmly wedged in. Put a large piece of baking parchment onto a wooden board.
Tip the sugar into a large saucepan and add the lemon juice and 100ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Swirl the pan gently to move the sugar around, but don’t stir. Add the golden syrup and bubble the mixture (be careful it doesn’t boil over) until it reaches 'hard crack' stage or 150C on a sugar thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, test the toffee by dropping a small amount into cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle. If it's soft, continue to boil. When it's ready, drip in some food colouring and swirl to combine. Add the glitter, if using, and turn off the heat.
Working quickly, dip each apple into the toffee, tipping the pan to cover all the skin. Lift out and allow any excess to drip off before putting on the baking parchment. Repeat with the remaining apples. Gently heat the toffee again if you need to. Best eaten on the same day.
How about a bowl of scrumptious 'Eyeball Pasta'? Okay, so they may only be fancy decorated mozzarella balls but damn don't they look good?!!!
- 100g cherry tomato
- 150g pack mini mozzarella balls, drained
- fresh basil
- 400g green tagliatelle
- 350g jar tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp fresh pesto
Halve the cherry tomatoes and use a small, sharp knife or a teaspoon to remove the seeds. Cut the mozzarella balls in half. Place one half inside each tomato, trimming the edges if necessary to fit it in. Either cut the smallest circles you can from a basil leaf or finely chop the leaves and scrunch into small circles. Place one at the centre of each mozzarella ball.
Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, heat through the tomato sauce. When the tagliatelle is cooked, drain and stir through the pesto and any remaining basil, chopped finely. Divide between 4-6 serving bowls. Spoon over some tomato sauce, then arrange the stuffed tomato eyeballs on top.
Got chills? You will have after eating these adorable but spooky 'Banana Ghosts'!
- 200g bar white chocolate
- 4 medium-large, ripe bananas
- 85g desiccated coconut
- handful of dark chocolate drops
In a small bowl, gently melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Set aside for a moment while you get the bananas ready.
Peel the bananas, cut in half, and push a lolly stick into the middle of each piece. Spread the coconut out in a shallow bowl. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment, and make sure there is room for the tray in the freezer.
Using a pastry brush, coat a banana half in chocolate, letting excess drip away. Sprinkle with plenty of the coconut until coated, then set it on the prepared sheet. Now add two chocolate eyes and a mouth, and if you like, cut a few little eyebrows from the chocolate drops too. Freeze the lollies for at least 4 hrs.
Wash this gruesome grub down with a drink of 'Grasshopper Cocktail' that'll have your guests cackling and babbling in no time.
- 25ml crème de menthe
- 25ml white crème de cacao
- 25ml single cream
- mint sprig - to garnish
- 25g melted chocolate - (optional)
Start by making the garnish. Take a sprig of mint, strip off the leaves at the base and dip the stalk in the melted chocolate, holding the upper leaves gently. Leave to set on a plate or tray.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then pour in the liqueurs and cream. Shake hard until the outside of the cocktail shaker is cold, then strain in to a cocktail glass or small coupe. Garnish with the chocolate-dipped sprig of mint.
Now enjoy my pretties and see what evil creations you can come up with. Until next time... Fly high and stay wicked!