With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve been scouring our cookbooks for some SPOOK-tacular baking inspiration. Never one to miss a baking opportunity, Gerhard Jenne, creator of legendary bakery chain Konditor & Cook, was full of ideas adapted from his Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking cookbook.
Rocky road is America’s answer to chocolate biscuit cake and this ghoulish adaptation is the perfect spooky centrepiece for a Halloween party! All the decorations are made with marzipan, requiring no piping skills. Even the tombstone is engraved, as it should be (with the end of a skewer, no less), rather than inscribed. For the other parts, you just need a couple of items that can be found in most kitchens, such as a garlic crusher and a sieve.
Will these creepy-crawly-topped cupcakes make you an arachnophobe or an arachnophile – trick or treat? Dark gingerbread sponge topped with a Halloween orange frosting is to die for! We call them Spiders from Mars because they are sitting on a ‘red’ planet of orange frosting. The cupcakes and topping are dead easy to make. You can buy chocolate truffles or other round or oval chocolate shapes to make the spider’s bodies, and use thin strands of liquorice for their legs (for me, definitely a ‘trick’ taste).
Adapted from the lavender caramel shards used in Konditor & Cook’s Orange and Lavander Cake, these glass coloured shards can be studded onto cupcakes or used to suggest a nasty cut with some ‘raspberry jam blood’ running away from the wound. Making caramel involves very hot temperatures and can be dangerous if not handled responsibly.
1. First, line a baking tray with baking parchment and brush with a little oil. Prepare a bowl of cold water larger than your pan into which you can dip the bottom of the pan later to cool it.
2. Put 200g of caster sugar in a heavy based saucepan and cover with 200ml of water and heat gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer until it turns to amber coloured caramel or hard crack or 147.5C if you have a thermometer. Remove from the stove and dip the bottom of the pan into the water bowl from heating up further.
3. At this point quickly add the lavender or any colour you wish to add, then pick up the pan using oven gloves and carefully pour the caramel into the prepared baking tray. Leave to cool and set. Brush the caramel with a little oil to prevent it from absorbing moisture. Crack it into shards by whacking it with a wooden spoon.