Saturday Special: Halloween

Thinking of throwing a Halloween party but not sure what to serve your guests? Or do you just want to curl up in front of the TV and watch a couple of good scary films but have no idea what to stuff yourself with? Well don’t worry, DTSFT have got you covered, because this week we’ve found some Halloween themed recipes that you can share with your friends, your family, or that strange man with the axe who keeps groaning and knocking on the window…wait a minute….

PARTY FOOD

Orange Pumpkin Face Cookies

pumpkin biscuits

These sweet little things are perfect for feeding to the masses.

Ingredients:

140g butter, softened

175g plain flour

50g icing sugar

the zest of 1 medium orange, finely grated

For the filling

100g mascarpone cheese

1 tsp icing sugar

25g melted plain chocolate

For the glaze

50g icing sugar

1 tbsp orange juice

1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/ conventional 180C/gas 4. Put the butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the flour, icing sugar and orange zest and beat together to make a softish dough. Knead into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3mm. Cut 24 circles with a 7.5 cm round plain cutter. Put them on a couple of baking sheets.

3. Using a small sharp knife, cut out Hallowe’en faces on 12 of the circles. Gather up the spare biscuit dough and press into pumpkin stem shapes, trimming with a sharp knife. Press to the top of each  biscuit with a knife to join. Make lines on the face biscuits with the back of a roundbladed knife, to look like the markings on a pumpkin. Bake all the biscuits for about 15 minutes until pale golden. Leave to set for a while, then cool completely on a wire rack.

4. Mix the glaze ingredients to make a smooth, runny icing, adding a bit more juice if needed, then set aside. For the filling, beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate.

5. Spread the filling over the cooled plain biscuits, then press the ‘face’ ones on top– do this just before you want to eat them, otherwise they go soft. Brush with the glaze, using a clean paint brush or pastry brush. Eat the same day.

(from the BBC Good Food website)

Spider Web Chocolate Fudge Muffins

spiderweb muffins

Wonderfully soft and gooey, these sweet treats will go down a storm at your shindig – if you manage not to eat them all beforehand!

Ingredients:

50g dark chocolate

85g butter

1 tbsp of milk, water or coffee

200g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

85g light muscovado sugar

50g golden caster sugar

1 egg

142ml of soured cream

For the topping

100g dark chocolate

100g white chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to fan 170C/ conventional 190C/gas 5 and line a muffin tin with 10 paper muffin cases. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, add the butter and liquid. Melt in the microwave on Medium for 30-45 seconds (or set the bowl over a  pan of gently simmering water). Stir and leave the mixture to cool.

2. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and both sugars in a bowl. Beat the egg in another bowl and stir in the soured cream, then pour this on the flour mixture and add the cooled chocolate. Stir just to combine –don’t overmix or it will get tough.

3. Spoon the mixture into the cases to about three quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen. Loosen the edges with a round-bladed knife, let them sit in the tins for a few minutes, then lift out and cool on a wire rack.

4. For the topping, make two piping bags out of greaseproof paper (or cut the ends off two clean plastic bags). Break the dark and white chocolate into separate bowls and melt in the microwave on Medium for 2 minutes (or over a pan as in step 1). Put 2 spoonfuls of dark chocolate in one bag and the same of white chocolate in the other.

5. Working with one muffin at a time, spread with dark chocolate from the bowl, letting it run down a bit, then pipe four concentric circles of white chocolate on top. Using a small skewer, drag through the circles at regular intervals, from the centre to the edge, to create a cobweb effect. Repeat with four more muffins. On the remaining five, spread over the white chocolate and decorate with the dark. Best eaten the day they’re made – even better while the chocolate’s soft.

(from the BBC Good Food website)

Potato Skin Ghosts

potato skin ghosts

A creamy and savoury snack that’s just (boo!)tiful! (sorry)

Ingredients:

washed, unpeeled potatoes

olive oil

seasoned salt

onion powder

garlic salt

sour cream

scallions (or spring onions to my fellow UK residents)

1. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/2-inch slabs. Cut the rounded tip off one end of each slab to create a ghost shape.

2. Grease a baking sheet and lay the potato slabs on it (pieces with skin go skin-side down). Brush the top of each slab with olive oil and season with seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic salt. (Suggestion: combine 1 teaspoon of each spice in a bowl, then sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon of the mixture over each slab.)

3. Bake at 400º for 30 minutes or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then “ice” them with sour cream to create a tasty white ghost. Add slices of scallion/spring onions for eyes and a mouth.

(From spoonful.com)

COMFORT FOOD

It’s a wonderfully dark and windy evening and you have no plans for Halloween weekend, so why not stick on a scary film and indulge in some of these hot and hearty dishes!

Witches’ Brew (Bacon & Pea Chowder)

witches brew

Chowder warms the body and soul all year round, but this wicked green colour makes this perfect for All Hallows’ Eve.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

650g frozen peas

750ml vegetable stock

6 rashers of streaky bacon

1 tbsp of butter (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion  and gently cook over a medium heat for 5-6  mins until softened but not coloured. Add the  garlic and cook for a further min. Stir in  three-quarters of the petit pois, then pour in the  stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-12  mins. Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp.

2. Allow to cool for a few mins, then carefully  transfer to a food processor and whizz until  smooth. You might need to do this in two  batches, depending on the size of your processor.

3. Return the soup to the pan and add the  remaining petit pois. Bring to the boil and  simmer for 2 mins or until the whole peas  are tender. Season to taste, then stir in the  butter, if using. Break the bacon into pieces  and scatter over bowls or mugs of soup.

(From the BBC Good Food website)

Garlicky Pumpkin Risotto

pumpkin risotto

A fairly complex dinner-party style recipe that is just as comforting. It also helps to keep the vampires away!

For the pesto

Large bunch of basil, leaves and stalks torn

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

olive oil

50g parmesan, finely grated

For the risotto

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1.4l chicken stock

85g unsalted butter

400g/14oz piece pumpkin (unpeeled weight), peeled, seeded and cut into 1cm cubes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

400g arborio rice

100g pecorino, finely grated

50g parmesan, finely grated

For the crispy shallots

50g shallots, finely chopped

100g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

vegetable oil, for shallow frying

1. Make the pesto. Pulse the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor to a coarse paste, adding enough olive oil to produce a loose-textured purée. Pour into a bowl and fold in the parmesan.

2. Blanch remaining garlic in boiling water for 3 mins, until slightly softened. Drain, return to the pan with 200ml/7fl oz of the chicken stock and half the butter. Simmer for about 15 mins until the garlic is soft and coated in the syrupy stock. Remove from the heat. You can do this up to 4 hrs in advance.

3. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the olive oil in a roasting tin, and roast for 10-15 mins until the flesh is just tender.

4. Make the crispy shallots. Dust them in the flour and shake off excess. Heat 2cm oil in a large pan and fry until light golden brown. Drain and keep warm.

5. Sweat the onion in the remaining butter in a large shallow pan until soft, about 5 mins. Tip in the rice, raise the heat and toast until translucent. Lower the heat and add the remaining stock a ladleful at a time, stirring well until the stock is completely absorbed before you add the next ladleful.

6. Once the rice is al dente, fold in the 2 cheeses, garlic cloves and pumpkin and cook for 2 mins. Serve with a drizzle of pesto and the shallots on top.

(From the BBC Good Food website)

DRINKS

Alcoholic or not, give your evening a good start or finish with a glass (or two!) of these.

Transylvania Punch

Quicky and easy, this fizzy drink is perfect for children’s parties as well as adults. Just add cherry gelatin to a fizzy lemon and lime drink (e.g. Sprite) and you’re done!

transylvania punch

(from bhg.com)

Boozy Blood Bath

blood bath 2

A dark and sexy cocktail the colour of blood, your guests will be sucking this up.

The recipe is American but using red grapes and red grape juice should work just as well and the measurements can be easily adjusted.

Ingredients:

2 concord/red grapes (optional)

ice

1/4 concord grape/red grape juice

1/4 cup whiskey

1 tbsp lemon juice

for the Maple Simple Syrup (recipe is below)

1/2 up maple syrup

1/2 cup water

1. If desired, thread grapes on a decorative toothpick or short skewer; set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. In cocktail shaker combine grape juice, whiskey, Maple Simple Syrup, and lemon juice. Cover and shake about 10 seconds or until cold.

2. Strain into a highball glass and garnish with concord grapes.

Maple Simple Syrup

In a small saucepan simmer maple syrup and water for 10 to 15 minutes or until syrupy. Cool completely. Makes enough for four drinks.

(from bhg.com)

Tangled Web Shakes

tangled web shakes

These very pretty Halloween milkshakes are great for both children and adults, and the salted caramel web decoration is a lovely touch. Again, the recipe is American but the measurements can be adjusted.

Ingredients:

Caramel ice-cream sauce

Dark chocolate ice-cream sauce

1/3 cup sugar

coarse sea salt

6 cups vanilla ice-cream

3/4 cup milk

3 tbsp caramel ice-cream sauce

3 tbsp dark chocolate ice-cream sauce

1. Drizzle caramel topping in a zigzag design inside each of eight 5- to 6-ounce glasses. Drizzle chocolate ice cream topping into each glass. Arrange glasses on a tray; freeze until needed.

2. Butter a large piece of foil; set aside. In a large heavy skillet spread sugar in an even layer. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking the skillet occasionally; do not stir. When the sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar melts and is golden, gradually stirring the melted sugar into the unmelted sugar with a wooden spoon. With a spoon, immediately drizzle the melted sugar in eight circles (each about 3 inches in diameter) onto prepared foil, drizzling zigzags inside the circles to resemble webs. Quickly sprinkle each with salt.* Set aside until needed.

3. Just before serving, in a blender combine half of the ice cream, half of the milk, half of the 3 tablespoons caramel topping, and half of the 3 tablespoons chocolate ice cream topping. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down side as needed. Pour ice cream mixture into four of the prepared glasses. Repeat with the remaining ice cream, milk, caramel topping, and chocolate ice cream topping. Top each with one of the salted-caramel webs.

(from bhg.com)

Dark Chocolate Martini

dark chocolate martini

Bitter and sweet, this is the perfect drink for the Morticias!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp sugar

dark chocolate

chocolate liqueur

vodka

espresso, chilled

1/2 tsp fresh orange juice

a strip of orange zest

ice

orange wedge, to garnish

1. Mix 2 tablespoons each raw sugar and finely chopped dark chocolate on a plate.

2. Combine 2 ounces each chocolate liqueur and vodka, 1 ounce chilled espresso, 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice and a strip of orange zest in a cocktail shaker with ice; stir well.

3. Moisten the rim of a chilled martini glass and dip it in the sugar-chocolate mixture. Strain the cocktail into the glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

(from foodnetwork.com)

Whatever you’re doing this Halloween, enjoy, and don’t eat too many sweets otherwise you’ll have nightmares!

Hannah

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