Happy Halloween or “Saimhain” in the Irish Language. How quickly 2017 has gone. I love this time of the year, the Autumn colours, and of course Halloween Baking and all those flavours – pumpkin, toffee apple, cinnamon. I can say hand on heart I love Halloween Baking almost as much as Christmas Baking. We’ve just finished carving our pumpkins which we won’t light till Halloween Eve
It’s certainly a holiday that has increased in popularity over the years , thanks to our American Cousins, who really go all out with their celebrations..For my overseas readers did you know Halloween was first celebrated in Ireland by the Druids. It was known as Samhain – the “Feast of the Dead”, when it was believed the dead revisited the mortal world. The celebration marked the end of Summer and the start of the Winter months .
There were no pumpkins here, turnips were used. It is said that a turnip lighting in a window kept the dead away. This led to the tradition of using pumpkins in the US by the Irish immigrants. There was a huge shortage of turnips, but pumpkins were plentiful and were a good substitute.
If you would like to know more about the history of Halloween check out NEWGRANGE.COM who have a wonderful article on the Celtic Roots of Halloween .
The kids will dress up as always, costumes get more extravagant every year no more black bin liners like I was made wear back in the “olden days” as my son says. There will of course be a barmbrack on the table, getting the ring was always a big part of Halloween for my kids and caused many an argument and still does!!
Taking pride of place beside the barmbrack will be my Halloween Cake a little a tradition of my own I started a few years ago. This year it will be a Halloween Candy Basket Cake. A Chocolate Fudge Cake covered in orange & green frosting iced with a basket weave tip and topped with Halloween Sweets. I got my inspiration from the sweets or candy my kids get when they go “trick or treating” or “Help the Halloween Party” as we used to say.
This is a very easy cake to mix, all the ingredients go into one mixing bowl you don’t even need a mixer. It’s a good one for the kids to help with that’s if you don’t mind a messy kitchen… if you don’t fancy doing a weaving icing effect on the cake then just do your own thing.. just don’t forget the sweets !!
The basket weave frosting may look difficult but it’s not it just takes a bit of time. Of course you could just spread the frosting around the cake and smooth it out with a knife
This is a very easy cake to mix, all the ingredients go into one mixing bowl you don’t even need a mixer. It’s a good one for the kids to help with that’s if you don’t mind a messy kitchen… if you don’t fancy doing a weaving icing effect on the cake then just do your own thing.. just don’t forget the sweets !! J
HALLOWEEN BASKET CAKE
225g plain flour
350g caster sugar
85g cocoa powder
1½ tsp Dr Oetker baking powder
1½ tsp Dr Oetker bicarbonate of soda
2 free-range eggs
125ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
250ml boiling water
1 jar chocolate spread
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
food colouring Dr Oetker Gel Food Colour orange and green
selection of sweets and fruit for top of cake
icing bags and basket weave tips
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
- Put all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.
- Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
- Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. While cakes are cooling make butter cream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth.
- Divide mixture in two, add a few drops of green to one bowl and a few drops of orange to the other until you get the depth of colour you are happy with.
- Sandwich the chocolate cakes together with a few dollops of chocolate spread
- Cover cake with green buttercream, not too thickly
- Put remainder of the buttercream mixture into 2 icing bags with basket weave tips and decorate the sides to create a basket weave.
Please note… you don’t have to use basket weave you can ice it any way you want to!!!!
- Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up, just before serving decorate with some Halloween sweets and fruit
Please check out my FACE BOOK BAKING PAGE for more Halloween Cakes
Make sure you check out my FACEBOOK BAKING PAGE for more easy baking treats.
I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY HALLOWEEN