I do love Halloween though I have never been trick or treating. It’s just not in my British nature to knock on someone’s door and give out ultimatums. I’d likely apologise or stutter. But any celebration where there’s even a sniff of novelty food up for grabs and I’m there. All over it.
I’ve been working with Flora lately to develop lots of spooky recipes and ideas. If you fancy hosting your own party then take a look at the ideas here in the Halloween Fun Pack from Flora. Loads of recipes from fiendish finger butter biscuits to pumpkin pie to a graveyard cake to pumpkin bread and of course some arts and crafts ideas. My own recipes for Flora include bloodshot eyeball truffles and treacle toffee flapjack. You can find both the recipes here. (And rather excitingly Flora will be giving away 5 copies of my book on Twitter in November. Follow them here).
Now I know that jelly worms have caused a few people some trouble. Here are mine; they happen to be nestling on a spiced apple cupcake covered in Oreo ‘dirt’. Full details of how to make them below.
I used two packs of regular full fat jelly (Hartleys I think) to make my worms. Just make up the jelly with half the amount of water it tells you to on the packet, then pour the jelly into a pint glass with lots of bendy straws jammed into it, bend side down, with the bend bit pulled apart and fully extended, but still straight. Leave to set overnight in the fridge, weighing down the tops of the straws if they’re bobbing upwards.
The next day fill a tall container up with half boiling water and half cold water. Remove a straw from the pint glass (makes a satisfying squelching sound) and then dip into the water for 1 second. Use your finger and thumb to squash the straw at the top (non bendy end) and push your finger and thumb pinched together all the way along the straw to push the worm out onto a plate. First time I did it the water was too hot and the worm melted. Poor worm! Experiment with the temperature of the water until your worms happily squash out without meeting a sticky end. I made about 35 worms I think with two packs of jelly but could probably have made more if I’d had more straws to jam into the pint glass.
If you want to make Oero ‘dirt’ firstly I should mention that I got the idea from a lovely lady called Jules who writes an excellent blog called Butcher, Baker and secondly I should mention you will make your life inordinately easier if you buy double chocolate Oero cookies with dark chocolate cream in the middle of the biscuits rather than the white stuff. This way you just blitz the lot in a food processor and the dirt is done. If you buy the variety with white cream then you need to remove this first and then blitz the biscuits. What a pain. I attached the dirt to the cupcakes by simply melting some milk chocolate and spreading a thin layer over the top of a cupcake. Then I dipped the still molten chocolate covered cake into a bowl of Oreo ‘dirt’. Done. You can of course use any excess dirt to sprinkle onto jelly’s and adorn with bugs:
All this dirt and bug chat may leave some in need of a drink. Never let the opportunity for novelty food fall at the hurdle of a thirst quencher. Try making these ice cubes with a scorpion or a skeleton frozen into them:
…so easy and yet so well received by the under 10’s. You could freeze spooky rings, necklaces or spiky false teeth too. And if you want to introduce fruit to a Halloween party without going to the trouble of apple bobbing then try these:
Just little nectarines, peeled and poked with celery to resemble pumpkins. Of course anything this healthy may need a savoury accompaniment. How about pepper noodle brains?
Of course, Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without a sausage disguised as a Mummy with the aid of some pastry strips and an olive or two for eyes:
And last but not at all least, maybe try my bloodshot eyeball truffles. See if you can swallow them whole, pupils and all…