It’s October, when the weather turns chilly and we all crave hearty homemade soups, served steaming hot with crusty bread. Either that or you’re looking forward to Halloween at the end of the month.
If you’re having a Halloween Party this year, it’s never too early to start thinking about what to feed your guests, large or small. Here are 3 showstopping recipes that will take pride of place on any party buffet.
Melted Witch Fruit Dip
Much healthier than it looks, this scary looking concoction is actually a fruit dip made with cream cheese. Here’s how to magic it up:
220 g cream cheese, softened
120 ml Sweetened condensed milk
150 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6-10 drops green food colouring
50 g mini chocolate chips
1 Oreo biscuits
1 Walnut Whip
Fruit pieces or breadsticks for dipping
Place the cream cheese into a large bowl and whip with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add the condensed milk, beating until smooth. Next, add the sugar and vanilla essence and mix until well blended.
Add the food colouring drop by drop and mix until fully combined and the desired green shade has been achieved. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Decant the mixture into a serving dish and swirl a few couple more drops of food colouring around the top for that ‘melted witch’ look. Finally, place half an Oreo with a Walnut Whip on top, so it looks like a witches’ hat.
Pumpkin Mousse Trifle
No Halloween Party would be complete without a pumpkin recipe, and this elegant trifle is a festive party dessert that will look great on any dinner table. Here are the magic ingredients and what to do with them:
5 large egg yolks
830 ml double cream
425 g pumpkin puree (tin)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp powdered gelatine
85 g dark chocolate shavings
Take a large bowl, half fill it with ice water and set aside.
Whisk together the egg yolks, 180 g of sugar and 250 ml of cream in a medium saucepan and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over a low/medium heat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon. Put into a medium bowl and set over the ice bath, stirring to cool. Add pumpkin, vanilla, ground spices and salt to the egg mixture.
In a small bowl, stir the gelatine into 1 tbsp of rum, heating the remainder of the rum and stir into the gelatine mixture until fully dissolved. Whisk into the pumpkin mixture, then fold in 120 ml of cream whisked to stiff peaks. Pour this mixture into a shallow dish and chill in the fridge overnight until it falls from the spoon in thick dollops.
Beat the rest of the cream and sugar together to form stiff peaks. To assemble the dish, layer the pumpkin mousse and whipped cream in a glass serving dish, sprinkling chocolate shavings in between the two top layers. Chill and serve.
Spiderweb Chocolate Cake
Finally, this spider web chocolate cake is surely the piece de resistance of any Halloween Party spread. Here’s how to w(e)ave the magic wand:
1 packet of chocolate cake mix
125 g butter, softened
200 g icing sugar
225 g Marshmallow cream (jar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
180 ml double cream
400 g chocolate chips
1 tub vanilla icing
Prepare the cake batter according to manufacturer’s instructions and bake in two greased and floured 23cm (9”) cake tins. Once cooled completely, place one cake on a platter and top with the frosting: Combine butter, sugar, marshmallow, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fluffy. Then top with the second cake.
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Place the choc chips into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream. Let it stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until the chocolate is completely incorporated. Pour the ganache over the cake and ice a spiral of frosting on top, using a toothpick to draw cobwebs.