Gastronomically Terrific

November 28, 2014

Grasshopper pie

Filed under: biscuits, Cake, Sweets, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 7:45 pm

Another Halloween treat, I wanted to make this for an event so that Dan and I wouldn’t be the only ones eating it. This was because a significant element of this pie is marshmallow, which Dan won’t eat as a pretty strict vegetarian. As it turned out, I ended up using vegetarian marshmallows anyway (which really don’t taste all that different), so Dan did get to try it. I have no idea why, but at the end of October normal marshmallows (and more specifically plain white ones, which is what I was after) disappeared from the shelves everywhere. We hunted in a number of shops before giving in and using a health food shop to buy the veggie version.

Anyway, onto the pie – which, by the way, tasted amazing! I will definitely be making this again. You begin by making a chocolate biscuit base (just like a cheesecake base). You then melt down your marshmallows, add a little green food colouring and some peppermint essence, and top the base with this. Chill this in the fridge before whipping cream and adding this to the top of the pie. Finally, because this was Halloween I endeavoured to make some chocolate bats by melting some dark chocolate, then cutting out bat shapes. They didn’t look great, but definitely added to the lovely minty taste of the pie. The pie went down really well with everybody who had some.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days, pg. 45


November 27, 2014

Spider web chocolate fudge muffins

Filed under: Cake, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 7:35 pm

With Halloween approaching, I wanted to make some suitable cakes. I’ve made this before, and they’re both fun to make and taste pretty good. They’re a slight variant on a standard fairy sponge cake – the muffins include light muscovado sugar and caster sugar, along with a carton of soured cream. Nothing too unusual, but not what you’d necessarily ordinarily put in your fairy cakes.

The fun part of the baking comes with the icing. You melt white and dark chocolate separately, spread one of the two colours on top of the muffin, then use the other colour to pipe circles. You then use a cocktail stick to turn those circles into spider webs.

I’ve done this before and it’s worked pretty well, but I wasn’t that pleased with the result this time. I thought it looked pretty amateurish, and ended up selecting specific ones to take to a friend’s house for her Halloween party – even then, I didn’t think they looked that good. People at the party were a lot more forgiving and said they looked amazing, but I know I can do better! They did taste alright at least.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: BBC GoodFood website

November 1, 2010

Crazy Childsplay at Halloween

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 7:23 pm

Oh my.  We really went all out on this one.

Scary food. No really - there are twiglets in it!

The skull and crossbones pizza was made by cutting out a pizza base into the right shape, adding a home-made sauce and cheese, then olives for the eyes and pepper for the teeth.  Naturally this is served with wedges and onion rings, which you could probably give a Halloween theme too, but there is a line not to be crossed, in case the witches come and get you.  In the background are “broomsticks” made from bread sticks and twiglets tied together; obviously these are to be dipped into creepy dips.  (food that glows like the cream cheese dip in those selection packs of dip is pretty scary…)

In case you wondered what the innocent looking orange things are, here is a closer view:

Cut just above the second knuckle - you know, where you might cut a finger off to take a ring.

Yes, those fingers are carrot sticks with pepper fingernails and a bloody tomato dip.

For afters, we had ghostly ginger cookie monsters:

When the ghosts and the spiders put aside their differences to gang up on you, it means it is time to RUN AWAY!

All fun food!  Although it tasted nice it isn’t anything special to taste, the joy is the way it looks.  Except for the cookies, which work really well; they are only gently gingery, and quite short, which means they seem to melt on your tongue in sweet biscuity bliss.

Who made it: A joint effort between Anna and Dan, though Anna did a greater than even share of the hard graft.

Recipe: Came from the Morrisons magazine Sept/Oct 2010.  Try your luck at

PS: No spiders or ghosts were harmed in the making of this dinner.

October 30, 2010

Chocolate Orange Spider Cupcakes

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 11:51 pm

“Eeeuuugh, they’re all leggy!”


The chocoholics cure to arachnophobia.


These cupcakes are richly chocolatey, zested with orange and thoroughly creepy.  Sitting on the counter top they exude primal arachnoid fear.  Yet like a fly to the web you are drawn in….

The recipe came from a Morrison’s Magazine.  I don’t know how we found out that these were in it, and I don’t think I want to.  Sometimes the wise culinary wizard must overlook the evil of the mystic tome and the suspicious circumstances by which it was obtained, because the spells inside look and taste so good.  But it does bear repeating, because they look so good and because we tweaked their recipe ever so slightly.

Ingredients (Makes 4 large muffin-sized spider-monsters)

For the cakes: 1 egg, 60g butter, 60g golden caster sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp orange zest, 25g chocolate chips

For the topping: 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tbsp water, 50g icing sugar, 30g butter, sugar strands

For the decoration: 2 boxes (64 pieces) Mikado dark chocolate sticks, 25g dark cooking chocolate, 8 white chocolate buttons


Beat butter and sugar until smooth. Sift in flour and cocoa powder into a separate bowl.  Add the egg  slowly to the butter mixture and beat, whilst slowly folding in the flour mixture.

Add the orange zest and chocolate chips; mix and put into muffin cases (filling to about two-thirds) and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, gas mark 4.

For the buttercream, mix the cocoa and water into a paste, beat the butter and mix in the sugar then the cocoa mixture.  Spread over the cakes and add chocolate sprinkles.

To make the legs, pierce the body with a cocktail stick or similar to make a hole.  Cut half the mikado sticks into long pieces (2/3rds length of the full piece) and the other half into shorter pieces (1/3-1/2 of the full piece).  You can extend the chocolate covered region to the whole stick if you coat them in melted chocolate but it is easier to use many mikado sticks.  Insert the shorter pieces at an angle; then dip the longer pieces into the melted chocolate and place on to make a joint.  Leave the legs to cool when all are added.

The eyes can be made by drawing a pupil with melted chocolate on the button.  Place as appropriate.

Its not posisble to reach past this monster to the fruit...

Who made it: Anna did the hard graft, Dan did much of the decorating

Recipe: See above, or look at Morrisons Magazine Sept/Oct 2010. may lead you there but we found it rather frustrating to navigate.

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