This recipe may be a tad early but I'm not the only one getting enthused for Halloween already. Supermarket shelves are groaning under the weight of absurdly large pumpkins (no wonder there's a Pumpkin crisis), Disney are cashing in and adverts on bus stops are promoting the latest horror films such as 'Ouija' and 'Wrong Turn 6: The Last Resort'.*
I normally wait out Halloween happily watching the Strictly Come Dancing special, 'treating' myself to a gigantic bar of chocolate while avoiding Buffy-True-Blood-Addams Family mega-marathons on obscure digital channels. But invited to participate in the Unilever Kitchen Halloween Challenge (#UnileverHalloween), it was time for some spookalicious baking. And ta-dah! Here's my effort, a Ginger and Lemon Witches Hat Halloween Cake (try saying that while bobbing an apple or two).
*Genuinely a film released this year. You'd have thought by now, with a title such as that, the main characters might have learnt something from the last five versions? Like, always bring a Sat Nav on long journeys?
Photography 'special effects' for Halloween; normal service to resume for Bonfire Night
Ginger and Lemon Witches Hat Halloween Cake
For the cake:
125g Flora Buttery
125g soft brown sugar
225g plain flour
2 tsps ground ginger
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs, beaten
For the decoration:
Zest of 1 lemon
100g icing sugar
100g black fondant
Hundreds and thousands
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Butter a 8 inch square tin and line with baking parchment
2. Place the Flora, treacle, milk and sugar into a pan and very gently melt together. stirring occasionally. As soon as it has melted, remove from the heat and allow to begin to cool.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, spice and bicarbonate of soda. Add in the treacle-butter mixture and fold together. Fold in the eggs and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
4. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turn out to a cooling rack to cool completely
5. To make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the lemon juice and zest and a little water to make a runny 'water' icing. Spread over the cooled cake. Slice the cake into a witches hat shape. Decorate the bat shapes made from the black fondant and a bat cookie cutter. Use any leftover fondant to create a border around your cake. Finally, decorate with the hundreds and thousands.
- Prefer a sticky ginger cake? Wrap the cooled cake in parchment paper and a layer of foil for a couple of days, then decorate
- The cake can easily be frozen prior to decorating and kept in the freezer for up to three months
- Last year I made these Spooky Skeleton Biscuits, the previous year these Spider Cakes and before that these Creepy Crawly Cupcakes
- Cheers to Unilever for sending over a hamper of ingredients to inspire Halloween baking
- How are you celebrating Halloween?