One of the first stalls Boyfriend and I visited first offered a variety of hot and cold tapas including a rather bizarre pasta dish. In a small plastic cup was some home-made pasta stuffed with something that had the colour of minced beef, the texture of paté and a really sweet taste. I’m still not quite sure what it was, but my best guess is some kind of cheese, or possibly ‘gofio’. To complement the pasta was a small portion of delectable goats cheese, alongside a roast cherry tomato and gorgeous caramelised onions.
Halloween provides the perfect time to take some favourite recipes and really have fun with them. By just piping icing in straight lines and adding a couple of eyes, these ordinary chocolate cupcakes become something much more exciting.
I used the recipe from JoyofBaking with a few personal alterations to make these cupcakes. I am still learning when it comes to icing, which is why my mummy bandages are a little messy – but this just adds to the spooky, decaying effect…Right?
This recipe makes eight moist chocolate muffins with a chocolate ganache centre, marshmallow icing and Smarties for eyes.
25g cocoa powder
120ml boiling water
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1tsp vanilla extract
80ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
200g icing sugar
7 medium white marshmallows
16 Smarties for the eyes
1. Preheat the oven to 190C and line eight muffin cups with cupcake cases.
2. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl and add the boiling water. Stir until it’s smooth, then leave to one side to cool.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Beat the butter and sugar together in another bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well before pouring in the vanilla extract. Add the cooled cocoa mix into the bowl and gently stir until smooth.
5. Fill each cupcake case 2/3 full and bake for around 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. To make the chocolate ganache filling, simply boil the cream and butter together in a pan over a medium heat. When it begins to bubble, place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream on top. Leave for around five minutes, before mixing together. Let the filling to cool before coring the cupcakes and filling them evenly. Don’t forget to replace the lids.
7. To make the icing, warm the marshmallows and milk in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the marshmallows have soaked up the milk, remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Add around 100g of icing sugar and continue to add more until you have a suitable piping consistency.
8. Pipe lines of bandages on your mummy cupcakes, making sure you leave a small gap for the eyes. Place a small amount of icing on the back of each Smartie and stick it on the cupcake.
Pictures of molten chocolate cakes are always gorgeous. A rich, warm sponge which encases a gooey chocolate sauce that oozes out over the plate. I’ve tried to make these fabulous creations twice now and always come across the same problem – all the recipes I find make enough mixture for at least four portions. Boyfriend and I live alone, so I always try and reduce the recipe so there are only two portions – this is never successful.
If you want to make overflowing warm mousse with a blackened soufflé top, follow these tips very carefully.
Use far too many eggs
Don’t use enough chocolate or sugar
Fill the molds too high
Make sure the oven is too hot
If you follow those tips correctly, you should be left with a horrible Yorkshire pudding-tasting undercooked soufflé/mousse, as well as a very disappointed boyfriend.
Hopefully the next time I try to make these, I get to update my blog with a successful post and show off tempting photos of what these gorgeous treats really should look like.
Last week I decided to make a start on my Halloween baking. I know it’s only September, but October 31st will be here before we know it. I played it safely and used a favourite recipe of mine which I’ve made many times and jazzed it up with Halloween decorations.
I was so worried that my oven was going to completely destroy my works of art that I took a picture of the raw pastry before I put them in the oven, just in case. Fortunately, the tarts and the decorations kept their shapes really well – even though one unlucky ghost drowned in jam and a spider received a few broken legs.
I fashioned spiders, ghosts, ovals with ‘BOO’ written in them and witches hats and broomsticks out of the same pastry used for the rest of the tarts. The spiders definitely took the longest and were the most fiddly, but I think it was definitely worth it.
The spiders were made by rolling a ball of pastry, attaching pastry legs, a cocktail stick to carve a mouth, and poppy seeds for the eyes and fangs. For the ghosts, I rolled out an oval of pastry and dragged my fingers down it so the bottom thinned out – the eyes were simply holes. I carved the word ‘BOO’ by dotting with a cocktail stick and the witch tarts were made just by rolling pastry into the desired shapes.
This recipe makes 12 jam tarts.
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp water
1. Heat the oven to 180C and grease a very shallow muffin tin.
2. Combine the flour, salt and sugar.
3. Chop the butter and lard into small cubes and add to the flour. Rub the fats into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
4. Add a few drops of water at a time until the mixture forms a good dough. You should need somewhere between 1tbsp and 2tbsp.
5. Knead the dough before rolling it out and use a cutter to cut out circles and place in the muffin tins. Tidy the edges of the pastry so they’re neat. Put the remaining pastry to one side.
6. Place very small amounts – between a teaspoon and tablespoon – of your chosen jam, curd or marmalade in each tart.
7. Make decorations out of the remaining pastry and place on top of the tarts.
8. Place in the oven until golden brown – about 20 minutes.
Last weekend, the Degusta.Me food festival was held in Adeje and Boyfriend and I thought it sounded fun. There was a variety of cold and hot tapas available, as well as rivers of wine. For just €1, you could purchase a large engraved wine glass and fill it for only €1 each time. All the tapas selections were also really cheap, ranging from €1 to €3 each.
This food festival was to celebrate the diversity of restaurants in the region and encourage people to venture out of their houses and discover the culinary delights which are on their door step.
Next we moved onto a stall that had an open barbecue, on which stood some warm, toasty buns and huge chunks of pork and crackling. After taking our €2 ticket, a woman cut some chunks of pork and crackling and gave them to us while we were waiting for her to assemble the sandwich. They tasted so fantastic that we just wanted to devour the whole tray there and then. Mounds of pork were stuffed into the white, crusty bun, before being lathered with a typical Canarian sauce – gorgeous.
Next was a stop at what turned out to be Boyfriend’s favourite stall – a Harry Chrisna stall, which served vegetarian food. We were given a dish which contained a tomato and yoghurt based sauce, flavoured with a hint of Indian spices. The other half of the container held a potato-based vegetable mix, coated in batter and deep fried.
There was also a deep fried piece of broccoli, which I thought looked fantastic. The chef had somehow managed to cook it at the perfect temperature to brown the batter and make it nice and crispy, whilst still allowing the delicate vegetable to remain perfectly intact.
It’s autumn and in most countries throughout Europe, the sun has been replaced with thin, greying clouds, the air is full of cool breezes and the sky is alive with masses of colourful leaves. Tenerife doesn’t seem to have noticed that summer is over – every morning I still wake up to the perfect weather for a long, lazy day at the beach.
Even though the weather here still strongly resembles summer, I saw so many autumn recipes circulating throughout the rest of the online baking community and couldn’t resist trying some of my own, and what better way to welcome autumn than with a fresh-out-the-oven, warm apple pie?
Rather than making one huge apple pie, I made small individual ones. That way, I can convince myself that it’s perfectly okay to have two because they’re only miniature! These pies would be perfect to share whilst cuddling under a blanket in front of a fire on a dark, chilly autumn evening.
This recipe does take quite a while to follow, but it is definitely worth the effort. The crumbly pastry and sweet topping give way to the gooey, fragrant apple centre when you bite into this sumptuous treat. If you’re looking to make a dessert out of this, try adding caramelised apple chunks and cream – gorgeous!
This recipe yields 12 mini apple pies.
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp cold water
2 medium apples
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
25g white sugar
25g brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Chop the butter and lard into small cubes and add into the bowl with the flour. Rub together with your hands until you have a mixture which resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add drops of water until the mixture is thick enough to roll into a dough. This should be somewhere between 1 tbsp and 2 tbsp. Knead the dough for around five minutes.
3. Grease a 12-muffin muffin pan. Roll out the dough so it’s about 1cm thick and using a cutter, cut out circles big enough to fit into the muffin moulds about 3/4 way up. Place dough circles in the muffin pan so they form cups.
4. Place in the oven for around 10 minutes to ensure the pastry cups cook well. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
1. Peel both apples and chop them into small cubes. Place in a pan over a medium heat with the butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook just until the apples are soft, then remove from the heat.
2. After the mixture is cooled, spoon it evenly into the pastry cups in the muffin pans
1. Combine the flour and sugars together in a bowl.
2. Rub in the butter with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Sprinkle the topping over the apple pies so all chunks of apple are covered. Place in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown.