Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween everyone! I have been busy baking this morning for our Halloween party this evening! Joshua, Rosie, Lili and Zara are all coming for tea and some Halloween treats! This is a lime coconut and vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting and a positively luminous orange fondant icing. The marshmallow teacakes are simply decorated with some chocolate fudge icing and some Halloween sweets! Just two pumpkins to carve, some chocolate cupcakes and cinnamon bats still to do - it's going to be a busy day!

Cinnamon Bats

170g/6oz plain flour (use 00 flour if you have it)

115g/4oz butter

60g/2oz caster sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon

100g/3 ½ oz ready to roll icing

Black food colouring

100g/3 ½ oz icing sugar

Sieve the flour and add the cinnamon. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and add the sugar. The mixture should form a soft dough. If it is too dry add a small amount of milk or a little extra butter. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll out to ½ cm thickness and cut out bats using a cutter. If you do not have a bat cutter, cut out a bat template from card and use this to cut out your cookies tracing round the template with a sharp knife. Bake in a moderate oven (180 C/Gas Mark 4/350F/Aga roasting oven below the cold shelf) for approx 12 - 15 minutes. I usually turn the tray of cookies round half way through so that they are all the same golden colour. Place on a rack to cool.

When the cookies are cooled, mix most of the icing sugar with some of the black food colouring and a little water to make a thick icing. Retain a small spoonful of the icing sugar and mix with water to make white icing for the eyes. Place the black icing into a piping bag with a small circular holed nozzle and do the same with the white icing in another piping bag. Add some black food colouring to the ready to roll icing and kneed to obtain a solid black colour (you may need a little icing sugar for dusting if it is sticky). Roll out the icing using a rolling pin to approximately ½ cm thickness and cut out bat shapes using the same cutter or template. Pipe a small amount of icing around the outline of the cookie and carefully place an “icing” bat on top. Press down gently so that the icing sticks to the cookie. Decorate the bats wings with the black icing and pipe white dots for the eyes and dot with black icing pupils. Sprinkle over edible glitter for a touch of magic!


Great Big Veg Challenge said...

These are great. I think we might gate crash.
Happy Halloween
From Freddie, Alex and Charlotte

Figs Olives Wine said...

Everything looks fantastic, Hannah! Those marshmallow teacakes are especially up my alley, and you've got me wanting sweets for breakfast! Happy Halloween.

Valli said...

I am left speechless. Simply amazing. You will have some very happy ghouls at your place tonight!!!

Marie said...

Ohhh, what yummylooking cakes! You have me wanting cake here and it's only just before seven in the morning!

Margaret said...

What beautiful cakes. Amazing.