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Serves 8-10
This spooky cake is not only deep and dark in colour, but also in flavour. This is a Guinness
cake and so has a hauntingly malt flavour and almost black crumb. The cobwebs are made by
pulling melted, cooled marshmallows into strands, which are then wrapped around the cake.
Ingredients for the Cakes
90g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
180ml whole milk
3 large eggs
240g self raising flour
60g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarb
150g Guinness
200g dark muscovado sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Place the butter and caster
sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until the sugar is more or less
dissolved into the butter this is much easier in a stand mixer with
paddle attachment. Add the milk and eggs and beat in, then sift
over the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb and fold in until you have a
smooth batter. Stir the dark muscovado sugar into the Guinness until
completely dissolved, then pour that into the cake batter and beat in.

Ingredients for the Mousse

Ganache and Cobwebs
400g Bourneville chocolate,
250ml double cream,
for the ganache
350ml cold double cream,
for the mousse
50g white mini

For the ganache, place the chocolate and 250ml cream into a
heatproof bowl. Set this over a pan of barely simmering water and
stir until the chocolate melts into the cream and you have a smooth,
glossy ganache. Allow to cool to room temperature then whisk with
a handheld electric or freestanding with whisk attachment for 5
minutes until completely cool, then slowly pour in the 350ml double
cream and continue whisking until it fluffs up into a voluptuous

Essential Equipment
3 x 20cm sandwich tins,
greased and bases lined
with baking paper
Crank handled spatula
20cm cake card
Icing turntable
(optional, but so handy)

Divide the cake batter between the three tins as evenly as possible,
then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer
comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in their tins.

Place one cake onto a cake card or cake stand and spread a little of
the frosting over it. Top with another cake and repeat. Place the final
cake on top and cover the entire thing with a thin layer of frosting
the crumb coat. Chill for 20 minutes, then add more frosting and get
it as neat as possible then chill again.
For the cobwebs, melt the marshmallows in a small heatproof bowl
over a pan of barely simmering water until the consistency of raw
meringue. Allow it to cool slightly and thicken, then pull bits of
marshmallow apart to create thin strands and drape these all around
the cake.

Serves 8

It goes without saying that Halloween is especially epitomised by the pumpkin. Its bright orange tone
has really set the standard for the commercialised costumes and decoration of the festivities. Pumpkin
has such a fabulous flavour: sweet, earthy and autumnal, and is so perfect coupled with ginger.
Ingredients for the Base
500g gingernut biscuits
100g unsalted butter

To make the base place the gingernut biscuits and butter
into a food processor and blitz to fine rubble. If you dont
have a food processor, bash the biscuits to crumbs in a
Ingredients for the Filling sandwich bag using a rolling pin. Melt the butter and add
to the crumbs. Tip into the cake tin and press in with the
2 x 280g full fat
back of a spoon to tightly compact it onto the base and
Philadelphia cream cheese halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Chill in the fridge
a 425g can of
until needed.
Libbys Pumpkin Puree
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan. Place the cream cheese
125g caster sugar
into a mixing bowl along with the pumpkin puree and beat
tsp salt
together until smooth. Add the sugar, salt and spice and beat
1 tsp (heaped) mixed spice
in, before adding the eggs and mixing to a smooth batter. Pour
2 large eggs
into the cake tin to 3mm from the top of the biscuit base, and
bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese filling looks fairly
Essential Equipment
set with a slight tremble in the middle when gently nudged.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature
loose-bottomed round
then chill in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.
cake tin, greased

Makes 8

Perhaps Halloween is the only time of year we can get away with serving fairly gross looking (pardon
the pun) treats. In fact, I think its necessary. These tarts, in all their gruesome glory, actually taste like
heaven: lychees with a rose water mascarpone and raspberry sauce.
Ingredients for the Pastry
50g caster sugar
3g salt
Zest of 1 lemon
100g unsalted butter
1 medium egg
200g Plain Flour
(Or you could just use shop
bought sweet Shortcrust)

For the pastry whisk the sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter together
until fluffy as though you were making a cake. Beat in the egg, then
add the flour and cut in using a dough cutter or knife until the mixture
comes together. Tip onto the counter top and bring together into a
smooth dough. Wrap in cling, flatten into a disk and chill for at least 30
minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.

Once chilled, roll out on a well-floured counter top and use to line the
rings/tins. Chill for 15 minutes, then line each with a piece of baking
paper, and fill that full with the baking beans/rice. Bake for 15 minutes,
then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Ingredients for the Filling
Allow to cool completely.
400g mascarpone cream
For the filling, simply mix together the mascarpone, rose water,
- 1 tsp rose water
condensed milk and zest. Divide between the tart shells, and top each
shell with 3 lychees. Chop the remaining lychees and use to fill any gaps
120g condensed milk
on each tart.
Zest of 1 lemon
32 lychees from a can
For the glaze, bring the jam and 4 tablespoonfuls of water to a boil in
2 large eggs
a small saucepan, then add the cornflour dissolved in water. Stir over
Ingredients for the Glaze
5tbsp seedless
raspberry jam
1tsp cornflour dissolved in
1tsp cold water
Essential Equipment
8 x 9cm/3.5-inch crumpet
rings or mini tart tins
Baking sheet
Baking beans or dry rice

the heat until thick. Allow to cool before drizzling, like blood, over the
eyeball tarts.

shrunken head
mulled cidEr
One of my favourite autumnal drinks, perfect after a long walk in the woods. The trick
is to make sure you dont boil the liquids, otherwise therell be no alcohol left and where
is the fun in that? The shrunken heads is such a fun thing to do, and is really rather
effective. If making this for a childrens party, just mull a sharp apple juice instead.
2 litres apple cider
(not too dry, but not
too sweet)
5 cloves
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 bay leaves
Juice of 2 oranges
2 apples, peeled,
cored and cubed
75-150g dark brown
muscovado sugar

Simply place the cider and all the spices and juice into
a large saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer and
then turn down the heat so the pan just steams. After
15 minutes or so, add the sugar to taste. I like it not too
sweet, but not too bitter.
For the Shrunken Heads
Simply cut some peeled apples I go for braeburn in
half and remove the core with a melon baller. Submerge
in fresh lemon juice for a few seconds to prevent the
apple from oxidising and turning brown, then, using
paring knives and melon ballers, carve faces into each
apple half. Arrange on a baking sheet and dry out in an
oven preheated to 120C/100C fan/225F/gas mark 1/2 for
2-2 hours, or until dry and slightly spongy.

Blood and
bones tart
Serves 6-8

The most haunting thing about this tart is how the meringue bones clatter together when you place
them over the filling. The zingy cherry and lemon curd filling is the perfect balance to those sweet
meringue bones.
Ingredients for the
Meringue Bones
4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
Ingredients for the Pastry
50g caster sugar
3g salt
Zest of 1 lemon
100g unsalted butter
1 medium egg
200g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan. For the meringue bones whisk the
egg whites to medium/stiff peaks, then slowly add the sugar whilst
continuing to whisk. Whisk until the sugar is all dissolved and you have
a stiff, glossy meringue. Fill the piping bag with the meringue and pipe
the bones. Start with a line about 3 inches, then pipe two blobs at each
end, dragging the blobs towards the line to create a neat bone. Repeat
until the meringue is used up you should get about 20 bones. Put the
bones into the oven and turn the heat down to 140C/120C fan, and dry
out for 1 hour, or until the meringues are dry and come away from the
baking paper easily.

For the pastry, cream together the sugar, salt zest and butter until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, then toss in the flour and cut through with a dough
scraper or knife until it starts to come together. Work to a smooth dough
with your hands, then wrap in cling, flatten into a disk and chill for 30
Ingredients for the
minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C. Roll the chilled pastry out on a
Cherry Filling
well-floured countertop and use to line the tart tin. Prick the base with a
480g frozen pitted cherries,
fork and chill for 15 minutes, before lining with baking paper and filling
with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and
Juice of 2 lemons
paper, and then bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Zest of 2 lemons
For the filling, blitz the cherries in a food processor to a crimson pulp
100g caster sugar
and then pour into a pan along with the lemon juice, zest and half
4 large egg yolks
of the sugar. Bring to a boil over a medium flame. Meanwhile whisk
35g cornflour
together the remaining sugar with the yolks until pale, then whisk in
the cornflour. Pour the boiling cherry mix over the egg yolk mix whilst
Essential Equipment
whisking, then return to the pan and heat, whisking constantly, until
Piping bag fitted with
the mixture thickens and bubbles slightly. Pour onto a plate and cover
12mm nozzle
with cling and allow to cool. Once cool, beat to smoothen then pour
into the cooled tart shell. Pile the bones up on top and serve.
2 baking sheets lined with
greaseproof paper
23-25cm fluted flan tin loose bottom is best
Baking beans or dry rice

The Poison
Ivy Cake
Serves 8

This may look like a cake to avoid in fear of fatality, but beneath that eerily arboreal outer, lies a
raspberry and white chocolate cake, 4 layers deep. This is a version of my very popular white
chocolate and raspberry melting cake, and is studded with blood red raspberries.
Ingredients for the Cakes
400g unsalted butter,
chopped into small cubes,
plus extra for greasing
200g white chocolate,
broken into pieces
8 large eggs
400g caster sugar
400g self-raising flour
350g raspberries,
fresh or frozen
Ingredients for
the Frosting
700g white chocolate,
300g double cream
Ingredients for the Ivy
100g black fondant icing
or marzipan
50g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
Black food colouring gel
4 x 20cm sandwich tins
(or use 2 and bake in
batches) greased
Piping bag with small
writing nozzle
Small ivy leaf plunger
20cm cake card
Crank handle pallet knife
Icing turntable (so handy)

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Place the butter and chocolate into
a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir
occasionally and allow to slowly melt together.
When the chocolate and butter have melted together, allow to cool for
a minute, then whisk in the eggs and sugar, before sifting over the
flour and folding it in along with the raspberries. Divide the mixture
between the cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden
brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out
clean though the raspberries may leave a little residue, so dont be
fooled. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a
wire rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, place the chocolate and cream into a heatproof
bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally
until the cream and chocolate melt together into a smooth, glossy
ganache. Pour onto a baking tray or large plate and allow to cool
until at room temperature and thickened.
Roll out the black fondant or marzipan in a little icing sugar, cut out
as many ivy leaves as possible and allow to dry out somewhere cool
for an hour or so. For the buttercream, simply beat together the
butter and icing sugar until smooth and then add colouring until
black. Fill the buttercream into the piping bag.
To assemble, take one cake and place it onto the cake card, set
on the icing turntable if using. Spread the top with a little
ganache and repeat until you have all four cakes stacked up.
With the remaining ganache, ice the top and sides of the cake
as evenly as possible the crank handle palette knife is the best
tool for this. Once even, refrigerate for 20 minutes, then pipe on
the ivy branches, swirling the buttercream here and
there the messier the better. Finish by placing the
ivy leaves all over the cake.

All images and text John Whaite

Page design Paul Atkins