No-bake chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and Halloween

Halloween is a bit of a funny one this year – it’s on a Monday. Wandering the streets of the city yesterday, I saw the oddest mix of people; regular Saturday shoppers, zombie walkers, Jokers and Harley Quinns, blood-covered doctors or nurses and many bemused onlookers. Australians have mixed feelings towards Halloween, so when it doesn’t fall on a weekend, it seems even further diluted.

chocolate-pumpkin-cheesecake-11-of-21

Halloween chocolate cheesecake and two dollar shop finds

As you may have surmised, I’m not the girl who goes for gore. I don’t do horror films, gross things, or even dark colours, really. I’m pastel-hued, floral, I seek out beauty and positivity.

Halloween chocolate cheesecake slice side

Each year I struggle with Halloween. I don’t want a severed finger on my cupcake, brain-shaped petit fours or spaghetti that looks like intestines. I very much admire the talent of the people who create them (and the stomachs of the people who eat them!) but I just can’t do it.

Halloween recipes and squeamishness

Blood spattered meringues

I don’t rate horror movies. I’m a massive wimp. I startle easily and I make involuntary “eeps” when frightened. I don’t like doors slamming themslevs, and I’m awful at being home alone.

Choc chip pumpkin bundt
So Halloween is not really my thing. I don’t delight in gore. In fact, I’m almost the complete opposite of everything Halloween-y.

Chocolate pumpkin bundt and a cute Halloween 

scene (1024x528)You’ve all seen how much I love bundt. I recently wrote about my love of mini tarts as well. My love of all things miniature doesn’t end there, though. Norman is testament to this! My older brother claims that Norman isn’t a real dog, and sometimes we joke that a few Normans stacked on top of one another would equal a “regular” dog. But I wouldn’t have him any other way.  I just adore down sized versions of things!

Chocolate spider webs and lacking fondant skills

freshOne thing I notice about lots of Halloween-themed baked goods is that they often require fondant skills – something that I definitely don’t have. While I wish that I had the dexterity to craft mini pumpkins or witches hats out of fondant, I just don’t. So I stick to basic decorations… chocolate I can work with! The great thing about these spider webs is that you don’t even need a piping bag, you can just use a snaplock bag.

Choc chip pumpkin cupcakes and Halloween desserts

fourI mentioned in my previous post that my parents didn’t consider Halloween a very Australian holiday. And I’ve inherited this view to some extent.

It’s odd trying to translate the dark, spooky images that permeate the idea American Halloween to Australia’s October, when the weather is mostly sunny and warm. It doesn’t stop me wanting to make Halloween-themed goodies, though!

So for this year’s Halloween, I’m focussing on another thing that I equate with the American Halloween; pumpkin. I remember making a pumpkin pie for my family, years ago, and they all cringed at the idea of it. It was delicious (how modest of me…) but pumpkin and dessert don’t often meet in Australia.

Australian Halloween and pumpkin puree

seededHalloween was never big in Australia. Growing up, my parents didn’t even acknowledge it! Since starting the blog I’ve tried to overcome this ingrained notion of Halloween not being Australian, because, let’s face it, I’ll take any opportunity to bake.

But before I share some recipes that I consider traditional Halloween fare,  I need to have a whinge: SO MANY of the recipes that I find on Pinterest, FoodGawker, etc, need tinned pumpkin or similar. 

Chocolatey chocolate tart and leftover egg yolks

yolkEgg yolks have so much potential.

I hate to waste a good egg yolk because of this potential. I also hate the idea of letting good food go to waste!

This is a great way to use up egg yolks after you’ve made meringues. I made some pretty spooky meringues for Halloween (as you may or may not have seen on my Instagram) so I had five egg yolks to play with. This recipe didn’t use them all up, but it got rid of four and Norman enjoyed lapping up the final yolk!

edgeI took the meringues and this tart to a Halloween party. I say party, but it was better than that – it was a group of my friends watching Hocus Pocus and eating yummy food. The tart works with out without meringue ghosts, in case you were wondering.

Ghostly meringues and a bloody Halloween

uncookedThis is my final Halloween post and it is a super easy one! This recipe is simple enough to do with kids but fun enough for adults too…my only warning is that it can get a little messy.

For these ghosties to work you need a decent meringue recipe. I make my meringues using the same recipe that I make swiss meringue buttercream with, except that I stop at the sugar and egg whites part of the instructions.

Line two baking trays with baking paper and preheat the oven to 120C.


ghostsOnce you’ve got your meringue forming firm, glossy peaks, pop the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle on the end of it. If you don’t have a piping bag, just put the mixture in a snap lock bag and snip the end off.

For the ghosts, pipe out a fat circle as the base, then pipe out two more fat circles, making them slightly smaller each time. They may look a little bit like a white poo – this is okay, they’ll still be super cute. I Instagrammed mine once they were baking because I was pretty in love with them. See them here!toothbrush

Wormy jelly and healthy Halloween

wormsWhat I love about Halloween is the opportunity that it presents for you to pair food in ways that you wouldn’t usually. Chocolate cupcakes and jelly eyeballs, cheesy pastry twists with capsicum fingernails, biscuits and dinosaurs… orange jelly and worms.

This isn’t the first time I’ve used these little squishy worms in preparation for Halloween – the ones I used in this recipe were left over from when I made worms in mud cupcakes. I figured rather than waste them, I should utilise them in some ghoulish way.

So Wormy Jelly was born!