4 great Halloween-themed recipes to try at home

4 great Halloween-themed recipes to try at home

4 great Halloween-themed recipes to try at home - Credit: Archant

Here’s something for all ages at our Halloween supper – the cocktail can be adjusted to be alcohol free for the kids

Words: Julie Friend - Photos: Julie Friend

1) Pumpkin Pancakes and Caramel Cobnut Sauce

Recipe by Roughway Farm, Tonbridge whose cobnuts are perfect in the sauce, roughwayfarm.co.uk

Ingredients

- 250g cooked pumpkin flesh (tinned is fine or cook the diced pumpkin on high for a few minutes in the microwave with a spoonful of water in a covered bowl)

- 2 large eggs

- 4 tbsp light brown soft sugar

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- 125ml yoghurt

- 2tbsp melted butter

- Drop of milk

- 200g plain flour

- 2 tsp cinnamon

- 2 tsp baking powder

- Oil for cooking

Cobnut caramel sauce

- ½ cup double cream

- ½ cup dark brown muscovado sugar

- 4 tbsp salted butter

- Twist of quality sea salt

- 75g cobnuts, shelled, toasted and crushe

Method

- Mash the pumpkin flesh until nice and smooth

- Mix all the ingredients together into a bowl with a whisk and then add the pumpkin flesh and combine well

- Warm a frying pan or griddle pan on a medium heat and brush with a little oil or melted butter

- Add spoonfuls of the mixture, spreading it slightly so that each pancake will be about 6-8cm wide

- Once the top of the pancake starts to bubble slightly, turn it over

- Cook on the other side until golden brown

- Keep warm and ready to be served with your sticky sauce

Cobnut caramel sauce:

- Place the cream, butter and sugar into a pan

- Let everything slowly melt together and bring to a slightly higher heat

- Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the sauce has thickened and darkened slightly

- Add the salt and 2/3 of the crushed cobnuts

- Pour the sauce over your pumpkin pancakes and sprinkle with the remaining nuts.

- Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche.

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2) ‘Eye see you’ cookies

These quick-to-make cookies using just a few ingredients are perfect for children to attempt (note chilling time) - Makes around 12-14

Ingredients

- 90g plain flour

- 100g caster sugar

- 30g cocoa powder

- 30ml vegetable oil

- Few drops vanilla extract

- 1 large egg

- ½ tsp baking powder

- 3 tbsp icing sugar

- Sugar eyes

- Red food colouring

Method

- In a bowl beat together the sugar, oil, egg and vanilla

- Mix the cocoa with the flour and baking powder until well combined and then add to the wet ingredients, mixing until an even dark brown colour

- Cover the bowl with film and chill in the fridge for around an hour

- Heat your oven to 170C, Gas Mark 5

- Take the chilled dough from the fridge and roll into small balls, each approx. 25g

- Put the icing sugar into a shallow dish and roll each ball in the sugar until completely covered

- Place on a lined baking tray, leaving gaps between as they will spread

- Decorate with sugar eyes or sprinkles (some of these decorations melt a little, so we found the best way is to allow the cookie to bake for around eight minutes, open the oven then press the eyes into the dough for the last two minutes. Note: this will be a hot job!

- Bake the cookies for around 10-12 minutes until spreading and crackled

- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a rack

- Add a little red food colouring with a cocktail stick to the sugar eyes for a bloodshot effect.

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3) Squash Soup

This soup can be made with a traditional orange pumpkin but somehow butternut squash seems to make it slightly silkier in texture.

Ingredients

- 50g salted butter

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 100g smoked, streaky bacon

- 1 medium onion, finely chopped

- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped

- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped

- 1 butternut squash or small orange pumpkin, peeled and cubed (approx.700g)

- ½ tsp chopped marjoram (or thyme)

- 1 ½ pints chicken stock

- Dash of Tabasco

- Pinch of grated, fresh nutmeg

- Salt and pepper

- Few tablespoons of single cream

Method

- Melt butter and oil in large pan and gently fry the onion and bacon until just beginning to brown

- Add the chopped potato, carrot, pumpkin/squash and marjoram/thyme and cook for a further five minutes with a lid on the pan

- Add the stock, tabasco, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Simmer – covered – for around 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft

- Remove from the heat and allow to cool then purée with a stick blender or in a food processor

- Add the cream and check the seasoning, adding a little more tabasco for an extra kick if desired.

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4) ‘Bleeding heart’ cocktail

For each person (use a martini glass to serve)

Ingredients

- 100ml cherry juice (or you could use pomegranate juice)

- 35ml vodka or gin

- Half a lemon (for juice and for preparing the glass)

- 2 tsp caster sugar

- Red food colouring

- Ice cubes

- Strawberry heart for garnish

Method

- Place the sugar onto a saucer and add a couple of drops of red food colouring – mix with a fork until the colour is even

- Rub the lemon around the rim of the glass and press into the sugar to coat the rim (you can prepare the glasses ahead of time and leave the sugar to harden slightly on the glass) – reserve the remaining sugar

- Place the cherry juice, gin and approx. one teaspoon of lemon juice with the remaining sugar into a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice

- Shake well, strain and serve with a skewered strawberry heart and blackberries if available.

Get in touch

You can find MasterChef Julie Friend at: julie@juliefriend.co.uk

Instagram: the_tinytable