When Halloween approaches, this recipe for homemade treats for your favorite “special” trick-or-treaters might just do the “trick.” From Halloween Treats: Simply Spooky Recipes for Ghoulish Sweet Treats.
These cupcakes are a spooky version of much loved ‘hi-hat’ cupcakes with their mound of marshmallowy frosting. You can make the cakes a day in advance but the frosting should be made on the day of serving.
Red Velvet Cake
1½ sticks butter, soft
1¼ cups (caster) sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon red food colouring paste
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
175 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
black food colouring paste
1¼ cups caster superfine sugar
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
12-hole muffin pan, lined with white paper cases
large piping bag, fitted with a plain ⅜-inch nozzle
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until pale and light—3–4 minutes. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula from time to time.
Mix the red food colouring with the buttermilk until evenly coloured. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the cake mixture in alternate batches with the red buttermilk and mix until smooth.
In a small bowl, mix together the bicarbonate of baking soda and vinegar, then quickly add to the cake mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack until cold.
To make the marshmallow frosting, put the sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk slowly with a balloon whisk until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture starts to thicken and turn white and it reaches 60°C/140°F on a sugar thermometer—about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk with an electric whisk on medium speed for another 3 minutes or until cold, very thick and glossy white.
Immediately spoon the frosting into the piping bag and pipe the meringue into a swirly cone shape on top of each cupcake.
Tint 3 teaspoons of the marshmallow frosting black using the food colouring paste and pipe eyes on the ghosts.
Finally, sprinkle edible glitter over the ghosts. Boo!
Halloween Treats: Simply Spooky Recipes for Ghoulish Sweet Treats
by Annie Rigg
Photography by William Lingwood
Published by Ryland Peters 2012