Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Halloween Cake Bites (gluten free, vegan)

Halloween and I don’t get on because it involves people knocking repeatedly at my door.  I am fairly welcoming, but only by appointment.  People dropping by unannounced give me hives.

When we lived in London I almost never answered my doorbell.  It was London.  It could only be a murderer or rapist at my door, or worse, one of those tedious people conducting a Mori poll.  I only made that mistake once and forced the guy to do the survey on the doorstep.  I couldn’t let him in because of the London-murderer-rapist thing.

Then we moved to the suburbs and it was worse.  Neighbours actually wanted to speak to us and appeared willy nilly at my door.

It all reached a peak one Halloween night.  Kids in rubbish costumes came and chanted “Trick or Treat” in a bored, lacklustre way.  It was only because their anxious Mums were loitering at the end of my drive that I didn’t make them do it all over again and this time with feeling.

By the third or fourth round of kids, it was getting late and I had reached my limit.  So had my son who had done a spectacular crap in his nappy and needed to be in bed.   I opted for changing him in the hall and my poppet started his usual nappy change routine of full throttle screaming and kicking.

Right in the middle of it, the doorbell started to ring.  My daughters pranced around in crazed excitement, “Ooo Mummy!  Answer the door! Give them sweets!”  My son screamed repeatedly, kicking and splattering shit everywhere.

And still the door kept coming.

Up to my elbows in child dung, I looked up from the nappy and gave the primal scream of a woman giving birth to triplets in breech position.

“GOOO AWWAAAYYYY!!!  I WILL NOT OPEN THE DOOORRRRRRR!”  I held the final note for a long, satisfying time, until my voice cracked.


I waited for the dog turd to come through my letter box or the brick to shatter my window.  Nothing.  These Trick or Treaters are all face paint and no action.

And miraculously the doorbell did not ring again.  For years.

This Halloween will of course be different.  We have just moved to a teeny village and I’m all jazz hands and smiles with the neighbours.  Although I did decline an invitation to a two course lunch with the vicar.

So I will open the door and hand out sweeties.  I’m really hoping the costumes have gone up a gear now that we are importing cheap tat from Bangladesh.

And if I’m feeling generous, I may hand over one of these Halloween Cake Bites.  But I suspect I shall keep them all for me.   I will need something to help me recover after hours of smiling fixedly while crappy kids repeatedly ring my arsing doorbell. 

Happy Halloween to you all.

Halloween Cake Bites 

These are riffing off my Christmas cake bites, you can see how the inside looks by clicking here.

All versions will need:

130g dairy free spread/margarine

120g sugar

110g golden syrup or honey

60g GF, DF cocoa powder

150 ml rice milk / dairy milk (for GF versions, remember liquid measurements are approximate. Always add liquid gradually, using more or less as you see fit)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

GF version:

50g cornflour
100g brown rice flour

25g buckwheat/quinoa/tapioca flour
¾ tsp xanthan gum

1½ tsp GF baking powder

Egg version / Egg free version

1 egg OR:

1 heaped tsp of Orgran no egg Egg Replacer

1 heaped tbsp ground linseeds

⅛ tsp xanthan gum (that’s half a ¼ if you’re as thick as me...)

2 tbsps vegetable oil

4 tbsps rice milk/dairy milk/

To make these with wheat flour:

Use 175g wholemeal, self-raising flour

To bind the cake balls:

3-4 tbsps gluten free apple sauce (a GF apple sauce for weaning babies would do)

(If you can’t find a jar of apple sauce, use 2 eating apples, 2-3 tbsps sugar, squeeze of lemon juice. Peel, core, chop apples and put them in a saucepan, add sugar, lemon juice and a tbsp of water. Cover and simmer until apple is cooked. Blend with a hand blender, add a tsp of cornflour to bind it all together, blend again to remove any lumps)

To coat:

Sugarpaste in halloween colours

• For egg free versions: mix the Orgran no egg powder, ground linseeds, xanthan gum, oil and rice milk together using a mini whisk. Set aside

• Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins with baking parchment

• Pre-heat oven to 170˚celsius

• Put the fat and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together
• Add either the egg or the egg replacing mixture and beat again

• Add the flour (GF or wheat), baking powder, xanthan gum (GF versions) and cocoa powder to the bowl and beat until incorporated

• Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warmed 150ml of rice milk/dairy milk and gradually stir in to the mixture. For GF versions you may need to add more milk to get a soft, dropping consistency

• Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes until risen and springy. Remove and leave to cool completely

• When the cakes are cool, crumble them into a large mixing bowl. Add the apple sauce and combine until you are able to squidge the mixture into balls, you may need more apple sauce

• Lovingly roll little balls of cake in your hands and set them onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Place the baking tray in the fridge for up to four hours

Roll out your sugarpaste and decorate your cake balls.  As you can see, not much skill is involved and you can pretty much do what you want.  For the ghosts I covered their nether regions with a small circle of sugarpaste, then laid a 'cloak' of icing over the top and squidged it all together.  It does help to have some confectioner's glue to stick eyes, hats and noses, etc.  At a pinch you might get away with apricot jam

If you make a real mess of it all, don't worry, the kids will love them (these ghosts were demolished within minutes of the photo shoot) and once you've eaten one and got the sugar rush, well you really won't care 
Good luck, with the decorating and Halloween...

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Nowheymama said...

These are so cute! And it's so nice to meet you!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Nowheymama, thank-you! And it's so nice to meet you back...can we be new best friends?!


الصحيفة الصادقة said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pig in the Kitchen said...

Thank-you person from umm, Saudi Arabia? I suspect you can't understand a word of my blog...

Iota said...

I love the picture, but it's demoralising because I just know mine would never look like that. Oooh, I'm in Hallowe'en mode. I mistyped that as "woold never look like that".

Now. How do you know it's a 2-course meal with the vicar? Did he/she specify? I think you are safe now you are out of the London axe-murder/rapist zone. I think you should go. Vicars are often lonely (in spite of public perception), and desperate to fill their time (in spite of public perception), and probably don't get enough lunch dates (in spite of public perception). You could look on it as community service.

Ooooh... the Hallowe'en theme coninues. The word verification is "covents", which is a symbiosis of "convents" and "covens". Nuns meet witches. I'm NOT making this up (wish I could be that clever with words). It's totally a sign that you should have lunch with the vicar. Totally.

I really am rambling here, aren't I?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Iota, do you know how often I wander around 'foodie' blogs and then want to KILL MYSELF because their photos are so amazing? My wrists have the scars to prove it.

So although this is an awful thing to admit...the fact that one of MY photos made you feel demoralised, so I might be doing a head-jerking victory dance with a bit of an overbite right around now.

I know, I'm a terrible person.

I could possibly consider lunch with the vicar - who was sweet, although 'proselytizing' is not too wide of the mark - but it wasn't just with him. It was with other people whose hair might have been rinsed blue. Yes. Average age...not young.

That again makes me a terrible person and I will definitely repent.

I'm getting a complete wave of nostalgia now for our heady blogging days when - speaking for myself - I used to blog-hop and comment while under the influence. I miss those days. I'm coming over to you in sober middle America RIGHT NOW to leave an inappropriate comment :-)


Iota said...

The really funny thing is that when I was writing that last comment, I got all nostalgic, thinking

"What happened to the days when comments could be long and rambly, and were a way of making friends? Now comments have to be short and terse and to the point, and for those of us who never made it onto Twitter and Facebook, there is a void that hasn't been filled."

And then you came and wrote all over my comments box about how nostalgic you are about blogging and comments, and how it isn't what it used to be.

Iota said...

My point is, that you read my mind.

Iota said...

While you're in your inebriated state, you should get over to Pants with Names, where I have left the longest comment in the history of blogging. And it's on a post about kids and food, so it's your theme.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

iota, all sobered up now. Thanks for your lovely comments, I too miss the glory days! xx

Poker Chick said...

OMG you are hilarious. This is the funniest post I've read in a long time.

Michelle said...

Hi there!

I love your blog! You've got some fun, creative recipes I really want to try. Very different from the kind of thing I usually make. Plus, it's written with such candor. I just love it.

So, I was wondering... I didn't see any amine allergy resources on your blogroll.

That's what I've been diagnosed with, and in the process of learning what it is and how to eat on a low amine diet, I have worked hard to create a network of helpful sites to connect allergy sites to other allergy sites. It seems like a lot of people that have one allergy also have one or more other allergies.

I love what you've put together here - there are some helpful tools here. I've got a few of my own on my blog, too.

Low Amine Recipes

I wonder if you would mind linking to my blog? I'm hoping that by connecting allergy blogs to one another, we'll be able to help our readership even more in the long run.

Keep up the great work (good luck in the contest)!

- Michelle Ferris
Low Amine Recipes

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hi Poker Chick, thank-you!

Hi Michelle, thanks for your kind comments. Ahem...I am about to visit your blog because I am not familiar with amine allergy. I know, burn me at the stake. Sorry!
Pig x

Mimi said...

Love the cake bites!
I hate Hallowe'en, and wish I had known about your screaming trick! (only joking, I now put a box of treats outside the door with a note.."help yourself, when they're gone, they're gone". Then I go in the kitchen and open a bottle of wine!

Michelle said...

There will be no staking or burning! Amine allergies are pretty weird. I suspect a lot of people have it, but don't know it. It's kinda like awareness of GF/Celiac or lactose intolerance 10 years ago... the awareness just wasn't really there yet. I hope you find some useful recipes in my blog, and if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Best to you!
- Michelle
Low Amine Recipes