This week, I baked with yet another theme- Halloween! My favourite time of year is Autumn and I especially love Halloween. It's such a great time for ending old projects and getting ready to start new ones. I always find my health gets a little rubbish at this time of year and my skin is going crazy with the change of weather, but that aside, it also is ridiculously inspiring.
One of my favourite movies EVER is the Nightmare Before Christmas, which was the first ever DVD (remember those?) I ever got. I must have watched it every day after I got it for Christmas until I went back to school, and have watched it so many times since. Animation has been a childhood obsession, that never aspired to anything, so with this, I decided to make a homage to the movie, music and animation. Not exactly up to Tim Burton standards, but everyone starts somewhere eh?
The recipe for the Tiny Pumpkin Cakes from the video is as follows. As per usual with my recipes, interpretation and embellishments are completely up to you. I love to give things my own spin, so I enjoy seeing everyone else's.
Get a pumpkin (any size really) and cut up into pieces. Boil in a pan with water until soft, blend in a food processor until it is smooth like soup. This will still be warm, so leave to cool (pop it in the fridge if need be)
Tiny Pumpkin Cakes
Pre-Heat your oven to 180ºC.
Take 120g of butter and blend with 350g of Light Brown Sugar. Sift in 280g of Self Raising Flour and 60g of Corn Flour and fold in.
Add your blend of spices and fold in. Pop in 4 eggs and whisk everything together.
The mix will be slightly stiff, so now it's time to add your Pumpkin Pureé. The mix will now become runny.
Scoop the mix into a cupcake tin, or get one from IcedJemsShop.com where you can get various sizes and shapes of moulds to make fun shapes. Butter the cases, and if you wish, place small circles of greaseproof paper into the bottom of the indents. Use an ice-cream scoop to get even amounts in the mould. Makes 18 in a regular cupcake tin.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (cover with tinfoil to ensure an even bake).
Take out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make some Buttercream- 250g of butter blended with 500g of icing sugar, add some milk (1-2 tbsp) if you wish to loosen the mix.
Once the cakes are cool, take 2 cakes and on one half, spread some buttercream. Then place the other half on top and cover everything with a layer of buttercream. Do this with all the cakes (should make 9 cake sandwiches)
You need 1kg of fondant icing, take 20g and make it black (or buy black icing) and 15g and make it brown (or, again, buy brown). The rest should be coloured Orange (or buy orange) add some mixed spice while kneading the icing, to give the icing some extra flavour.
Roll out the icing to 3mm thick, and cut out circles big enough to cover each cake. Fold over and smooth over the cake. Smooth upwards to avoid tearing the icing. If you make a crease or a fold, its okay, you're making a pumpkin, so its going to look creased anyway.
Once you have done this, create a divot in the top of the cake, and place a small pea-sized amount of the brown icing into it (use some buttercream if you wish to stick it down, or water, if you've eaten/used it all). From the top, score some lines from the 'stalk' to the bottom. Use a spoon to curve the bottom edge in.
Take some black icing and create a face for the pumpkin, anything you want really. Smile, frown, silly, whatever you wish. Stick this on with buttercream or water again. Ta Da! You've finished!
There is an alternative decoration method, if you wanted to make mini-tiny pumpkin cakes. Spread some buttercream on the top of each cake half, then cut a circle of orange icing and place on top. Then create a face and score lines down. You then have mini-tiny pumpkin cakes, just as delicious, but less fiddly.
Check out the video that teaches you, through song, how to make them. Thanks for reading, see you soon!