Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween in London

The first pumpkin I saw on my walk...
The first pumpkin I saw on my walk… I love the cute little baby pumpkin ­čÖé

I have to say I feel a bit disappointed on my neighbours…┬á We must be the most boring borough in London!

I went for a walk today, with my camera, expecting to find great pumpkin decorations, bats, ghosts, witches… When I was in Dublin, every house was a real treat! People had actually given a lot of thought to the way they had decorated the front of their homes to make them scary or cute, depending, I guess, on the personality of their inhabitants and the age of their children.

However, in my neighbourhood, only 1 house in 10 had something akin to a decoration. Not even the pub had a single indication of Halloween!

I hope they are all madly carving as I type… I really like this celebration, but it is not so fun when I am the only one in the block with a pumpkin sitting outside my house ­čśŤ

Carve people, carve! The spirits are coming tomorrow night and we must be prepared!

Here are some of the decorations I found…

2014-10-30 08.20.36The English rain does very little to preserve them carved pumpkins…

2014-10-30 08.24.26And these are ours… we bought some very realistic spiders…

2014-10-26 17.00.25After the first night out, we lost 2 spiders to one of the many cats that live on our street. We never managed to reattach them properly, so we left them on the pebbles at the front of the house. Now, they give me the creeps every time I set foot outside! Hehehe.

2014-10-30 08.25.40Hope your street is full of cool decorations!

Paula

Easy Pops! Like cake-pops but easier.

DSC07933These are great to make with children. They are a cross between truffles and cake-pops. There is really no cake in them, so they can’t be cake-pops…maybe truffle-pops? Pretty much Nutella and oats truffles in a stick ­čÖé

DSC07929The only tricky part is covering them in chocolate, because they are a bit more fragile than cake-pops and the melted chocolate is less runny than Candy Melts, which is the traditional coating for cake pops. However, placing them in the freezer before hand, makes the job a lot easier.

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Ingredients (for 20 easy-pops):

For the easy cake-pops:

1 cup Nutella (Dulce de Leche works great too)

1/2 cup porridge oats (maybe a bit more, if the mixture looks too wet)

1/4 cup grated coconut

180 g dark chocolate for coating.

Cake-pop sticks.

For decorating:

Orange m&m

Sprinkles

Dried coconut

How to:

1.- Mix the Nutella, oats and coconut together. Put the mixture in the fridge for 1/2 an hour. It should look like this.

DSC079102.- Take 1 teaspoon of mixture at a time and roll it between your palms to make little balls.

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DSC079133.- Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, while you chop and melt the chocolate. You can melt it in the microwave or in a bain marie. Just make sure no water falls into the chocolate or it will go grainy and solid.

DSC079154.- Once you take the truffles out of the freezer, dip a stick in the melted chocolate and put it through one of the little balls. Repeat with all the truffles. Then place in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will make it easier to handle them.

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DSC079245.- After 20 minutes, take them out of the freezer and dip them one at a time in the chocolate. You can use the cake pop technique explained by Bakerella on minute 1:58 in this video or you can help yourself with a small knife or spatula.

DSC079226.- Before the chocolate hardens add the decorations: you can sprinkle dried coconut, sprinkles or crunched m&ms.

DSC07923

DSC079257.- Keep them in the fridge.

They are great with a bitter coffee, to cut through the sweetness.

Another tasty variation is to add chopped candied orange peel. It gives the mixture a lovely citrus flavour that goes really well with the chocolate.

DSC07934This is my last post of Halloween food. I need to go back to my usual sugar-free, minimal-butter life, because my body has been complaining recently, and I better pay attention ­čÖé

 So expect a lot of green juices, spelt breads and healthy cooking for next week!!

Have a great Tuesday!

Paula