Happy H*OWL* oween

I love Halloween. My Facebook photos over the years stand as testament to this : a Mummy in heels, a Luche Libre in spandex , a Scooby Doo character in a red wig. You name it, l have worn it. This year, however, The Boy is too young to celebrate with me and The Husband will be enjoying some man-time in a pub. So l  have swapped lycra for an apron and baked these owl-ish cupcakes instead. Happy H*OWL*oween!

The Owl and the Witch's Pussycat

The Owl and the Witch’s Pussycat

-This is an adapted version of the Red Velvet cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery, and inspired by ideas from Pinterest. I made double the quantities for 24 cupcakes-

H*owl*oween Cupcakes

Ingredients

60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
20ml orange and green colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml milk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

For the decoration:

20g cocoa powder
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter
40ml black food colouring
20 ml of milk
1 packs of Oreos
1 packs of M&Ms

Method

1.) Put the butter and the sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg and cocoa powder until well mixed.IMG_5415

.2.) Add half the milk and beat until well mixed.IMG_5419

3.) Add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the milk and flour have been added and you have a smooth, even mixture.IMG_5424

4.) Mix together bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract and vinegar (it fizzes!) and beat thoroughly into the mixture.

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5.) Divide the mixture in half and colour one half in orange and the other in green. Not particularly appetising, but very spooky. Fill a cupcake tin, mixing the two colours. Bake for 20 minutes at 170 Celsius.IMG_5442

6.) While the cakes cool, beat icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter together.IMG_5443

7.) Add milk and beat until the mixture is smooth.IMG_5450

8.) Add the  black food colouring and smooth on top of the cooled cupcakes.IMG_5461

9.) Open the pack of Oreos (trying not to eat them!)

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10.) Split the Oreos in half and spread out your M&Ms so you can see the colours (trying not to let anyone else eat them!).IMG_5469

11.) Cut the Oreos in half for the eyes and use the M&Ms for the pupils and the beak. The ears are created by breaking an Oreo into quarters.

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 I shall be eating these whilst watching a (not too) scary film by myself this evening. Spooky!

Fresh Strawberry Scones

Having bought a small pot of strawberries for The Boy to sample (his face was one of utter disgust when he put them in his mouth this morning), l fancied making a fruity treat for our Saturday breakfast. I found a lovely little recipe for Strawberry Scones in a book entitled “Bread” by Anne Sheasby. She suggests adding cinnamon, which is inspired. These were so tasty with a smattering of cream cheese and a mug of Yorkshire tea this morning. Even whilst being covered in half masticated strawberry by my beloved offspring.

Ingredients:

225g self raising flour

25g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

100g fresh strawberries, chopped

55g butter

125ml milk (plus extra for glazing)

Method:

1) Add flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix lightly.

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2.) Dice butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

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3.) Stir in sugar and chopped strawberries.

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4.) Add enough milk to mix a soft dough, and turn it out onto a floured surface.IMG_5400

5.) Pat out the dough until it is about 2cm thick, and cut out 12 rounds (l used a glass!).

Brush the tops of the scones with milk.

IMG_54026.) Bake at 220 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown on top.

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Yummy!