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These ghoulish treats will get kids creative in the kitchen

Delicious: Graveyard brownies with scary eyeballs!
Delicious: Graveyard brownies with scary eyeballs!

No tricks, only treats this weekend as we prepare for Hallowe’en.

It’s great having all the children home for the week, it’s a chance to get busy in the kitchen and get creative with our cooking.

My chocolate graveyard brownies with scary eyeballs are made in two parts, starting with the simple-to-make scary eyeballs. You crush the biscuits (I find that Oreo-style biscuits worked best) then mix with some chocolate spread (which holds the biscuit crumbs together) to create eyeballs. Then just pop them into the fridge while they set.

When set, dip them in melted white chocolate and let it set, then decorate the eyeballs with different colours and sweets. The creativity of children can astound me sometimes.

I recommend using the powder food colouring rather than liquid varitey when mixing with chocolate as it seems to work better. Use melted chocolate to write on the brownie tombstones, you could also crumble the cut-offs from the brownie tombstones to scatter (like soil) and make an more authentic graveyard scene.

My no-bake cheesecake is very straightforward too. More crushed biscuits. Once the base has set and the cream cheese mixture is set on top, you can have more fun decorating it. I melted more chocolate and created a web design with a spider on top. If you are not familiar with piping, practice a little on some parchment paper.

Graveyard Brownies with Scary Eyeballs (Serves 6 - 8)

Children will enjoy decorating these – let their imaginations run wild. They will enjoy eating them even more.
 
For the eye balls:
  • 70g Oreo biscuits
  • 70g hazelnut spread (Nutella) 
  • 100g white chocolate to decorate
  • ½ tsp red food colouring (powder)
  • Chocolate buttons to decorate
For the brownie: 
  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 225g butter, chopped into pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 110g white chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 110g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Crush the Oreo biscuits and combine with the hazelnut spread. Roll walnut-size pieces into eyeball shapes. Place these on a tray and refridgerate for 20 to 30 minutes, until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the brownie. Grease and line a 30cm rectangular cake tin.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a bowl set over simmering water.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate and mix well.
  5. Sieve the self raising flour and gently fold it into the chocolate and egg mixture.
  6. Fold in the chopped white and dark chocolate and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the centre of the cake feels firm on the surface but it still has a soft wobble
  7. While waiting for the brownie to cool, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  8. Remove the eyeballs from the fridge and stick each with a wooden skewer. Dip into white chocolate and on a non-stick baking paper so any excess can drip off. Stick a chocolate button onto the top and place in fridge again to set. 
  9. Slice the brownie into two rectangles, one larger than the other. Decorate the headstone with some extra melted white chocolate (use a small piping bag for a neater result). Stick the bottom of the head stone to the main brownie with white chocolate, or secure with a few toothpicks. Set in fridge for about five minutes.
  10. With the remaining white chocolate, stir in some red food colouring and fill a mini-piping bag. Decorate the eyeballs all around the dark chocolate. 
  11. Crumble any leftover browner (so it looks like soil) and decorate the cake.  Pea shoots can also be used for decoration.

Witches' Blood Cheesecake (Serves 6 - 8)

  • 150g Oreo-style biscuits 
  • 75g butter, plus a little for greasing the tin
  • 4 sheets of gelatine
  • 300g cream cheese 
  • 300g crème fraîche 
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200ml cream
  • 3 oranges, zest and juice
  • 100g frozen raspberries (defrosted)
  • 1 tsp red food colouring
  • 100g dark chocolate chopped
  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water. Line a tray with parchment paper and line six 5cm plastic moulds with clingfilm.
  2. Whizz the biscuits in a food processor or put them in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they are finely crushed.
  3. Melt the butter and add this to the crushed biscuits. Mix together thoroughly, then press into the base of the moulds. Leave to chill in fridge for at least three hours.
  4. Beat the soft cheese, crème fraiche and sugar together with a spatula, then beat in the cream and orange zest. Heat two tablespoons of juice until hot but not boiling, then stir in the soaked gelatine and beat this into the filling. Swirl in the raspberries and food colouring. Spoon into the moulds, level the top and chill for two hours, or until it is set.  
  5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Place into a piping bag and cut a very small opening.   Pipe a web-like shape onto the surface of the cheesecake and return to the fridge to set.
  6. On a piece of parchment paper you can now make some fun spider shapes. Place into the freezer to set and arrange on top of cheesecake.