If you are looking to host a Halloween Party for family, friends or neighbours (or all of the above), gastronomic experts Blue Strawberry have it covered and are able to provide all the elements to make your party a monster hit.
Here are some planning tips:
Tip 1: For those of you considering hosting a Halloween bash, first things first, choose the date and time.
Tip 2: Sending an invite. Remember to include the what, where, when, whether it’s a dress up, a bring and share, or whether little ghouls and grommets are welcome (is the party for the kids, or for the grown-ups?). What’s also important is how many people you are looking to cater for. If there are going to be children at the party, make sure the party isn’t too scary, because some may get frightened and no parent wants their child to have nightmares.
Tip 3: Menu planning. “This is what we are best at,” says Jenni Jackson, Owner of Blue Strawberry Caterers, based in Durban. Remember, if you do have kids attending, make sure you have ordered a goodie bag or rather a trick or treat bag. These are available through www.mychef.co.za. “Menus can be simple, creative or even scary looking, but the best options when creating a feast dedicated to Halloween, is to use some “normal” party foods and just give them ‘creepy’ names,” Jackson adds.
If you are going all out, and including food themes and costumes, some ideas include that of zombies/ witches, Dracula and Transylvania, dead celebrities, movie characters (‘Indiana Jones’), Casper the friendly ghost and friends, or even fun Disney characters. You can also provide your guests with letters where they can then arrive as a famous person for example, “B” for Bill Gates, “J” for Jim Carey and more.
For more information about your Halloween needs, contact Blue Strawberry on 0315791463; or visit www.bluestrawberry.co.za, who will happily tailor make bespoke menus for this ghoulish day.
My Chef is getting into the “sweet” spirit of Halloween with goodie bags fit for any Halloween reveller. Instead of the age old tradition of trick or treaters in scary costumes demanding a gift of Halloween sweets and treats, rather have My Chef arrive with candies and sweets for you – no tricks included.
These goodie bags come filled with so many sweet treats including tasty suckers, sweets and chocolates, and are available in two sizes – small bags to give away to trick or treaters that call on your home, or for those kids who can’t stroll the streets, a bigger and better bag so your kiddies don’t suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out).
Visit www.mychef.co.za to find these and other Halloween goodies on the menu to be delivered on Friday, October 28.
For the Vanilla Cake
3 cups cake flour
10ml baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2cups unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
4 cups cream
500g cooking chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Vanilla and Raspberry Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream (more to make soft enough to pipe)
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
To bake the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a baking sheet (13 x 18-inch) with parchment.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until softened. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed, until well combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl after each. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for an additional 30 seconds.
Spread the batter evenly over the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes in the centre of the oven, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack.
Once the cake is cool, use a coffin shaped cookie cutter to cut the cake. Reserve 1/2 cup of the scraps to use in the raspberry icing.
To make the ganache
In a large saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat, just to a simmer. Remove from heat; add the chocolate chips and butter. Swirl the pot to make sure all the chips are covered with the hot cream. Let it sit for 2 minutes and then gently stir until smooth.
Place the cut cakes on a cooling rack, set over a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Pour the ganache over the coffin cakes, making sure to cover the sides. Once they are all covered, let them sit until the ganache can set firm.
To make the icing
Mix together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla, until very smooth and fluffy. Add the heavy cream to create a frosting that will be soft enough to pipe a smooth line. Stick your finger in the frosting and when it comes out in a smooth point, it is ready. Divide the icing into two bowls; add the raspberry jam to one of them. Stir in 1/2 cup of cake scraps until smooth.
Using a small round pastry tip, pipe out the outline of the mummy on top of the ganache.
Use a very small, straight tip (the kind you would use when piping a basket weave), to pipe the mummy’s wrapping.