Monday, November 4

Halloween Horrors

This Halloween was a rather special one.
My flat mate Jenny has the glorious birthday of the 2nd November, but because she was being whisked off to London for some family birthday celebrations, we decided to have a party a couple of days earlier.

Now what is a birthday without a cake?! It isn't one, let's be honest!
And so, good friend that I am, I woke up bright and early to create this Halloween inspired bake just for her.

Unfortunately I ran out of time to give the cake the proper 'photo shoot', but hopefully this will give you an inkling anyway!
I tweaked it here and there from BBC Good Food and it doesn't need to be purely for Halloween.
Without the creepy decoration, it is simply a truly moreish, delicious and addictive chocolate chunk cake- covered in chocolate ganache of course!

To make your own truly amazingggg chocolate chunk cake (with optional Halloween extras), you will need:
(For the cake:)
- 85g cocoa powder
- 200g self raising flour
- 375g light brown muscavado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200ml milk
- 175ml vegetable oil
- 200g milk chocolate, cut into chunks

(For the ganache:)
- 200g dark chocolate
- 200ml double cream

(Optional Halloween Extras:)
- 1 packet of rich tea fingers or Lotus biscuits
- 1 packet of double chocolate cookies
- A small packet of white chocolate buttons

Preheat your oven to 180C/160 fan, grease & line a baking tray with parchment.
Mix the sugar, self raising flour and cocoa together in a bowl.

In a jug beat together the milk, oil & eggs, then pour these wet ingredients on top of the dry ones.

Chop up the milk chocolate into chunks and set to one side for a second.
Using an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients together until a delicious chocolate brown batter comes together.
(Make sure you scrape down the sides with a spatula too to incorporate all of the ingredients that get stuck up the sides of the bowl!)

Tip in the chocolate chunks.

Then pour every last scrap into the prepared baking tin (stealing a spoonful or two for taste testing of course). Bake for around 30 minutes until soft, coming away from the sides and springy to your touch.

Once taken out of the oven and the cake has cooled down completely, get cracking on the chocolate ganache!
I used dark chocolate, but if this is a little bitter, just switch it for some top notch milk chocolate.

In a large saucepan, heat up gently the double cream until 'hot'. (The best indicator I found for this was to pop in your pinky finger- if you can keep your finger in, it needs longer!)
Meanwhile, chop up the chocolate as finely as possible, (this will help avoid huge lumps of solid chocolate in the ganache).

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave for a minute or two.

Gently, use a spoon to mix the two together until glossy, smooth and completely melted.

Smother this beautiful chocolate layer over the top of the cake, and let it caress the sides as it dribbles over seductively.

If you would just like to leave it as a delicious chocolate tray bake- then dust on some cocoa powder or grate over some chocolate for a simple touch.
Yet if you fancy getting your 'Halloween'-on, then pimp it out with some chocolate tombstones made of finger biscuits!
I used Lotus biscuits as I prefer them to rich tea (the ones that BBC Good Food uses), but all you have to do is break off part of a biscuit and coat it completely in ganache.

Grab a knife and make a small biscuit sized slice on top of the cake, gently ease the biscuit in and tilt it at an '100 year old gravestone' sort of angle, then leave to dry.

Just slide in as many tombstones as you fancy.
To make the 'gravel' of the grave yard, just bash up half a pack of chocolate biscuits in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and then sprinkle delicately over the top.
(Leaving a 'footpath' too if you are feeling arty!)

To write 'RIP' or something spooky on each tombstone, melt a couple of white chocolate buttons in a bowl.

Then using a tiny palette knife, cocktail stick or skewer, dip on very slowly the white chocolate.

Slide back in the tombstones (as sometimes its easier to take them out first to write on), and there you have it!
A spooky, simply chocolate cake!

A chocolate graveyard... There are worst places to be buried after all!
Moist, sticky and judging from the amount that I ate the next morning- the perfect hangover or feel good food.
It went down an absolute treat!

But the real reason that I couldn't give this beautifully addictive cake a photo shoot that it deserved, was because we were heading out.
It was Halloween after all and decent face paint takes a few hours at least to perfect!

Jenny & I's friend Harriet came over from Manchester, especially for a spooky Halloween night. We promised her Leeds would not disappoint, and so after a few hours of hair spray, face paint and fake blood- we emerged as dead school girls and broken dolls.

The boys even seemed to be swinging into character!

Whilst the (soon to be) birthday girl was distracted, Harriet and I ran down the stairs to sort out the cake with some rather cheery candles. It was a birthday not a wake after all!

Happy Birthday was sung, Jenny was in utter glee and the boys were lustfully eyeing up the cake...But instead it was carefully stored away for a 5.30am post night out snack, whilst George and I got busy mixing up some cheeky cocktails.

It is a crazy night. One where no one really understands what exactly is going on, or what that random blood stained costume stood next to you actually is...
But one thing is for sure, everyone goes full out.

Cake, friends and epic nights out... Leeds I love you, but sadly its time to get my head down for the looming essay deadlines.
I' promise I'll try not to be too much of a stranger hidden away in the deepest, darkest depths of the library!


  1. Looks delicious! And seems like you had a wonderful Halloween ^^

  2. The cake looks divine and I just want to stick my face in it! I bet it went down a storm.

    This year was the first year in ages that I didn't get all dress up for Halloween, I'm not really sure why. I'll make up for it next year I reckon!

    Glad you had such a good one! :D

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. I was the one that admittedly ate most of it... But it was good! If you had a chocolate tray bake- look no further!
      Go full out next year, it is the one night you can really go crazy after all! xx

  3. Looks amazing! Might have to try that cake for my housewarming next weekend!

    You look incredible!!

    Katie <3

  4. Wowee that cake is a cracking idea! Tombstones out of biccies and all chocolatey, oh hello there cheeky chunk hidden in the mixture!
    It looks like you all had such a blast :)
    x x
    The Lobster & Me

    1. The chocolate chunks were the best bit... I think I might double the amount next time! xx

  5. That cake looks sooo yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Haa that cake looks so cool! Very clever to melt and write with the white chocolate. Nice touch!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

    1. Thanks Teffy, it's a bit fiddly, but worth it! xx

  7. Love the cake, so simple yet so effective!

  8. Fab cake em!!!! Love the tights, I was so glad to see everyone at uni went as crazy as they did, so annoyed I didn't make enough effort!!
    Lottie xxx

    1. Oh shhh! I still thought you looked pretty awesome! xx

  9. This looks so yummy!



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