Treats for my Sweets

October is a busy cake month, three birthdays within four days (one including my own), this year also included Eid and a cake request (my first one ever!)

These were actually the last cakes I made, I’m working backwards with my posts (the tiramisu was made after, for my birthday .. I was all caked out).
A treat for my niece, who like her aunt, loves all things scary.

This was my first attempt at fondant models, I’m quite impressed with the final result, even if I do say so myself 😉
Unfortunately, due to sticky fondant fingers I didn’t get a chance to take pictures as I made them, bad blogger I know, however, here’s a simple guide

Pumpkins:

1)make a ball out of orange fondant, and flatten slightly 2) using a toothpick/knife/vining tool, starting from bottom to top, make evenly spaced vertical lines all the way round 3) using a small amount of green fondant make a stalk for the pumpkin and stick on 4) for the pumpkin eyes I cut small triangles out of the black fondant and stuck them on (this was quite fidley so I only managed 3 sets if eyes) (a great picture guide can be found here)

Ghosts:

1) roll out some white fondant, and cut a round using a cookie cutter
2) place the centre of the round on the tip of your finger, and pinch the edges, leave to dry
3) for the larger round I used a round sweet so it wouldn’t become misshapen when left to dry
4) I drew the eyes on using black gel decorating pens
(ghost topper tutorial with pics )

For the ‘mud’ I used Heston’s Chocolate covered popping candy from Waitrose, which looked really affective and made a nice surprise!

Like my nephew, my niece was also very specific about the cake she wanted, low fat and healthy. Healthy cake? Surely that’s an oxymoron.

She initially wanted a cheesecake, I really don’t like Quark or yoghurt based cheesecakes, I know it wasn’t for me, but I tend not to make things I wouldn’t want to eat myself. So that was out of the window.

She said she doesn’t mind banana cake, as they have bananas and they are healthy (great minds! I also count banana cake as one of my 5 a day, and Bounty :p )
I decided to incorporate all her favourite edible things: dates and honey, and found this great recipe for walnut, date and honey cake.
I added aprox. 75ml of buttermilk (made by adding a few drops of lemon juice to milk) or you could use yoghurt.
Ok not the worlds healthiest cake, but it has some healthy elements!
This is a really moist cake, you could probably reduce the sugar content slightly more especially as the bananas/dates/honey add sweetness, I would personally add more dates in the future.

For the frosting I was under strict commands, NO BUTTER, if I wanted to use chocolate only DARK CHOCOLATE.

Initially I was going to go for a straight forward glaze icing, but I felt it wouldn’t do the cake justice.  My niece mentioned you can make really nice frosting out of yoghurt, which didn’t really appeal to me, but as it her cake I did a quick ‘low fat yoghurt frosting’ google search and found this gem.
From the feedback at the bottom of the page it sounded promising.
I whisked 225g of greek yoghurt (I used Liberte,it is super thick and creamy) with 225g Philadelphia light.
Initially I wanted to make it honey and cinnamon flavour, as I thought that would complement the cake nicely so I put in two spoons of honey (instead of maple syrup) and sprinkled in some cinnamon, unfortunately, it tasted like cough medicine.
So I whisked in the peanut butter (I only had two tablespoons left).  It looked a bit runny, luckily I made it the night before, so once it was refrigerated overnight, it had thickened up nicely and was pipable.
This was amazing frosting, I think even if I didn’t add the extra sugar it would have tasted absolutely delicious.  You would think it was a regular frosting.

The black and orange metallic cases were from eBay.  The cupcake wrappers and cake picks were from the 2013 My Cake Magazine Halloween special edition.

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