Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spook-tacular Pinnies and Petticoats

At our inaugural Pinnies and Petticoats Baking Club all the bakes were sweet so I decided that I'd definitely go down the savoury route this time round for my spooky offering.  I had a variety of potential ideas from scouring Pinterest for inspiration but settled on Hot Dog Mummies and Witchy Fingers both encompassing puff pastry.

But I really couldn't roll up at a baking club with creations made from JusRol.  Some weeks back at A Berry Good Night I had met Lisa the lovely pasty chef at Castleton Farm and when I confessed that I was a little bit scared of pastry she recommended that I purchase Pastry by Micheal Roux and give his Rough Puff a go. The book has been sat sitting on my coffee table gathering dust for weeks.  Now was time to take up the challenge.
flour and butter mountain
The ingredients list was simple.  Flour, butter, salt and water.  I made the mistake of assuming that the butter would need to be at room temp.  Cue half an hour in the freezer to rectify.  Likewise the water needs to be ice cold.  I have to say I found the instructions a bit vague but after working in what appeared to be the entire European butter mountain I managed to form a humongous ball of dough ready for 20 mins in the fridge.
Then the rolling and folding and quarter turning, then back in the fridge for a further 30 mins.  More rolling, folding and turning.  Further refrigeration and it was ready to use. Not as complicated as I'd feared but a bit messy in terms of flour and stickiness. The proof however would be in the baking.  
First up the cheese straw witches fingers.  Top the pastry with egg wash, a mixture of grated parmesan and emmenthal cheese and a sprinkling of cayenne and paprika. Twist and place on a baking tray.  Dip a whole almond in tomato ketchup and attach to the end.  10 mins or so in a hot oven and you have spooky fingers. I was really pleased with how these turned out.  Suitably revolting looking - but in a good way.
Next the mummies. These were much more fiddly  Long thin strips of rough puff required which you wrap round the sausage leaving space for a face.  Into a hot oven where the problems started. The hot dogs began to explode. The length of cooking required to bake the pastry was too much for them and they began to expel their dubious contents over my oven.  Enough were rescued to have mustard faces piped on them but the sausage skin had gone very chewy.  Great concept but I reckon it would be nicer with proper butchers sausages.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache
Armed with my spooky savouries I headed to cake club.  What a fantastic turnout of bakers.  Our initial 8 from the inaugural meeting had multiplied to over 20 with a fantastic array of bakes to match.  As Ms Pinnie herself commented it was like the best Halloween party ever. Amazing spread and variety of bakes, alas I've only captured some of them on camera.
Halloween Hoot Owl Cookies
Brownie Graveyard
The showstoppers in terms of looks had to be a three way tie between Lou from Please Do Not  Feed the Animal's Halloween Hoot Owl Cookies, Colene's Pumpkin Pie Spice Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache and Elaine's Chocolate Brownie Graveyard.  Star Baker split three ways.
Pumpkin Pie Number 1
Pumpkin Pie Number 2 & Pumpkin and Choc Chip Muffins
Unsurprisingly there was lots of pumpkin incorporated in the bakes.  Two variations on Pumpkin Pie.  Something I've never tasted before.  The recipe Tom used can be found here and he bought his tinned pumpkin from Wowzie. There were also Pumpkin and Chocolate Brownie Cakes, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Woopie Pies (another first for me) and to keep me company in the savoury corner Cheese and Pumpkin Tartlets.
Mint Choc Chip Meringues & Oreo Spiders
Spiders too featured strongly with super cute Oreo Chocolate Spider Cookies, two spider web topped Chocolate Olive Oil Cakes from Nigellissima, a webby Japanese Cheesecake and spooktastic Sticky Gingerbread.  I love bakes incorporating apples and really enjoyed the toffee apple cookies (I may have eaten more than my share)  Unfortunately I didn't manage to try Karen's Toffee Apple Cupcakes which looked amazing.  
Spooky Surprise (lemon curd in the center) Ghostly Cupcakes
Toffee Apple Cupcakes, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
In keeping with the Halloween theme the lovely Claire at Berry Scrumptious offered a sample of her limited edition Freaky Fudge to any food blogger willing enough to try it. Without even checking what the flavour was I offered the services of Pinnies and Petticoats bakers as being brave enough to try it.  A packet of Bloody Mary Fudge duly arrived.  Made with vodka, tomato puree, tabasco sauce and topped with celery salt. Now I'm a big Bloody Mary fan.  Its my aeroplane drink of choice but fudge just might be taking it a step too far. However it got the thumbs up from me and the assembled cake club.  Surprisingly sweet to start with but then the real kick of tabasco hits home.  So much so that one baker had to rush for her glass of red to quell the heat.  I dare you to try it.  If you like chilli chocolate and the likes you'll love this.
The next Pinnies and Petticoats meet has been scheduled for Friday 16th December, 7pm at Tiger Tiger for a Pre-Christmas Party with suitable themed bakes.  Fancy joining us?  Check out the Facebook page. It would be lovely to see you there.  Especially if you bring cake and wear a festive jumper.  We'll be getting into (and drinking) the Christmas spirit and I for one fully intend to be dancing round my Tupperware box by the end of the night.

6 comments :

  1. Such a good night. So. Much. Cake!

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  2. Wow! Amazing stuff! Love the witches fingers! Great idea :-) Now that you've mastered rough puff - try making a quiche with it - it makes the best quiche base ever!

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  3. wow all this stuff looks amazing. well done on your pastry, I just buy the stuff, can be bothered to find the time to make it. love the brownie graveyard.
    I dont like pumpkin pie but you dont taste it in cakes, and a great way to get a veg into the kids

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    1. That's a large reason why I bake! It is amazing the amount of vegetables you can hide with flour and some sugar!

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  4. Love the withches fingers. May find that time restrictions will mean that I may visit Jusrol!!

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  5. Exploding Hot Dogs! LOL - And that Pumpkin Macaroon Baker is a show off....ok I'm just jealous. So wish I could be part of your baking club. Can I do it via Skype and you can send all your food here before hand for me to eat.

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