holiday-ideas

10

Vamp Attack Halloween Cake

I made a red velvet cake figuring the deep red colour is nice and vampy and perfect for Halloween. The filling added to the look in all its raspberry deliciousness oozy gruesomeness. But the best part about the vamp attack cake? Its pretty simple to decorate.

The vampire bites were made easy thanks a set of plastic costume teeth, you know the ones that make you look like your wearing a mouth guard rather than having fangs. Who knew they’d have other uses than looking dorky, pressing the fake fangs into the outer fondant layer of the cake leaves a prefect bite mark. A bit of red makes the bites stand out against the stark white of the cake, giving you a yummy Halloween centrepiece.

Vamp Attack Cake 

  1. 600 grams white fondant
  2. plastic vampire fangs

Raspberry Filling

  1. 2 cup fresh or thawed raspberries
  2. 6 tablespoons sugar
  3. 3 teaspoon cornstarch
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

To make the filling-

  • Combine the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook, until the raspberries begin to break apart and lose their juices.
  • Press the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the majority of the pips, return the strained mixture to the pan, Stir, and cook until the filling boils and thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. While the filling is cooling make the cakes.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of the filling aside to make the fake blood for the outside of the cake.

Red Velvet Cake

  1. 3 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  2. 170 grams butter, softened
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  5. 6 tablespoons red food colouring
  6. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

To make the cake-

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with baking paper circles and lightly flour the sides.
  • Add the butter and sugar to your mixer bowl, beat on medium until very light and fluffy, it will take a few minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
  • Stir the red food colouring, cocoa, and vanilla in a small bowl to form a paste . Add the red paste to the batter and mix well, evenly dispersing the colour.
  • Mix the salt into the buttermilk. Add a third of the buttermilk and a third of the flour to the batter, beat until just incorporated (do not over beat). Repeat with the remaining thirds.
  • Stir the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl. Add to the batter and mix well.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl making sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed and the batter is smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 1 hour. Gently remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. While the cakes are cooling make the vanilla frosting.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

  1. 200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  3. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  4. 1 tablespoon of milk (if necessary)

To make the frosting-

  • Beat butter with mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Switch the speed to low-medium so you don’t end up in a cloud of sugar.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side with a spatula.
  • Add the vanilla and beat frosting on high for about 3 minutes, it will get very pale and be light and airy. If the frosting is too thick beat in a little milk.

Raspberry Chocolate ‘Blood’ Sauce

  1. 2 tablespoons raspberry filling
  2. 1 tablespoon cornflour
  3. 1 teaspoon red food colouring
  4. 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup

To make the fake blood-

  • Strain the raspberry filling to make sure there are not leftover seeds. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well . The Chocolate syrup will give the fake blood a bit more realistic colour. 

To Assemble the cake-

  • Trim the raised tops off each of the cakes. Cut each of the cakes into 2 even layers. ( I finally bought a cake cutting wire, its the best thing ever people! If you don’t have one I’d really recommend it, even layers every time!)
  • Spoon roughly 1/2 of a cup of the vanilla frosting into a piping bag. Place bottom layer of cake onto plate. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake to stop the raspberry filling escaping.
  • Spoon in a third for the raspberry frosting and smooth over. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat the piping and filling, finishing with the top layer of cake.
  • Spread a thin crumb coat of vanilla frosting over the entire cake.
  • Spoon on the remaining frosting and spread in a thicker smooth layer over the entire cake.
  • Dust your work surface (I use a silicone mat) with a little cornflour and roll out the fondant to roughly 7mm thickness. 
  • Drape the rolled fondant over the cake. Smooth the fondant over the cake, starting at the top then working down the sides. Pull the fondant away from the cake sides as necessary to avoid creases forming.
  • Run the fondant smoothers over the top and around the sides to get a nice flat Finish. 
  • Trim the excess fondant from the base of the cake with a sharp knife.
  • Now for the fun part. Press fang marks all over the cake using the plastic teeth.
  • Spoon some of the raspberry chocolate ‘blood’ into a small squeesy bottle. Fill each of the teeth marks with a little fake blood. Add drips and puddles where you like.
  • To make the spray splatter look, start by placing the cake on top of newspaper to ensure you do not make a mess. Make sure you cover the wall behind too.
  • Empty most of the remaining raspberry chocolate sauce from the squeezy bottle.The little bit of sauce left the the bottle should squeeze out in a splatter. The less sauce in the bottle the finer the spray with be. Go crazy and cover the cake as much as you like.

4 Quotes to Inspire You

Here are some inspiring holiday reads:

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Mastery by Robert Greene 

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

Click here for more books on success and see how you can use #PointsForPresents this holiday

Available with Membership Rewards® points. Terms apply.

Our Vintage Suede Pack is new for this season and includes the Authentic, Slip-on, SK8-Hi, and Old Skool styles as well as a Sk8-Mid Reissue. With tons of colors to choose from, there’s something in there for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Available now at vans.com

Here’s a non-alcoholic holiday-themed drink recipe that is perfect for warming you up on those cold, winter days. Based on this recipe, all you have to do is bring two cups of water to boil, add a bag of ginger tea, and pour in a little bit of honey. Let the tea steep for a while, remove the tea bag, and then transfer to your mug of choice (if using a mason jar remember to add a sleeve - the glass will get very hot). Add in a skewer of fresh cranberries and a sugared sprig of rosemary and you’re done! To sugar the sprig of rosemary simply wet the rosemary sprig, shake off excess water, and lightly coat in sugar. Quite possibly the easiest holiday recipe you’ll make this season! 

10

Gardein’s turkey is to die for like last thanksgiving people were actually jealous of our food by how good it smelt and such, complaining about their dry turkey, I loved it. 

Four ingredient pumpkin pie

Quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Vegetarian gravy 

Apple pie cheesecake

Updated:

Apple Pie Blondies with “Brown Sugar” Frosting

Maple Roasted Carrots with Fennel Seeds and creamed Kale

Hummus Mashed Potatoes

more here.

2

"Broken Glass" Cupcakes"

The recipe for the “glass” is essentially one for caramel. The trick is to cook it for a shorter amount of time than usual so it stays clear.

PREP: 45 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 15 MINS

YIELD:Makes 3 1/2 dozen

INGREDIENTS

  1. 4 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  2. 2 tablespoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  5. Salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  7. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  9. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  10. 7 large egg whites, room temperature

FOR THE CARAMEL

  1. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  2. 3/4 cup water

FOR THE FROSTING

  1. 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup cherry preserves, strained, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Line cupcake tins with baking cups. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon salt into a medium bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.

STEP 2

  • Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and gradually add granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

STEP 3

  • In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into the cupcake batter. Fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches.

STEP 4

  • Divide batter among baking cups, filling each halfway full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in tins set on wire racks.

STEP 5

  • Meanwhile, make the caramel: Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until mixture just starts to turn pale gold around edges. Remove from heat, and immediately pour caramel onto a rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, tilt pan to spread caramel to edges to make a very thin layer. Let cool to harden.

STEP 6

  • Make the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy and spreadable.

STEP 7

  • Frost each cupcake using an offset spatula. Twist pan to release and break caramel in order for it to resemble broken glass. Place a shard or 2 of caramel “glass” in the center of each cupcake. Drizzle or pipe cherry preserves where caramel has entered the cupcake.