Sunday, 31 October 2010

Spooky Hollow: A Hallowe'en Special

Happy Hallowe'en (or Halloween)!!! Welcome to Spooky Hollow... where nothing is quite what it seems!

For Hallowe'en, the Boy decided to make something extra special for my blog readers (and tweetpeeps)... He planned this entire thing up himself. The result being something quite beyond my imagination and wildest nightmares...

The Planning
The Materials

There are several recipes already published on the world wide web, but in your interests and convenience, we meshed them all up to get our own recipe (as usual), but if you really want to see other recipes online, feel free to serve and plunder as you wish :)

Recipe for Meringue Mushrooms
2 Egg Whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup super fine sugar (caster)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
Cocoa powder                                                                                   
(Makes 25-30 Meringue Mushrooms)

Preheat oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Mix egg whites in a bowl on medium speed. once they are very frothy, stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Continue beating the eggs until soft peaks are formed. Increase to high speed and gradually add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks are formed.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag and start forming the mushroom caps and stems. For a more descriptive method, read this.

Bake the meringues at 100 degrees Celsius for about 60 minutes. Once done, the meringues should be hard and dry to touch.

To assemble the mushrooms, make small incisions on the base of the mushroom caps. Paint the base of the mushroom caps with the melted chocolate (using a pastry brush). Dip the top of the mushroom stems in melted chocolate, and attach it to the hole made on the mushroom cap. 

Place on a baking tray to set. Once completed, lightly sift cocoa powder on the tops of the mushrooms.

Recipe for Meringue Ghosts:

2 Egg Whites (~ 60 grams)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup super fine sugar (caster)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns (for the eyes)                            
(Makes 12 Meringue Ghosts)


Preheat oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Beat the egg whites on a low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until soft peaks are formed. Adding the sugar slowly, continue beating the eggs until stiff peaks are formed. Beat in the vanilla extract. (Should be a smooth, non-gritty consistency).

Transfer meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe (with even pressure) a 2 inch high mound of meringue onto a baking mat (or sheet). For tips, click here and here.

Carefully press two peppercorns into each meringue ghost for the eyes. Alternatively, you could use silver candy sprinkles or chocolate chips.

Bake the meringues for approximately 60 minutes or until they are dry and crispy to the touch. Remove the meringues from the baking mat (so that they unstick from their spot) and transfer onto a separate baking paper or re-use the mat. Once they are dried, use immediately or store in an air-tight container.

Recipe for Trees:
Grape Stems
Dark Chocolate (melted)
Dried seaweed (Soak in water to revive)

To get the grape stems, buy a bunch of grapes, pluck all the grapes out and cut the grape stems to form "trees".

For an amazing recipe for a different kind of edible tree, click here.

Melt the chocolate and using your fingers, coat the grape stems with the chocolate to "paint" it. (Note: I find that it gives a streakier effect (Tree bark-like) rather than dipping it whole into chocolate. Alternatively, you could use a small pastry brush)

Drape the seaweed on the edges of the grape stems to give it an eerie look.

Using the remainder of the melted chocolate, stick the base of the grape stems onto a board (we lined ours with aluminium foil).

Recipe for Edible soil
120 grams of Nutella
80 grams of tapioca maltodextrin                                                      
(Ratio: 3:2 (Nutella: Maltodextrin))

Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture has a soil-like texture.

Once the texture has been achieved, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to lighten the texture.

Scatter the soil on the pre-prepared board.

Recipe for Purple Swamp:
Please view my post on Lavender Sorbet recipe.

In the middle of the board, cut out a small square opening). Line the board with aluminium foil. Using the remainder of the melted chocolates (from above recipes), paint the edges of the board with it.

Line a deep roasting tray with black cloth and place a scoop of dry ice in the roasting tray.

Assemble the ingredients onto the board. Place the finished board on a wire rack, taking care to decorate as you go.

For the smoky effect, we used a mixture of Papyrus essence (from our Egypt trip) and hot water (not boiling) and poured it into the sides of the tray as well as into the cut-out opening of the board (use a funnel for the cut-out to prevent splashing onto the board).

The essence of the papyrus really added an amazing dimension to the whole effect of Spooky Hollow. The papyrus has a sweet, heady, woody scent.

This was the most fun we've had in a while and I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Hallowe'en!!

The entire Spooky Hollow project was conducted by the Boy (minus my purple swamp). I contributed to the naming of the ghosts (Curly, Wonky, Sharpie, and friends!).

The Boy was inspired by Heston Blumenthal's Gothic Feast and Nicolas Poelaert's forest floor.


  1. Your boy is AMAZING! That's so so cool!

  2. WOW! Your bf is really... omg. I guess this would be the best gift ever for a foodie!

  3. Celeste: He is, isn't he? (Beams proudly!)

    Michelle: Yeah it was an amazing present!!!

  4. Hey... your boy is pretty damn creative.... kekeke... Love the whole idea. Awesomeness to the max!

  5. I always say that Halloween is the most fun holiday of the year! Well done!

  6. Penny: Thanks :) He's very pleased with himself!

    Lorraine: IT is super fun!!!

    Christine: Thank you!

  7. This is absolutely incredible, well done to both of you!! What a treat, I would have fallen over in delight if I was given this :D

  8. Holy moly times a billion! I'm utterly in awe that your boyfirend (and you ;) ) could create this in just a normal household kitchen! Amazing!

    And now I'll go back to eating storebought peanut butter with a spoon ;)

  9. Conor: Thanks.. I did.. he is already planning the next surprise!

    Hannah: I didn't do anything (apart from helping with the mushroom meringues... but yayy! I love storebought things too!

  10. Seriously, that is beyond amazing. I award you a Heston Chocolate Meat Star for that effort. Wow. I loved how you managed to simulate the liquid nitrogen effect too, without liquid nitrogen.

  11. What an effort. that looks fantastic!

  12. This is just brilliant. What an awesome project for halloween. It looks pretty spooky, oh and delicious too.

  13. I wish someone would make these for us!
    They are perfect!

  14. Thanh: Ooh... a Chocolate Meat Star! Lols...

    Cherrie: Thank you =)

    A cupcake or two: The smell was just insane.. chocolate and papyrus..

    Ren: Thank you! It was actually quite an easy project and FUN!

  15. Wowww.. props to the boy! How creative and spooky!

  16. Pigpigscorner: Thanks! It was...

    Kim: It was quite spooky.. but smelt so delicious... lols

  17. nutella! hur hur ... is it edible?

  18. This looks incredible!!! I am blown away. Happy Halloween indeed :)
    Heidi xo

  19. Jay: Yes everything was edible (sorta)... the trees were lickable!

    Heidi: Happy Hallowe'en to you too!

  20. Wow...this looks really amazing...and love the plan sketch too=)Will definitely try out the mushrooms and ghost creations next year.

  21. This is the coolest thing ever! What will your Bro create next? He'll have to do something very cool to top this! :)


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