In the Orthodox world, Halloween is not accepted unequivocally. For many people, this is a foreign feast that threatens traditional domestic holidays. Others enjoy the “scary” masquerade and accept it as another occasion for fun. In Bulgaria, the situation is even more dramatic, because the Celtic holiday almost coincides with the Day of the National Revival Leaders. Of course, it’s hard to distract children from their friends’ fairytale costumes and teach them a lesson in patriotism. That is why we offer you to prepare our Halloween cupcakes together, and during this time to tell them about the activities of our worthy ancestors.
Halloween cupcakes (approximately 12 pieces)
For the batter:
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (80g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup milk (+ some more if you feel the batter is too thick)
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- cocoa powder, cinnamon, ground allspice to your taste
- orange food colouring gel
Combine in a bowl all the ingredients but the cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice and the colouring gel, and whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. Pour some of the batter in a separate bowl and mix each part with cocoa powder, cinnamon & allspice and orange food colouring gel respectively until you receive 1 bowl with chocolatey spiced batter and 1 bowl with vibrant orange coloured batter. Scoop batter from each bowl into baking cups filling about 2/3 full and bake for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180ºC until you insert a toothpick in the centre and it comes out clean Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.
- 4 medium egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- 2 x 2/3 cups granulated sugar divided
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
Mix the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until foamy. Add the first cup of sugar very slowly while continuing to whip until the meringue can hold stiff peaks. Add carefully the vanilla extract in the mixture while continuing to stir it on low speed. In the meantime, place the second cup of sugar and the water in a small pot, bring to boil and make a sugar syrup. Once ready, add the hot sugar syrup to the meringue mix in a slow and steady stream, while continuing to whip on slow speed. Be careful to pour the hot syrup away from the spinning mixer arm to prevent scalding. Finish your frosting on high speed until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add food colouring gel at this point if you like.
Swirl the icing over the cooled cupcakes and decorate with edible eyes to make ghosts, with chocolate coins to make spiders and with ice-cream cones to make witches.