Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Witching Hour, Halloween 2012

Her Kind
by Anne Sexton


I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,  
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,  
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.
I have ridden in your cart, driver,

waved my nude arms at villages going by,

learning the last bright routes, survivor

where your flames still bite my thigh

and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.

A woman like that is not ashamed to die.

I have been her kind.
Her Kind by Anne Sexton, via
 Halloween Parties kindly hosted by Vanessa Valencia of, click on the website link to see her own party in full swing

My outfit (Leopard Witch): Nicole Farhi black dress; Hobbs shoes; lace veil from my granny Kiki.
I'm also proud to be a part of Visible Monday, hosted by the glamorous Patti from, click on the website link to see her outfit and those of many others.
This post was idly hatched while listening to Into The Labyrinth by Dead Can Dance

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Gluten Free Chilli Brownies for Halloween

Story has it that red chilli peppers are associated with the devil, thanks to the hellish heat they leave in one's mouth and the shape of the little peppers curving like devil's horns. These brownies can be as fiery or as subtle as you like, it just depends on the heat of the chilli pepper you use. Even with the hot peppers the crumb of the brownie still tastes sweet, soft and so chocolatey. Devilishly good. 
Adapted from the one by Cook Vegetarian, for their recipe click here
Serves 7-8
150g plain chocolate
100g chilli dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
75g gluten free plain flour
1 small bag dark chocolate chips
half a red chilli pepper, finely chopped and deseeded
for decoration:
gluten free coloured icing pens, (I used Dr Oetker)
a little cherry or raspberry jam, optional
gluten free ready rolled white icing, (I used offcuts of Silver Spoon icing), optional
1. Turn the oven to 170C (150 fan ovens) and grease and line a suitable square or rectangular baking tray.
2. Break the chocolate bars into small pieces, placing the chilli chocolate chunks in a separate bowl to the plain so that you can tell the two apart.
3. Heat 100g of the plain chocolate chunks, and all the chilli chocolate, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Stir carefully until the chocolate has melted, then remove the bowl from the heat and put to one side to cool.
4. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar into the chocolate, then add the eggs one at a time until well combined.
5. Next sift over the flour, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, the leftover plain chocolate and the finely chopped red chilli. Gently fold these ingredients into the batter.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately half an hour. A skewer should come out pretty clean. Leave brownies to cool in the baking tray, before cutting with a knife into even slices.
7. Give the brownies spooky style by using coloured icing pens to decorate them with images of witches, bats and spiders' webs. 
8. If you want to create ghost brownies as above, simply brush a little cherry or raspberry jam over the sides of the brownie and wrap them in cut pieces of ready rolled white icing. Then decorate with coloured icing pens, drawing ghostly eyes and mouths.
Serve on Halloween!
These brownies were idly baked while listening to Abbatoir Blues by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Russet & Green

 a particular golden sunshine

layer on the woollies

walk in the crisp cold air


  bake biscuits

 and pies

eat hot crumbly cake straight from the oven

make wishes

 a tarte tatin with the very last of the blackberries 
but not a mushroom risotto, unless you know exactly what you're picking

mushrooms the size of your foot

this is Autumn

Monday, 8 October 2012

Double Chocolate Brownie Cake

This is a variation of the brownie cake I've blogged before. This particular version has become known as a real crowd pleaser in my family. As my Mum puts it, "it is so intensely gorgeous that you just have to close your eyes and surrender to the experience!" The recipe lends itself to endless adaptations, and using muscovado sugar gives a fudgy texture and rich flavour to the bake.


Adapted from the brilliant recipe at the BBC Good Food website. See their original recipe here
Serves 8

175g unsalted butter, room temperature
175g best quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g white chocolate, broken into pieces,
handful dark chocolate chips, optional
65g plain flour
200g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature

1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan ovens), and grease and line a 20cm cake tin. I used a decorative one, which needed only greasing.

2. Heat the butter, sugar and the 175g broken dark chocolate in a bain mairie, a heat proof bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Stir gently until the ingredients have melted together. Take off the heat and leave to cool in the bowl.

3. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture, beating well until combined. Then, using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the flour, white chocolate chunks and dark chocolate chips.

4. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until fluffy, before very gently and briefly folding them into the rest of the ingredients.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake in the oven for approx 40 minutes, until the top has cracked and bounces back under your finger.

6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 mins, before placing on a wire rack or plate.

for the topping:
approx 35g white chocolate, broken into pieces

7. Once cool, melt some extra white chocolate over another bain mairie, then pour or flick over the top of the cake, and serve with cream. You'll want a large slice.


This cake was idly baked while listening to portuguese Fardo by Amalia Rodriugues


Friday, 5 October 2012

A Halloween Invitation

Hold on to your bedpans, the Halloween blog party is drawing near!
I have been invited by the delightful Vanessa Valencia to a spooky Halloween celebration to be held by bloggers across the world. Vanessa is an artist and sculptor based in Arizona, well known for the parties which she photographs for her blog. This year I've decided to join her in inviting you all to a Halloween party of my own.

Please come join us for a frighteningly fun Halloween party on Saturday 27th October, held at my place, Vanessa's, and the homes of many others including YOU if you so wish to participate!

Visit Vanessa's previous Halloween parties, which are on the left side bar of her blog, to see just how much fun they are, and I do so hope they'll inspire you to create your own or simply to check out our blog party posts on the day.
I look forward to spooking you then.....