This month, Lanhydrock's Pastry Chef Lizzie is feeling all spooked out by the approach of Halloween. Here's her top pumpkin carving tips…
…and don’t waste the tasty pumpkin flesh that you carve out for your decorative creations, try throwing together some icy, spicy treats, as available in the Nineteen Bar & Bistro – read on for the recipe…
Iced & Spiced Pumpkin Slice Recipe
175g light muscavado sugar
175ml sunflower oil
140g grated pumpkin (or butternut squash)
1 large orange zest
175g self raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Heat the oven to 180c/Gas 4 & line a 7inch square tin
- Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs, then add the carrot, raisins and orange zest.
- Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda & spices.
- Pour into the lined tin & bake for 40-45 minutes until springy to the touch.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
175g icing sugar
175g cream cheese
175g melted white chocolate
2tsp orange zest
- Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth
- Beat in the melted chocolate and zest
- Spread over the cooled cake
Essential Pumpkin Carving Tips!
- Choose your pumpkin wisely - the lines on the skin could be a witch's wrinkles while a misshapen squash could provide a devilishly different canvas
- Use a template to perfect your spooky design - create your own or find inspiration from the many websites dedicated to pumpkin prettying. Secure your chosen style to the front of your pumpkin and carefully trace the image by poking holes along the lines. Once finished remove the template and gently carve. Voilà!
- Create some eerie shadows by carving another pattern into the back of your pumpkin - place next to a wall, light from the inside and watch your design come to life.
- Put some flame-retardant coloured tissue paper just behind the front face of your pumpkin to create a coloured filter - make sure you're lighting your pumpkin with a torch rather than a naked flame though!
- Try shaving parts of your pumpkin rather than cutting all the way through - this will give your design a two-tone effect and add depth.
- Use everyday items from around the house to bring your pumpkin to life - create a face from nuts and bolts, use white reflective tape as bandages or simply chop off the top and add flowers for your own spooky vase!
- Painting your pumpkin can work wonderfully, especially if you want to keep little hands away from sharp objects - they'll also look great in the daytime. Either paint on a design or use to add accents to an already carved squash.
- Shun the traditional orange pumpkin for a ghoulish green variety... or why not try your hand at transforming a watermelon? - The process is the same but it will certainly make your neighbours look twice!
- Make your pumpkin shine from the inside out - use multicoloured Christmas lights to add a new dimension to simple styles or try a red bicycle light, set to flash, for a really sinister touch.
- Funny faces and ghoulish grins not your thing? - Try making simple shapes like stars or spooky creatures with cookie cutters or use an apple corer or drill bits to add polka dots for a more grown-up pumpkin.
Written by Lanhydrock Hotel & Golf Club