Friday, October 28th, 2016
Autumn has arrived with darker evenings and a distinct chill in air. It is time to draw the curtains, snuggle up in chunky knits and hunker down under cosy throws. It is time for hot chocolate, toasted marshmallows, hearty meals and steaming hot puddings. Time to walk and enjoy the sound of crisp leaves crunching under foot and soak up the drama of the slowly changing landscape; coppers, reds, yellows and gold lit by gentle autumn sunshine. What’s not to love! Ah yes the hi-jinks of Halloween and the spectacle of bonfire night.
Planning a Halloween event this year then remember to visit Waitrose at The Putney Exchange – trick or treat ideas in abundance, apples for bobbing and pumpkins for carving. For all your Halloween entertaining needs visit Waitrose as The Putney Exchange! You can park two hours for only £2.50 which means you have time to buy that costume and decorations too!
Remember don’t just carve the pumpkins. Save the seeds for roasting to make a tasty, healthy snack or topping for your porridge. You could also make yummy pumpkin cupcakes (see recipe below) ingredients available from Waitrose at The Putney Exchange!
275g peeled and deseeded pumpkin (or butternut squash)
30g piece root ginger, grated
100g slightly salted butter, softened
100g light brown muscovado sugar
2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
175g self-raising flour
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Line 18 sections of 2 x 12-hole cake trays with fairy cake cases (or bake in 2 batches).
2. Dice the pumpkin and cook in boiling water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the saucepan. Mash well. Sandwich between plenty of sheets of kitchen paper and press down firmly so the paper absorbs the moisture.
3. Put the ginger, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth and creamy. Beat in the pumpkin purée and sultanas briefly to mix.
4. Spoon into the cases, filling them three- quarters full, then bake for 20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before decorating.
Makes enough for 18 cupcakes
1. Cook 250g sliced carrots in boiling water for 20 minutes or until very soft. Drain well, cool, then blend to a smooth purée. Add 125g softened butter, 175g icing sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add extra icing sugar if the mixture splits and continue to blend. Spoon into a Cooks’
Homebaking Piping Bag, cut off a 2.5cm tip and pipe 1cm-thick lines back and forth across each cupcake.
2. Cut small pieces of kiwi fruit to resemble stalks and push into the tops. Cut slices of skin from large black grapes, cut out zigzag mouth shapes from these and push gently into the cupcakes. Add triangles of grape skin for eyes and noses.
Having a fireworks party? Make sure you visit Waitrose for all your food and drink requirements and the all -important fireworks!
Enjoy everybody as next stop is Christmas!