Jack O’ Lantern Chocolate Walnut Buttercake & the Fang-tastic Halloween Party

J & I hosted a halloween costume party two nights ago, pot-luck style which required each guest to bring a ghoulish-looking dish, giving them the license to be as creative as possible. (Photos below). The results were impressive; everyone dressed to KILL and the food was to DIE for. Pictured below is also the character that won ‘The Most Gung Ho Costume Award” ….Muahahahahah…As for moi, Countess Szeszela <ahem..yes by virtue of corny-ness, I have called myself that> I whipped up 3 items, ‘skewered eyeballs’ a.k.a pork and fennel meatballs with kalamata olives on a stick, a chicken briyani main dish but didn’t have time to make it look scary and a Two-Face Jack O’ Lantern Chocolate and Walnut Buttercake; the flavour of my wedding cake last year. I noticed Coles was selling american carving pumpkins this year and was debating whether to get one for fun. I decided to make my own edible Jack O’ Lantern carved pumpkin cake and it was really yummy. Basically, I’ve separated the cake batter into two noodle bowls to get 2 x hemispheres, then sliced the tops off the cakes, stuck the two hemispheres with raspberry jam (and more over the entire cake), tinted and rolled out some sugarpaste to cover the ball of cake and then it was the fun bit of carving out two faces, then lightly brushing the entire ‘pumpkin’ with a tinge of food colouring, made a green stalk and then brushed the underside and tops of the pumpkin with cocoa powder to give it that rustic shady effect. I had leftover pastel orange and green sugarpaste which I decided to turn into a decorative scary hand, with flaked almonds and a little dab of red food colouring  for bloodied nails.

Chocolate & Walnut Buttercake
(for 22cm round cake tin)


250 g butter, softened at room temperature
300 g caster sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
225 g self-raising flour, sifted
75 g plain flour,sifted
180 ml milk
100 g good quality (70%) chocolate, chopped
80 g walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast for 7 minutes; cool before chopping walnuts.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 170oC; grease a 22cm cake tin and line the base and sides of the tin with baking paper.
  3. Beat softened butter (not melted) and sugar until pale, light and fluffy; add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between additions.
  4. Fold in sifted flours and milk into the batter in two additions ( alternating between flour and milk)
  5. Mix through quickly the chopped walnuts then the chocolate.
  6. Pour batter into tin, level the top with a wet spoon; bake in oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes; until skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Leave cake in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Serve for tea; keeps well for 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Me, Countess Szeszela with the “HANDS and FINGERS”

the awesome group: missing about 8 characters here who left early 🙁 photo courtesy of Darth Vader

And now for the winner of the MOST GUNG-HO Costume Award

And now for the ghoulish but tasty food from my wonderful guests, apologies to ‘Werewolf’ – I don’t have a photo of your yummy “Finger lickin good RIBS!”

‘Skewered eyeballs’ pork and fennel meatballs with black olives
‘Eyeballs In A Blood Bath’seaweed wrapped fishballs in kimchi by Chef Creepy Emo Child with Teddy Bear
‘Bloody Eyeballs’ Bocconcini & Cherry Tomatoes by Chef Mad Scientist No. 1

‘Bleeding Finger Meatpie’ – baked sausages & pomegranate juice infused beetroot with fluffy mashed potato topping by Chef Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett (naturally)
‘Graveyard Lasagne’– traditional beef lasagne with crumbs on top decorated with crackers for tombstones by Chef Aaarrgh The Pirate & Chef Bloodface Zombie
‘Vaporised Vampire’delectable spicy egg plant sambal by Chef Green Wizard

‘Swamp Dip In A Bleeding Skull’ – spinach and sourcream dip in a hollowed out cobb loaf served with the torn bread innards by Chef Wednesday Adams & Zombie No. 2
‘Bat Wings’ irresistable spicy buffalo wings by Chef Burlesque Vampire & Darth Vader
‘Roast Skin from the Far East’ – chinese roast pork  with awesome crackling by Chef Mad Scientist No.2

‘R.I.P. Corpse Bride Mille Feuille’ – puff pastry with turquoise tinted creme patisserie by Chef Sexy Black Angel & the Smiling Witch
‘Bloody Berry Cheese Cake’ raspberry cheesecake & ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ spiced pumpkin pie by Chef & Sous Chef Alley Cat

‘Scary Bleeding Fingers’ – vanilla and almond shortbread with blanched almonds for nails by Chef Darth Maul
‘Biohazard Poisonous Panna Cotta with Soap Suds’ – a creamy pandan and coconut panna cotta with toasted coconut flakes by Chef Chief Warrior Hunga ha-ya ha-ya Hunga ha-ya ha-ya
‘Eyeball Cocktail’ – blueberry stuffed lychees in a sprite and ribena concoction by Chef Darth Maul


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