Ever had that feeling when you think you’ve reached the end of a test only to see that the page is in fact double-sided and there’s still more to do? Well, that’s how I felt when I realized I hadn’t planned a post for Halloween (shame on me). So when my friend Michelle reminded me that I couldn’t just ignore Halloween like a ginger-haired stepchild, I sprung into action, pondering what I could concoct that would be both terrifying and delicious…
Nowadays, getting your fix of something scary is far easier than it used to be. For starters, T.V shows and movies have bigger budgets for special effects. Vampires, serial killers and zombies are now more common than reruns of “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” I don’t mind these (the vampires, serial killers and zombies that is), in fact, I’m a fan. But when it comes to horror movies of the demonic kind I tend to shut my eyes when the build-up of sound effects come in. I like to say it’s because the flickering lights that signal on-screen power outages, bad weather and trying to find the killer via candle light or torch provoke my photosensitive epilepsy (which I don’t have). In reality… I’m just a ninny. I watched the first “Saw” movie when I was about 14, and I slept in my sister’s room for several days after. She kindly hosted me until I felt brave enough to return to my own room. Looking back, I realize it was the least she could do for me after all the times I had to escort her to the bathroom when we were kids after she had watched some show about aliens on the Discovery Channel. This led her to become increasingly paranoid about what she believed to be her own impending abduction… I also realize that this meant she thought she was a more worthy abductee than I was… (I have it on good authority that aliens love cookies, so K-A, I’m almost certain they’d DEFINITELY take me over you).
Whatever it is that haunts us, be it on Halloween or any other day of the year, here’s a list of things that freak me out… (Almost all of which are not even remotely related to the supernatural)…
- Young girls who wear shorts that leave their butt cheeks dangling like Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible 2.” (Cover up ladies, your colon’s going to get Pneumonia).
- Facebook’s “People you may know” section suggesting someone I have one mutual friend in common with, who by the way, I have never seen or heard of before IN. MY. LIFE. (Those algorithms are unparalleled. Well-played Facebook, well played! Also, thanks but no thanks Facebook, I can make my own friends…)
- Fellow shoppers in the check-out line who insist on getting close enough to catch a whiff of what shampoo I use (it’s L’Oreal Elvive, in case your nostrils are playing up today). Next time, just ask me for a piggy-back ride so that I can carry you to the next available cashier. (Personal space people, personal space). Which brings me to my next point…
- When my hair just won’t co-operate. They say that there are some things in life that you just shouldn’t force, whether it’s friendship, love or a decent ponytail… Leave it alone, it’ll happen when it’s supposed to.
- Being accident prone in the kitchen… Whether it’s a burn, bump or cut, it’s a given that I will sustain at least one injury every time I get my bake on. All I can say is, “the first cut is the deepest.” Ha.
- The ultimate rejection… When my dog Lu refuses to indulge me in a game of fetch and looks at me like I’m remedial. (“Stop trying to make FETCH happen, it’s not going to happen!”)
- Christmas beetles. This time of year means a few things I love: Christmas, watermelon, holidays and getting crunk. These are not the problem. Sadly, these things are accompanied by nightly ambushes at the hands (Legs? Feelers?) of savage Christmas beetles. Whether they’re flying straight for my hair, waiting to drop down from the curtains or poised to attack the moment I get into bed and turn the light out, these little bastards are brazen. I live in fear…
- And finally… The only supernatural one in the whole list, the murderous clown in the latest season of “American Horror Story – Freak Show.” Jeepers, if they keep this up I may never be able to enter a toy store ever again, let alone use my favourite “Wedding Crashers” line when I come face to face with a balloon sculptor… “Make me a bicycle clown!”
Being South African, Halloween was never really celebrated when I was a kid. It was always an American holiday that appeared to have escaped my side of the world but as I grew older, it became seemingly more popular. Seeing as I had decided to post a haunting Halloween treat, I figured I’d go all out. As a fan of “The Walking Dead” and zombies as a whole (because they’re bad-ass!) I decided that Zombie Eyeball Cake Pops were the only way to go. So put on MJ’s “Thriller,” crank up the volume (turn down for what?) and let’s get it poppin’ (You see what I did there. Ha).
So this one’s for Tash who likes “The Walking Dead” as much as I do and for Mish who encouraged me to pay homage to Halloween. It’s also for anyone who thinks that cake pops are for pansies (shame on you!) It’s a tribute to those who scare easier than I do and can’t close their eyes when they wash their hair in the shower (no names mentioned), may people respect your fright threshold this evening… To Kel, Jen, Kirst and Carms who sampled these last night (quality control is key), thank you.
Yours in Baking, Bitching and things that go “bump” in the night, (Because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because Halloween isn’t just for kids!)
Zombie Eyeball Cake Pops
1 x quantity of my amaChocolate cake batter (See my post “Let it Be Lekker”).
Kebab skewers or lolly sticks (about 30)
300g of white chocolate (for the coating)
A cardboard box or block of polystyrene to stand the cake pops upright (make holes in it with your sticks beforehand)
For the icing:
5ml vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
Enough milk to make it a spreadable consistency
For the decorating:
Small ball of blue fondant
Small ball of white fondant
Red food colouring
Black food colouring
2 x toothpicks or skewer sticks
For the Cake Pops:
- Crumble ready-made and cooled cake with your hands or a food processor (I use a food processor, the crumbs are finer that way).
- Make the icing by creaming the butter and vanilla together before adding the icing sugar and enough milk.
- Add enough icing to the cake crumbs and mix well so that it forms a dough that isn’t too sticky. I suggest adding the icing in stages, you may not need to use all of it.
- Roll into balls, just smaller than a golf ball, put into a dish and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove and leave to cool down once melted (this ensures the cake pops won’t fall apart).
- Once cooled, take cake pops out of the freezer and get your box and skewer sticks ready.
- Dip the end of each stick into the chocolate before skewering the cake pop. This is the “glue” that holds the pop to the stick. Then, coat the whole cake pop. Place the blue fondant iris on to the center of the cake pop so that it will set in place as the chocolate does. Put each cake pop into a hole in the lid of the box so that it is standing up and can set.
- Do this with all cake pops and place in the fridge to set (5 minutes)
- Make smaller circles with the white fondant that will go on top of the blue iris.
- Remove cake pops from fridge and use remaining chocolate to stick the white fondant on top of the blue iris. (Use a skewer to put a tiny dot of chocolate on the back of the white fondant circles).
- With another skewer, put a tiny dot of black food colouring on the white fondant to make it look like a pupil.
- Grab yet another skewer stick and your bottle of red food colouring. It’s your time to shine. Make your Zombie Eyeballs as bloody as you like!
- Place back in fridge to set further and store in fridge until ready to eat.
Health Hack: Make these with my Squeaky-Clean Chocolate Cake instead of making a standard cake to cut down on the sugar, wheat, gluten and dairy.