Gourmet cooking was not something that we usually associated with children until very recently, and in part we can thank reality TV for that. But with the advent of cooking shows like Junior Master Chef (in the UK) and MasterChef Junior (in the US), we’ve come to realize that kids in the kitchen can deliver delicious -if messy – results.
Because Halloween is a holiday almost exclusively designed for kids, we thought it was a great time to share our love of all things delicious with the tiny chefs of our life. But enough with processed, packaged, sugary-sweet candy and out-of-the-box cookies! Our version of a Halloween treat this year is something made at home, made from scratch, and that both kids and grown-ups can enjoy making and eating. A spooky Graveyard Cake!
Anything chocolate is sure to please all palates, young or old, so our Graveyard Cake starts with a delicious chocolate cake base. Building our fun and frightful “graveyard” is easy from there – it’s as easy as some scrumptious shortbread cookies shaped like tombstones that your kids will have so much fun decorating. A dusting of chocolate to look like the earth has been removed (and the undead come up to party!), and you’re pretty much done. If chocolate cake is not your thing, you can always substitute with a brownie base, which will also look and taste great.
This Halloween, share the kitchen with your kids, and discover how much fun it can be! Have a spooky and deliciously good time!
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup corn oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup rising flour
- 2.5 oz. cacao powder
- butter (to butter mold)
- 5.5 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3.4 cups cream
- 2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, grated
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 6 ¼ oz. butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 drops vanilla extract
- 2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp. Cream
- Print and cut out a tombstone stencil over cardboard. Alternatively, you can draw it by hand. Set aside.
- Sift the flour over your counter and make a bowl-like indentation in the middle.
- Place the butter, powdered sugar, yolk and vanilla extract in the indentation.
- Start mixing the ingredients, folding the flour into the wet ingredients, and forming the dough. Alternatively, you can also do this with an electric mixer with paddle attachment.
- After the dough ball is formed, flatten into a disc, wrap in film and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before use.
- Turn the oven to 350 C.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into 3 or 4 sections. Over a floured surface, roll each one into ¼ inch thick discs.
- Using your cardboard mold to guide you, cut out the dough into the tombstone shape, using a sharp pointed knife.
- Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
- Bake until just lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Melt the chocolate with the cream, and use it to decorate the cookies, using a piping bag.
- Turn oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, combine the buttermilk with the oil.
- In a different bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, until it turns light and frothy. Add the buttermilk and oil mix, mixing gently to incorporate. Sift the flour and cacao powder and fold into the mix, using a spatula.
- Line your cake mold with waxed paper, then grease both the paper and the sides of the mold with butter.
- Bake for about 24 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake, if it comes out clean and dry, it’s ready. Remove from oven and let it cool over a rack. Once cooled down, unmold, and cut into rectangular portions. Reserve.
- For the frosting, start by heating the cream. Once it reaches a boil, remove from the stove and add the chopped chocolate, but do not mix. After a few minutes, mix with a spatula until combined and leave to cool and thicken.
- Cover each mini cake with the chocolate icing, using a spatula or palette knife. Place a Tombstone Cookie on each cake. Finish off with a sprinkling of grated chocolate.