Mummy Bark Bars

Last year, I made some Halloween bark bars using butterscotch topped with chocolate and spooky sprinkles, so I decided to do a different version this year with a mummy theme!

Mummy Bark

I love Halloween and its fun to make treats with the children and they love anything that includes those sugar eyeballs you can buy.

These have a base of melted Caramac, which is a bit of a throwback from my childhood. You can get either 30g bars or bags of Caramac buttons, but they both melt really well. Much better than white chocolate actually, which I have had sieze up on me a few times. I mixed in a little pumpkin pie spice which works really well with the caramel flavour.

Mummy Bark Bars2

I used my silicon bark moulds that I got from amazon, but they are not necessary to make this. You can just pour the melted Caramac onto a lined sheet and then break it into pieces afterwards.

For the topping, white chocolate is drizzled over to make ‘bandages’, but you can also get bright white candy melts for a stronger contrast over the spiced Caramac. I think I prefer the flavour of white chocolate, but my children like both.

This recipe makes enough for 8 bars

Mummy Bark Bars

Ingredients:
450g Caramac, melted. That is 4 multipacks of 4 bars (minus one for old time’s sake)
1tsp pumpkin pie spice, or you can just use cinnamon
250g white chocolate, or white candy melts
Sugar eyeballs

Method:
Break the Caramac into pieces, add the spice and melt in the microwave in short bursts, giving it a good stir every 10 seconds or so. Stop before it’s all melted and keep stirring to let the residual heat melt the rest of the solid pieces.

Pour equal amounts into the moulds (if using) and agitate to level it out.

Leave to set completely before turning out and placing on a wire rack over a tray.

Melt the white chocolate or candy melts in the same way as the Caramac and place in a squeezy bottle or a disposable piping bag with a small hole cut in the end. You could also use a plastic food bag with a small hole cut in the corner.

Squeeze over the white chocolate, moving back and forth to create ‘bandages’ and place a few googly eyes into the molten chocolate.

Leave to set completely.

Acorn Cakelets

I LOVE Nordic Ware cake pans! They are so well made and come in a multitude of different designs. My favourites are the Fall Harvest collection as they are designed for people who love Autumn!

Acorn cakelet pan

I’ve found them in Homesense and of course, on Amazon and I’ve collected a few of them over the years. The only trouble I have, (perfectionist that I am), is the little holes you get when you bake the cakes, spoiling the detail. I have experimented with various recipes, starting with the one that comes with the pan, meticulously brushing all the little nooks with butter, banging tins before they go into the oven but still seeing those annoying little holes!

Acorn cakelet pan1

As far as preparing the tin goes, I have buttered, buttered and floured and used cake release spray and can honestly say the best result came from using none of them! I really do think you have to have faith in the non-stick. I definitely have less holes when I don’t use anything. I think the butter can gather in the little crevices and then when the cakes bake, the butter creates steam and you can get little holes.

I also pipe the mixture in, that way you can really make sure the batter fills the little details from the bottom up.

As you will see from these photos, there are still some troublesome holes present, but mostly, they have come out smooth. I am still working on the perfect, hole-free recipe!

Acorn Cakelet collection

Below are three different flavours, all based on the same original recipe and each one is enough to fill the pan twice. Chocolate, Maple Spice and Spiced Pumpkin. My family liked the chocolate ones the best.

They are the perfect little snack and can be decorated with a glaze, sprinkles, or sandwiched together with a spiced buttercream.

Acorn Cakelets

Chocolate Acorn Cakelets

Ingredients:
125g plain/all-purpose flour
65g cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1.5tsp cinnamon
0.5tsp ground cloves
0.5tsp ground ginger
120ml whole milk
85g pure maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp coffee extract
115g butter at room temperature
75g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

Sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and spices together in a bowl.

Combine the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and coffee extract in a small bowl and stir together.

Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. I use my stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.

Beat in the eggs a little at a time and then with the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and alternate with the liquid mixture until everything is combined.

If you add the milk mixture straight to the eggs, it will curdle horribly. However, it will come back when you add the flour, so don’t worry. Mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth, but don’t over-mix as the cakelets will become tough.

Pile the batter into a piping bag. I use disposable ones and just cut a little hole in the bottom. Pipe around a tablespoon of mixture into each hole so that it is around ¾ full. Pipe the batter so the holes are filled from the bottom up to try and avoid holes in your little acorns.

Give the pan a rap on the worktop – I don’t know if this really helps expel air but every little helps!

Bake for around 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes or until you can see them springing back from the cavities. Turn out onto a cooling rack to fully cool if you are decorating, or you can serve them warm with coffee.

Chocolate acorn cakelet

Maple Spice Acorn Cakelets

Ingredients:
190g plain/all-purpose flour
0.5tsp baking powder
0.5tsp salt
2tsp cinnamon
0.5tsp ground cloves
0.5tsp ground ginger
120ml whole milk
85g pure maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp maple extract
115g butter at room temperature
50g soft brown sugar
20g dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together in a bowl.

Combine the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and maple extract in a small bowl and stir together.

Beat the butter and sugars together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs a little at a time and then with the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and alternate with the liquid mixture until everything is combined.

Pile the batter into a piping bag and just cut a little hole in the bottom. Pipe around a tablespoon of mixture into each hole so that it is around ¾ full and bang the pan to level the batter and expel any air.

Bake for around 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes or until you can see them springing back from the cavities. Turn out onto a cooling rack.

Maple acorn cakelet

Spiced Pumpkin Acorn Cakelets

Ingredients:
200g plain/all-purpose flour
200g pumpkin puree
0.5tsp baking powder
0.5tsp salt
2tsp cinnamon
0.5tsp ground cloves
0.5tsp ground ginger
0.25tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1tsp vanilla extract
115g butter at room temperature
80g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together in a bowl.

Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs a little at a time and then beat in the pumpkin.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until everything is combined.

Pipe around a tablespoon of mixture into each hole so that it is around ¾ full and bang the pan to level the batter and expel any air.

Bake for around 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I found the pumpkin ones took a little longer than the others to be fully baked.

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes or until you can see them springing back from the cavities. Turn out onto a cooling rack.

Pumpkin acorn cakelet

Pumpkin and Raisin Loaf Cake

This spiced pumpkin cake is very easy to make, incredibly moist and full of plump raisins.  The glaze is made with dark brown sugar and pecans and has a flavor like bonfire toffee.  Just the thing on a cold autumn night.

pumpkin loaf

Cake:
A little butter for greasing the tin
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup pecans – roughly chopped
½ cup raisins

Glaze:
2oz butter
¼ cup dark brown/molasses sugar
2 tbs milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup icing/powdered sugar
¼ cup Pecans – roughly chopped

pumpkin loaf indoor

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment

Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, spice, and salt.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until light and airy and then add the sour cream and pumpkin. Beat until smooth.

On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the raisins.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

pumpkin loaf1

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes to cool and settle, before placing on a cooling rack. You can glaze when still a little warm, but not hot as it will just run off.

When the cake has cooled enough, prepare the glaze.

pumpkin loaf2

Place all the ingredients, except the pecans in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it comes up to a boil. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until smooth and thickened. Finish by adding the pecans.

This dark and bubbling glaze will be phenomenally hot, so allow it to cool for a few moments before pouring over the cake.

pumpkin loaf slice

Enjoy with a hot chocolate or good hot coffee.