Ready, steady, spook! 10 pumpkin-free Halloween treats – from meringue bones to Nigella Lawson’s pus

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I volition ne'er recognize wherefore pumpkins person the monopoly connected Halloween, arsenic they person for 2 oregon 3 decades. People utilized to marque lanterns from turnips, oregon swedes, but pumpkins are conscionable easier to carve adjacent if determination is thing remotely scary astir them, conscionable arsenic determination is thing melancholy astir a cabbage oregon spellbinding astir kohlrabi. And don’t adjacent get maine started connected “pumpkin-spice”. So, successful the tone of advocating a pumpkin-free Halloween, present are 10 spooky recipes, each mercifully created without the tyranny of Big Pumpkin.

Zombie brain

Let’s commencement with Jamie Oliver’s magnificently titled zombie brain, which is really a large aged celeriac, roasted full and served with mushroom sauce. It is delicious, and I person to presume that it resembles an existent zombie’s brain. What is more, if you’re my children – who would astir apt person a meltdown if I ever tried to service them a mushroom – past it’s astir apt precise scary, too.

Beetroot batwing soup

Eight years ago, pupil nutrient blogger Melody Moxham created a three-course Halloween vegetarian meal, and portion I person to discount her main crockery for succumbing to the lure of the pumpkin, her starter is beauteous great. It’s beetroot batwing soup, which is to accidental beetroot crockery served with pitta breadstuff chopped into the signifier of a bat. That’s spooky, right?

Bull’s humor  gazpacho.
Bull’s humor gazpacho. Photograph: Alexander Mychko/Alamy

Bull’s humor gazpacho

While we’re discussing soup, I should notation Michael Bremner’s bull’s humor gazpacho. The extremity of October mightiness beryllium a spot chilly for gazpacho but, if we person different freakishly lukewarm spike, this deserves country successful your repertoire. It’s cabbage, onion, pepper, celery, cucumber and chilli, soaked successful reddish vino vinegar and blitzed. You volition announcement that this crockery doesn’t see existent bull’s blood. Only a maniac would bash that.

Chicken with black-eyed beans

I person ne'er met Nigel Slater, truthful this is conjecture connected my part, but I don’t deliberation the antheral is precise Halloweeny. In 2007, helium was tasked with creating a Halloween dish, and came up with chicken with black-eyed beans. But adjacent if it doesn’t precisely shriek “spooky”, the resulting crockery is hearty and warming, and topped with a cheesy breadcrumb crust that blasts it into the stratosphere. For added creepiness, service from a cauldron, arsenic per the recipe’s introduction.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s honeycomb and cocoa  monster feet.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s honeycomb and cocoa monster feet. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

Honeycomb and cocoa monster feet

If you’re trying to marque scary food, it is much, overmuch easier to ore connected sweets. Yotam Ottolenghi’s honeycomb and cocoa monster feet are a cleanable example. Honeycomb is famously tricky to make, but instrumentality with it and you volition extremity up with cute small triangles that you tin dip successful cocoa and decorate with flaked almond toenails. These are adorable.

Claire Ptak’s meringue bones.
Claire Ptak’s meringue bones. Photograph: Kristin Perers/The Guardian

Meringue bones

Similarly, Claire Ptak has the close thought with her meringue bones. These are the easiest things successful the satellite – conscionable meringue piped into the signifier of bones – and they look classically Halloweeny. All that, positive atrocious for your teeth. All boxes ticked, not a pumpkin successful sight.

Halloween cocoa  bark.
Halloween cocoa bark. Photograph: manyakotic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Halloween cocoa bark

Just arsenic casual is Good Housekeeping’s Halloween cocoa bark, which is fundamentally melted cocoa that has been poured into a tray and reset. What makes this Halloweeny are the spooky faces sticking retired of the cocoa – made of gummy teeth and marshmallows with eyes drawn connected them – and swirly achromatic cocoa ghosts. Spine-tinglingly effective.

Spider’s web cake.
Spider’s web cake. Photograph: Malisa Nicolau/Alamy

Spiderweb cheesecake

For thing a spot much formal, Tarek Malouf’s spiderweb cheesecake does the occupation nicely. It’s a elemental acceptable vanilla cheesecake – the Halloween constituent is successful the decoration. Simply tube concentric cocoa circles connected apical of the cheesecake, past tally lines outwards from the centre with a toothpick. See? Spiderweb.

Pus

And now, successful a condemnation I ne'er thought I’d write, Nigella Lawson’s pus. This is genius, a visually disgusting look that couldn’t beryllium easier. Dissolve lime jelly successful a small boiling water, past extremity a load of beverage successful and permission it to set. And determination you person it; precise realistic pus. Fully knowing what Halloween is about, Nigella recommends serving it with her look for “blood clots”. Revolting, yet delicious.

Traditional Scandinavian humor  pancake with a dollop of lingonberry jam.
Traditional Scandinavian humor pancake with a dollop of lingonberry jam. Photograph: NiklasEmmoth/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Blodplättar (Swedish humor pancakes)

Hey, hide what I said earlier astir not cooking with blood. Plenty of cuisines astir the satellite bash it, and my proposal would beryllium to effort Blodplättar, a accepted Scandinavian humor pancake. It is, astatine slightest according to Best Recipe For, astir the aforesaid arsenic an mean pancake, though it contains a tiny magnitude of dried ginger and 2 cups of pig’s blood. Behold, an iron-rich, agleam reddish pancake. Happy Halloween!