(Makes about 10 scones, depending on the size of the cutter)
225g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
50g grated cheddar cheese
Approx 60ml milk
Small handful of thyme or sage, or ½ tsp of ground nutmeg (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the pumpkin into chunks and put these chunks in a pan, just covering them with water. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chunks are a mashable texture. Mash the pumpkin chunks.
Using fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and baking powder until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Roughly mix the mashed pumpkin into the above mixture. Add the grated cheese at this stage. This is also the point at which to add either the chopped thyme, sage, or ground nutmeg – if you fancy. Add however much milk is required to bring the mixture together into a dough-like consistency.
Lightly knead the dough on a surface sprinkled with flour. Do this for no more than a minute. From a ball shape, roll the dough out with a rolling pin, until it is about 2-3cm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out scone shapes, placing these onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Brush the scones with milk.
Leave in the oven for around 10-15 minutes. When ready, they should be risen and golden. These make a great Halloween treat, served with either some melted cheese, or just a slither of butter.
Pumpkin brownies (pictured)
Halloween is always inevitably employed as a free pass to overindulge with every variety of sweets, cake or any other good – all of which are likely to leave you with excessive belly ache and vowing never to touch a Wham Bar ever again. Ensure you preserve this tradition by baking these devilishly rich brownies with obligatory Halloween spicy pumpkin twist. They are, indeed, to die for.
1/2 small pumpkin
250g unsalted butter
200g good quality dark chocolate
85g cocoa powder (sifted)
65g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
350g caster sugar
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped (optional)
Cut, peel and roast the pumpkin at 180ºC until soft (about 30-40 minutes, while you prepare the fun chocolate bits). Roast the seeds for a topping if you are feeling adventurous.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over bowling water. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Pour the melted concoction into the flour mixture and thoroughly stir together.
Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the other ingredients. Beat together until the consistency is very thick and glossy, coming away from the bowl as you lift the wooden spoon through.
Take out the pumpkin and blend until smooth. If you are using the chillies, add to the blended pumpkin now.
Pour the brownie mix into a 25x25cm tin lined with greaseproof paper. Spoon the smooth pumpkin onto the top of the chocolate mix or perhaps pipe in an appropriate Halloween pattern to decorate. Sprinkle on the seeds if you are using them to finish. Bake the brownies for about 25 minutes at 180ºC. Leave to cool until the mix has set and can be cut into squares. Enjoy these glorious squares of chocolate guilt with a scoop or two of classic vanilla ice cream.
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