Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Halloween Recipe - Kooky Kakeball Spiders

Halloween, my favorite holiday, is going to be here in a couple of weeks. Every year I make up a few recipes to celebrate this fun night and bake with my kids. This year I came up with several Halloween treats using cakeball mixture. Cakeballs are easy to make and so are my "Kooky Kakeball Spiders".

Making Halloween "Kooky Kakeball Spiders" is also a fun way to help your children learn how to read and follow step-by-step directions. The ability to read sequential directions is required in nearly every aspect of our children's lives.

Here's What You'll Need:

1 -Chocolate Cake Mix 
1 -Tub of Pre-made Chocolate Frosting 
1 -36 ounces of. Chocolate Chips 
1 -Jar of Decorative Chocolate Sprinkles 
1 -Small Bag of Black Licorice 
1- Small Bag of Red-Hot Candy 
1 - Small Box of Toothpicks

Additional Supplies: 
A Double Boiler 
Wax Paper 
Cookie Sheets

Step-by-Step Directions

Making the Spider's Body

1. Prepare and bake cake according to baking directions in any size baking pan you choose. 
2. Cool chocolate cake then drop it into a large mixing bowl. 
3. Crumble cake apart into bite- size pieces, with a fork, 
4. Open tub of pre-made chocolate frosting. Whip it with a spatula to make it creamy. 
5. Fold creamy chocolate frosting into crumbled cake until mixed well. 
6. Place cakeball mixture into the refrigerator to cool for about thirty minutes. 
7. After cooling, take cooled cakeball mixture and mold into balls with your hands. This mixture will make approximately 18 medium size cakeballs. 
8. Place cakeballs on cookies sheets lined with waxed paper. 
9. Place cakeballs in freezer and freeze till firm, about two hours. 
10.While cakeballs are freezing slowly melt the 36oz. of chocolate chips over a double boiler. Stir occasionally.

Making the Spider's Legs

1. Open the bag of black licorice and separate the licorice sticks. Cut each licorice stick lengthwise with kitchen scissors. 
2. Next, cut each licorice piece in half. You will need 108 legs for eighteen spiders 
3. To secure the licorice legs to each spider pierce a toothpick into each one end of each licorice leg. 
4. Snip the toothpicks off about 2" with a pair of wire-cutters. This keeps the long toothpick from sticking out the other side of the cakeball spider, when inserted. 
5. Poor bag of red-hot candies into a bowl. Ready for decorating the cakeball spiders. One bag should be enough for eighteen spiders, if the kids don't eat them.

Putting the Spiders Together

1. Line three cookie sheets with wax paper. 
2. Remove cakeballs from freezer, Freezing the helps the melted chocolate grab onto cakeballs. 
3. Take a fork and pierce a cakeball of the cookie sheet, 
4. Immerse the cakeball into the melted chocolate. Let excess drip off. 
5. Take decorative chocolate sprinkles and sprinkle on top of cakeball. 
6. Insert six licorice spider legs on each side of the 
7. Pop on two red-hot candies for the spider's eyes, and you've made a "Kooky Kakeball Spider".

"Kooky Kakeball Spiders" are fairly big treats. You'll need to make room in your kitchen to assemble each spider, and allow them to dry. Also, each spider needs to be made one at a time so the chocolate sprinkles, eyes and legs can be attached, while the chocolate is still warm.

How to Turn Any Recipe Into the Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Can you remember the last time you sank your teeth into a great cocoa cupcake that left you feeling like you tasted a piece of heaven, and you wished to find the best chocolate cupcake recipe so you could relive that experience whenever you wanted?

Well the first step would be to look for the best chocolate cupcake recipe, and that make take some searching and testing before you find the best one. But did you know that a great cocoa cupcake can be made just by taking a basic recipe and tweaking it such that you get the best chocolate cupcake recipe?

Yes, it's possible indeed, and I can bear testament to that.

While I can't reveal my secret recipe to you, I sure can give the pointers on how to get the best chocolate cupcake recipe.

Of course, my tips won't work for everyone since different people will have different definitions of the best chocolate cupcake recipe.

In any case, use these tips to achieve that. Use what you want, and drop those you don't want.

Tip 1 - Swap Fine or Caster Sugar For Dark Brown Sugar

Dark brown sugar contains molasses, and that make the sugar moist and nice. And you'll notice its moist property when you feel it with your bare hands. It melts and has a wet touch to it.

So if you swap sugar or caster sugar for dark brown sugar, you'll get chocolate cupcakes that are moist, nice and more fragrant than usual.

Tip 2 - Swap Milk for Buttermilk

For those who don't know what buttermilk is, it's like watery yogurt, and it has great properties for baking cakes and cupcakes alike. You should be able to find it at major supermarkets in the chilled section.

Or if you could only find the powdered version, follow the instructions on the label on how to use buttermilk powder to turn into a buttermilk substitute.

Milk in cupcake recipes only adds flavour to the cupcakes, but buttermilk will make the cupcakes really moist and soft. And that's the property of a great cocoa cupcake.

Tip 3 - Bake In A Steam Oven

With steaming included, the cupcakes don't dry out, and your cupcakes will become moist in the process.

And in case you don't have a steam oven, you can always bake your cupcakes in a water bath. That's as good as having a steam oven.

Tip 4 - Add Chocolate Chips on the Top

Chocolate chips will melt under the heat of the oven, and that will help to enhance the melt in the mouth feeling you get from the best chocolate cupcake recipe.

And know this. Not all chocolate chips are made equal, and you'll want to find the best one that will give you this effect.

Tip 5 - Pipe Chocolate Ganache into the Cupcake Centers

Do this only after your cupcakes have cooled down.

By using a piping bag with a piping tip, poke it right to the centre of your cooled cupcakes and pipe in chocolate ganache.

And that's how the great cocoa cupcakes give you the nice melted feeling in your mouth.

Also, note that you don't have to pipe too much. Piping a little will already achieve that effect.

As you can see, all these tips for the best chocolate cupcake recipe are recipe independent, and will work to enhance any recipes out there. Give them a try to believe it.