Spooky Treats with GBBO’s Helena Garcia

 

Have you spotted our spooky organic treats for Halloween yet? We're sure they won't scare your little ones if they found them creeping and crawling their way into their wardrobes!

 

We’ve created styles that can be worn again and again meaning lots of super soft organic treats for little ones without any nasty tricks for the planet! And who wouldn’t choose treats over tricks?!

 

 

We're super excited to join forces with Great British Bake Off's Helena Garcia (@helenagarciafp) to bring you a spook-tacular Halloween themed recipe for you to try at home this scary season! Dust off your aprons and swap your mixing bowl for a cauldron, and make your very own Shrunken Heads Gingerbread.

 

Helena wowed as part of 2019's GBBO contestants, winning the nations hearts with her eccentric style, spooky approach and fun-loving personality. Living in Leeds with her husband Will, daughter Flora and rescue wolfdog Kato, Helena has developed her own brand of fashion accessories and oddities and created a collection of books: The Wicked Baker - Cakes and Treats to Die For and The Witch-Crafting Handbook: Magical Projects and Recipes for You and Your Home which are available to buy now.

 

 

Shrunken Heads Gingerbread

Makes 8-10

 

Ingredients:

450g plain (all-purpose) flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon ground ginger

1 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground cloves

6 tablespoon unsalted butter – room temperature

165g soft dark brown sugar

1 large egg

230g golden syrup, maple syrup or molasses may be used instead

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

To decorate:

White modelling chocolate or fondant

50g shop-bought royal icing

Black edible ink pen

Black lustre dust

Brown food colour

Extra Equipment: Ball modelling tool

 

“I saw a display of shrunken heads in Oxford’s University Museum of Natural History a couple of years ago. I took some photos and planned to make them into cookies ever since. The tradition of shrinking heads originates in northern Peru and eastern Ecuador, home to the Jivaroan peoples. They believed that by shrinking the head of an opponent you would harness the spirit of your enemy and he would serve you for eternity, although they were also used as trophies from a victorious battle. The process is rather gruesome, so I won’t describe it here, right before you make your edible version…”

 

Method:

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and set aside
  2. In another bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and egg together. I like to use a wooden spoon for this. Somehow gingerbread seems like it has to be mixed with a wooden spoon
  3. Add the syrup and vanilla and continue to mix
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients and combine until smooth
  5. Divide the dough in half and wrap in cling film, pressing down to create 2 discs
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days
  7. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan (400°F/Gas Mark 6) and line 2 baking trays with silicone mats or baking paper
  8. Take a piece of the dough and mould it into a skull shape in your hands, wider at the top. My skull was 7cm in height for reference
  9. Using a ball modelling tool, make the eye socket incisions. Pinch the nose and create nostrils with a small ball tool
  10. Add more dough to the cheeks and the eyebrows and blend into the face. Create the mouth and some wrinkles
  11. Each head will be different, which is exactly what you want! Repeat with the rest of the dough until it is all used up
  12. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes then bake for 1-12 minutes until the edges start browning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool
  13. Create the eyeballs with modelling chocolate or fondant and stick in the eye sockets with a little royal icing
  14. Draw the irises with the edible ink pen
  15. Brush around the eyes with the black lustre powder colour and finally pipe the threads around the mouth with brown royal icing
  16. Et voilà! Now you have some spooky-looking Shrunken Heads Gingerbread, perfect for sharing at Halloween!

 

 

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