In celebration of Halloween, Love Fresh Cherries, the UK’s national cherry association, have worked with and Elise Humphrey, recipe creator and food stylist photographer, to create some spooky, yet delicious gluten-free treats for the whole family to enjoy.
Halloween (31st October) is set to be a stay-at-home occasion this year, so get the kids involved with some easy yet delicious cherry good recipes for a spooky night in and ensure the whole family is happy with these gorgeous yet ghoulish desserts. From ghost pavlova to mummy madeleines, these recipes are a fun, creative way to start the frightening festivities.
Follow these easy and quick step-by-step recipes below for the most mouth-watering and bewitching fresh cherry bakes!
Ghost Pavlova – Pavlova with cherry syrup, fresh cherries and meringue ghosts
Ghost Pavlova with Cherry Syrup, fresh cherries and meringue ghosts
Super scary pavlova with spooky cherries
For the meringue
- 6 fresh free-range eggs at room temperature
- 300 g caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp cornflour
- 1.5 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- edible monster eyes
For the filling
- 200 ml double cream
- 100 ml creme fraiche
- 400 g whole fresh cherries
For the cherry syrup
- 120 ml water
- 120 g sugar
- 200 g fresh cherries
Preheat the oven to 100°C and line 2 separate baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk, using an electric whisk, to stiff peaks.
Gradually whisk in the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Add the cornflour, vanilla extract and lemon juice and whisk briefly, just until incorporated.
Place one wuarter of the meringue mixture into a piping bag with a large nozzle. Use a little meringue on the underside of each corner of parchment paper to stick it to the baking sheet. Pipe 2 inch high ghosts, starting close to the surface and first pushing down, then raising in an upwards motion with even pressure. Carefully place the edible eyes onto each ghost and bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes.
While the ghosts are baking, place the remaining 3⁄4 of the meringue in a mound on the other baking sheet and spread out into a 6-8 inch diameter circle (you can draw this out beforehand to help you). Make a shallow dip with the back of a metal spoon in the centre of the meringue mixture to accommodate the cream and fruit. Carefully cover in an airtight container and refrigerate the mixture until the ghosts are out of the oven.
Remove the meringue ghosts from the oven and leave to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 140°C/gas mark 1 and place the main pavlova mixture on the bottom shelf. Bake for 1 hour and switch on the oven, but leave the meringue inside to cool for a further 2 hours, with the oven light on. This will keep the meringue warm enough to help prevent cracks.
While the meringue is baking, make the cherry syrup by adding the pitted and sliced cherries, water and sugar to a saucepan and bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Sieve the contents over a bowl, gently stirring the cherries to leave you with a syrup. Leave to cool.
Just before the meringue has completely cooled, whisk the cream in a large bowl until it is just holding its shape. Gently stir in the yoghurt. Pile the cream mixture into the middle of the pavlova and decorate with the meringue ghosts, fresh cherries and cherry syrup.
Mummy Madeleines – Chocolate and almond madeleines with a cherry glaze
Delicous cherry biscuits decorated to frighten!
For the madeleines
- 115 g butter melted at room temperature, plus 2 tbsp for greasing
- 2 large free-range eggs at room temperature
- 100 g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 90 g gluten-free flour
- 25 g gluten-free cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- a pinch salt
For the cherry glaze
- 200 ml water
- 100 g sugar
- 200 g fresh cherries pitted and sliced
- 240 g icing sugar sifted
- edible monster eyes
Using an electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for 8 minutes until the mixture is thick, pale, and forms ribbons when lifted. Beat in the almond extract until combined.
Using a handheld whisk, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Gently fold into the egg mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon, half at a time.
Mix 3-4 tablespoons of the batter into the melted butter until fully incorporated, and then gently stir it all into the rest of the batter until it becomes thick, silky, and shiny. Cover the surface of the batter with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
During the last 15 minutes of chilling, grease the madeleine tin with the remaining melted butter using a pastry brush. Lightly dust the tin with cocoa powder, tapping it upside down in the sink to remove any excess. Refrigerate the tin for 10-15 minutes and preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 3.
Place the chilled madeleine mixture, which should be airy and mousse-like, into each scalloped well of the tin to around 3⁄4 full, using either a spoon or a piping bag with a large nozzle. If using only 1 madeleine tin, cover and refrigerate the remaining batter for later.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, until the madeleines spring back under touch. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack to cool. To make the cherry glaze, add the pitted and sliced cherries, water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Sieve the contents over a bowl, gently stirring the cherries to leave you with a syrup. Leave to cool.
Add the icing sugar to a bowl and mix in 4 tablespoons of cherry syrup, until it reaches a slightly thick consistency. For the madeleine ghosts, dip the madeleines in the icing mixture and place on edible eyes, leaving aside for the glaze to set. For the mummies, pipe the glaze onto the madeleines using a piping bag with a medium sized nozzle and place on the eyes. Madeleines are best enjoyed fresh, straight after baking.