Most Aussies would say that Halloween was not something worth having a song and dance about.
So to prevent getting egg planted on our Trick or V-eating faces, my kooky kids and I whipped up a costume-themed Ta treat to see our neighbourhood kin pumped into “crazy life” action.
This Frankensteinian idea first bolted into my brain at a recent kiddy-catch-up, whence a Michael Mosley inspired brownie hit the afternoon tea table. Keen to take the playdate pudding operation to the next level, I extracted the guts of the idea and transplanted it into a traditional CWA (Country Womens’ Association) chocolate cake recipe: a viscerally boosting experience. If you don’t happen to live in the Northern Hemisphere, then securing the key ingredients from the extended-end-of-season throw out table can be a great way to ward off but the guilty, buying-out-of-season, ghouls.
Well, if you haven’t the pluck to unleash this monster onto your kids, then atleast you’ve got another twelve months to let the idea fester before the next haunting night of livin’ La V-eat Ta Loca.
Eggplant and Pumpkin Puddings (makes 24 puddings)
1 med Eggplant
¾ c dates, soaked overnight in 1 c water
½ c brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
80 – 100 g chocolate
¼ c cacao powder
½ c coconut flour
¼ c arrowroot flour
1 c wheat flour
¼ tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
¼ c milk or yoghurt whey (if required)
125 g butter
1 ½ c powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
¼ c pumpkin puree’
1 walnut half (brain)
To prepare the eggplant, date and chocolate filling and the pumpkin puree’: slice the eggplant into 1 cm thick slices. Salt and leave sit for half an hour. Rinse. Pat dry on a tea towel. Place slices into an oiled casserole dish with a lid. Peel the pumpkin and dice into 2 cm cubes. Place on an oiled baking tray. Bake the eggplant and pumpkin for 30 – 45 minutes in the oven. Cool. Puree’ the eggplant and the dates (including the water) together into a bowl. In a separate bowl, puree’ the pumpkin . Cool in the fridge overnight (or till cold). Finely dice the chocolate. Stir into the eggplant and date puree’.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Whisk in the vanilla. Stir the eggplant mixture into the creamed sugar mixture. Stir thoroughly.
Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one third at a time. Ensure that the dry ingredients are thoroughly stirred through before adding the next third. The batter should be of dolloping thickness. Add a little milk or whey if too dry.
Spoon the batter into medium sized patty pans (supported in a muffin tray) to ¾ of capacity. Bake at 180oC for 12 – 15 minutes or until firm and spongy to touch. Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate till cold.
To make the icing: whisk the butter till light and creamy in colour and texture. Stir ½ cup of icing sugar and 1 tbs of pumpkin puree’ into the butter. Mix thoroughly. Repeat until all the icing sugar and pumpkin puree’ are finished. Ice the cakes using a palette knife (or other flat device). Place a brain (walnut half) atop the icing.
Finally, unleash your V-eating monster upon participating neighbourhood kin: Taaaaaaaaaaa!