Serve these cakes at a Halloween party, or box them up for impressive ‘take home gifts. They look particularly stunning on a dark plate or cloth.
Prep: 1 ½ hours, plus cooling
Cook: 40 minutes
A little lightly salted butter, for greasing
2 quantities Orange Sponge mixture
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp runny honey
6 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp hot water
Orange food colouring
750 g/1 lb 10 oz white ready-to-roll icing
Icing sugar, for dusting
55 g/2 oz plain chocolate, roughly chopped
Several soft green jellies
20 small Oreo cookies, filling removed
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 26-cm/10 ½-inch x 8 ½-inch roasting tin or similar sized tin. Grease the baking paper.
2 Turn the cake mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake in the preheat oven for 40 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3 If the cake has risen in the center, cut off a thin slice with a large knife. Using a 6-cm/ 2 ½-inch half-moon cutter as a guide, cut out shapes from the sponge. Turn the cakes over so theat the base forms a flat top.
4 Mix the juices with the honey a small jug and drizzle over the surface of the cakes so syrup seeps into the sponge. Press the jam through a small sieve into a bowl and stir in the hot water. Brush this mixture over the tops and sides of cakes.
5 Knead orange food colouring into the ready-to-roll icing. Roll out 40 g/1 ½ oz of the icing on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to an oval 15 cm x 10 cm/6-inchs x 4 inches. Lift it over a half-moon cake and fit it around the sides, pinching the icing together at the points. Cut off the excess at these points and then cut around the base of the cake. Repeat with the remain cakes, reserving the icing trimmings.
6 Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until melted. Put the chocolate in a small paper piping bag and snit off the tip. Colour the icing trimmings a deeper orange and shape them into small balls. Mark ‘pumpkin’ ridges with the back of a knife. Cut small pieces of soft jelly and push them into the tops for stalks, securing with chocolate.
7 To shape bats, heat an Oreo cookie in the microwave until it’s soft (this will take 1 ½-2 minutes, but check after a minute). Cut a circle from one side with a 2.5-cm/ ½ – inch cutter. Cut small flutes from the opposite sides with a 1.5-cm/ ½-inch cutter. Secure the decorations in the place with chocolate and pipe bat eyes and extra bats around the sides of the cakes.