This is a regular chocolate truffle mixture, which I would normally scoop into balls and dip into chopped nut, however, since it is the spooky season, I’ve moulded the mixture into mouse-like shapes. With the addition of little eyes, ears and a tail, these tasty little creatures would make a welcome addition at any Halloween party.

Chocolate Mice

Makes 20 mice
200g chocolate, good quality, approx 46% cocoa
100ml cream
25g butter
40 flaked almonds
A strip of liquorice rope, cut into 20 1-inch pieces
40 white chocolate drops or white candy coated mini sweets


  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of just-boiled water. In a separate saucepan, melt the cream and butter together. Just before it comes to the boil, remove from heat. Very gradually stir into the melted chocolate. Stir gently, for about 5 minutes, until smooth and thick. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill for about 2hrs.
  2. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Scoop up a teaspoonful of truffle mix and using two spoons quickly mould into a ball, before gently moulding one side a little pointy to create a ‘mouse’ shape. The chocolate mix will melt with the heat of your hands so you must work quickly. Place on the tray. 
  3. Add two almond silvers, to each mouse, for their ears. Repeat with remaining mix, and then chill for another hour.
  4. Take from the fridge and with the assistance of a toothpick, guide the liquorice tail into place, and stick the white chocolate drops/white candy coated sweets on for the eyes.
  5. Pop back into the fridge to set. These Chocolate Mice can then be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Happy Halloween!

Young children love to make these spooky cookies. The biscuit base is a simple shortbread, but any round biscuits, such as digestives or rich tea, could take their place if time wasn't on your side for baking a batch. The shortbread dough is perfect for little hands to manipulate, and they tend to always turn out rather well, even if the ‘cook’ hasn’t the lightest touch. The cooled cookies can be easily decorated with a little icing and a few sweets to fit in perfectly at any Halloween buffet.

Halloween Cookies
Makes about 25 cookies
100g icing sugar
200g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour

250g icing sugar
2 tbsp water
15-25 liquorice allsorts circular sweets
1 tsp red food colouring, placed in a small bowl
1 tsp black food colouring, placed in a small bowl

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5.
  2. Using an electric mixture, beat the icing sugar and butter until soft and well combined, which should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and with the mixer on a low speed gradually add the flour. Don’t overbeat and once combined bring the dough together into a ball. Place it on a sheet of greaseproof paper, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, to harden slightly.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour onto a work surface and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Using a cookie cutter, or a glass, make circular shapes out of the dough.
  5. Prepare two baking trays with a sheet of greaseproof paper on each. Transfer the raw cookies to the trays and place in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on their thickness.
  6. While the cookies are cooking prepare the icing. In a medium sized bowl combine the icing sugar with the water. Add a few more drops of water if required.
  7. Take the cookies from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool, which will only take a few minutes.
  8. Top each cookie with a teaspoon full of icing and smooth the top using the back of a knife. Place a circular liquorice allsorts into the centre and using a toothpick and the red food colouring draw a few lines to represent veins. For the ‘Jack Skeleton’ cookies simply use the black food colouring and another toothpick to draw the face. Allow the icing to set before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight tin for up to 3 days.

The traditional Halloween barmbrack was a fun way to tell someone's fortune for the coming year. As a child, I remember inside each brack would be a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Each item was individually wrapped in greaseproof paper, as each would carry a meaning; the pea, the person would not marry. The stick, the person would have a year of disputes. The cloth, the person would be poor. The coin, the person would be rich. The ring, the person would be wed before the following Halloween. Most shop-bought bracks still come with a ring inside, but if you're baking your own this Halloween, just for fun, add the extra 'fortunes' but ensure each one is well wrapped with greaseproof paper and to avoid any chipped teeth always let the brack-eater know of these additions.


200g sultanas
150g raisins
25g mixed peel
300ml tea, cold
250g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. Place the dried fruit into a bowl. Pour over the cold tea. Cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 2 lb loaf tin with parchment paper and grease the sides with a little butter.
  3. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the soaked fruit. Add the sugar, spice and lightly beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir well to combine.
  4. If using the 'fortune teller' items, tightly wrap each one in greaseproof paper and carefully add to the mixture.
  5. Transfer to the loaf tin, and place in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, or until the brack has risen well and is cooked through.
  6. Cool on a wire rack. When cold, cut into slices and spread each with a thin layer of butter.