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What's cookin' at Bon Vivant: Ghoulishly good ideas for Halloween

By Hilary Van Loon

From sourdough to cinnamon rolls and every delectable homemade goodie in between, it seems like everyone is jumping on the baking bandwagon these days.

Many of us have been kneading out our frustrations and spending more time in our kitchens as a result, whipping up tasty treats to both distract and delight. And while we here at Bon Vivant hope the home baking trend is here to stay, October is the perfect time to expand your horizons and try your hand at homemade Halloween goodies.

DIY bonbons may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, even the most culinarily challenged can conquer at-home candy making.
Silicone chocolate moulds are heat resistant, easy to clean and come in a range of shapes and sizes so you can tailor your creations to any holiday or occasion. A good candy thermometer like Escali’s Deep Fryer/Candy Thermometer takes the guesswork out of the melting process and ensures your chocolate won’t burn — once it reaches 100F it’s time to take it off the heat. We recommend pouring your melted chocolate into a pastry bag to give you more control and minimise the mess.

Overfilling the moulds is a common rookie mistake so you’ll want to leave some space at the top to preserve the shape of your mould and make it easier to pop out the chocolates once they're set. Gently tapping the filled moulds on the counter will help release air bubbles and ensure your homemade chocolates rival any store-bought confection.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to balance out all the sugar, try filling ice pop moulds with puréed fruit and natural juices. Tovolo’s zombie-shaped silicone moulds are perfect for kid-friendly Halloween snacks that are both festive and healthy. For a creamier ice pop texture, try adding Greek or whole yoghurt, both of which contain less water than milk. This helps prevent ice crystals from forming during the freezing process. Flavours also tend to mellow out when frozen, so make sure you’re enhancing your usual smoothie recipe with extra-ripe fruit or natural sweeteners like honey or agave to ensure your ice pops pack a flavourful punch. Depending on the size of the mould and thickness of your purée, they should be fully frozen and ready to eat in 4-8 hours. To ensure your zombie pop remains intact, run the mould under warm water for 30 seconds to expand the silicone and loosen the ice pop from the sides.

However you choose to channel your inner ghoul or goblin this month, silicone moulds will elevate your Halloween treats and are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

Hilary Van Loon is the retail operations manager at Bon Vivant in Camana Bay.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline "Ghoulishly good ideas for Halloween."