Firework Party, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

Bonfire Night here in the UK is one of my favourite nights of the year. We wrap up warm, huddle round a bonfire to watch an effigy of Guy Falkes, our most famed terrorist failure, burn on top of it, then turn our peepers to the sky to ooo and ahhh over colourful fireworks.

Some years we go to large community Bonfires, with big firework displays, others we go round to friends or family for more intimate garden affairs. This year we spent it at our friends near Dundee, who hosted a firework party. We didn’t have a fire but we all enjoyed some fireworks and some tasty home-cooked food.

The men cooked sausages on the BBQ and made a big vat of chilli with baked potato halves {I made hearty mushroom burgers for the veggies} whilst I supplied the cakes and baked goods.

Nearly everything I baked is on this blog already. I made the Toffee Cupcakes, decorating them with colourful sugar star sprinkles. Toffee always reminds me of Bonfire Night, tucking into a bag of treacle toffee while stamping my frozen feet to try and warm them.

I also made the Spiced Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, but omitted the spices on this occasion making them simply chocolate orange. I topped them with the cream cheese frosting from this post instead which was rather delicious and complementary.

The Hokey Pokey honeycomb disappeared so quick that I never got a piece! It was adored by the kids and adults alike.

For an easy batch of gingerbread, I simply made the batter for the Gingerbread cupcakes but poured it into a 20 cm square pan which I had lined it with baking parchment and baked it for around 30 minutes. I altered the recipe slightly, using 6 tablespoons of dark treacle and 2 of golden syrup to make it more intensely treacly, it was delicious.

I baked it a day or two before then stored it in an airtight container until the day. This makes the cake moister and improves the flavour. After cutting it into squares, I dusted it with small amount of icing sugar mixed with a few pinches of edible gold dusting powder to give it a shimmery effect.

To make savoury nibbles I whipped up some simple pizza pinwheels and some cheesy palmiers.

Pizza Pinwheels

oven 200 C / gas 6

one or two baking/cookie sheets lined with baking parchment

  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
  • a couple of teaspoons of tomato puree
  • a handful or so of finely grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch or so of dried oregano
  • pinch of chilli powder {optional}
  • 1 egg, beaten

Roll out the puff pastry then use a rolling pin to roll it out a little bit bigger and thinner. Spread the tomato puree very thinly over the entire area then sprinkle over the  grated parmesan and press it down a little. Sprinkle over this the oregano, some salt and pepper to season and a light dusting of chilli powder if you wish.

Starting from one of the shorter ends, roll the pastry back up again quite tightly. Wrap in cling film then either pop into the fridge or freezer to completely chill down.

Remove from the fridge or freezer then use a sharp knife to cut slices about half a centimetre thick. I like to freeze these slices again before baking. When you are ready to bake them, make sure the oven is nice and hot. Lay the slices onto your baking sheet, you may have to bake them in batches, and brush a little beaten egg over each of them. Bake for about 12 minutes until puffed up and golden.

Serve hot or cold.

Cheesy Palmiers

oven 200 C / gas 6

one or two baking/cookie sheets lined with baking parchment

  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
  • one handful of finely grated parmesan cheese
  • one handful of finely grated strong cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper {optional}
  • 1 egg, beaten

Roll out the puff pastry then use a rolling pin to roll it out a little bit bigger and thinner. Paint the pastry with the beaten egg to give the cheese something to stick too then sprinkle over the  grated parmesan and the cheddar and press it down a little. Cover the cheese with a generous dusting of cayenne pepper if you want the swirls to have some kick, then follow with some salt and pepper to season.

Starting from one of the shorter ends, roll the pastry into the middle quite tightly then do the same from the other end so they meet. ‘Glue’ the place where they meet with a little more beaten egg. Wrap in cling film then either pop into the fridge or freezer to completely chill down.

Remove from the fridge or freezer then use a sharp knife to cut slices about half a centimetre thick. I like to freeze these slices again before baking. When you are ready to bake them, make sure the oven is nice and hot. Lay the slices onto your baking sheet, you may have to bake them in batches, and brush a little beaten egg over each of them. Bake for about 12 minutes until puffed up and golden.

Serve hot or cold.

 

 

 

22 Responses

  1. Pizza pinwheels! What a great idea!

  2. sweetcraving says:

    This looks so lovely and cosy!!! Beautiful pinwheels, yummy!!!

  3. What an explosive feast 😉

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Sophie33 says:

    Bonfire sounds like fun! Everything that you amde looks really tasty, appetizing & amazing too! :) YUmmmm! Cool pics too!

  5. There are so many things here that I’d like to make: the hokey pokey honeycomb, the pizza pinwheels, the toffee cupcakes….. Please don’t mention these recipes to my ponytails, or else they’ll bug me non-stop until I make them! (Love your blog!)

  6. Jorie says:

    Looks delicious, and I absolutely love the idea of Bonfire Night! Maybe someday I’ll be in the UK to celebrate it.

  7. mmmarzipan says:

    Wonderful post :) Everything looks delicious :)

  8. Oh how much fun! Looks beautiful, and all of it and so yummy! And mushroom burgers sounds like something I definitely want to try…do you have a recipe or a few tips on how you make yours? :)

  9. That looks like a lovely occasion!

  10. kerrycooks says:

    Wow, what a spread!

  11. davegct says:

    Bonfire night sounds fun! Do they still allow real bonfires? Thought the fire brigade might forbid that due to the risk of fires getting out of control. But it would be great to make an effigy of Guy and burn it! We would never be allowed to do something like that in the US, seems like they love to make laws against anything fun!

    • Yeah, pretty much anyone can have a fire on their private property. It’s damp over here, especially at this time of year! Most people just do fireworks these days, or go to public events.

      Poor Guy, he really was the fall guy {!} for the whole affair. They stretched him on the rack don’t ya know, to extract information.
      The conspirators hid in a house not far from Stratford, my bro got married there. They probably knew Shakespeare, he was also a Catholic and would have certainly known the house.
      The guys are usually made like scarecrows, and they used to be toured round the town/village in a wheelbarrow with the kids shouting ‘penny for the Guy’ to collect money.

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