I don’t celebrate Halloween. Don’t let that jack-o-lantern there fool you even for a minute. He’s not really grinning. He’s grimacing. And you know why he’s grimacing? Because about five minutes after this photo was taken, he was chopped up into teensy weensy little bits and put on the boil.

Wow, I guess Halloween is gruesome.

Growing up in Australia, we never had the pleasure of celebrating Halloween. We knew about it, of course we did, because it wasn’t like we didn’t watch television. We were inundated with quality American tv shows of which I shall not name any, but I will point the finger in the direction of my mother who groomed me into the trash-tv-watcher I am today by plonking me down every afternoon after school with my cheese on toast, ready for another gripping episode of The Bold and The Beautiful. Because that chin on Ridge? It was beautiful.

We knew about Halloween, but no one really trick-or-treated, so nobody dared to start because you’d look like a damn twat all dressed up on your own. And when you’re a prepubescent, scrawny, dorky, coke bottled Asian kid (um, I’m talking about my brother, of course), you simply didn’t need another reason to be beat up. So every year on October 31, we spent another average night at home.

Some kids inevitably did try and push the issue. They dressed up and wandered around the neighbourhood, ringing doorbells, disgruntling the geriatric neighbours who turned in about six hours earlier. At 4pm. Eventually they’d get to our house and ring the door bell.

My dad would sit up like a meerkat. Hm, he wasn’t expecting any visitors tonight. Who could it be? He’d slowly wander towards the front of the house and peer out into the dark from behind our lace curtain. Because guys, in case you didn’t know, lace is like the best cover ever.

He’d see these kids standing by our door, impatient for their goodies. Or at least he thought they were kids, they kind of looked like goblins. Eventually he’d settle on the fact that the goblins weren’t dangerous, and even if they were, he could take three of them on, so he opened the door.

“Trick or treat!” the goblins squealed.

A minor heart-attack. Regained composure. My dad may be from a tiny little village in Malaysia but he ain’t no fool. He knows about Halloween too, although I’m not sure how because he only ever watched the 7.30 Report on tv. And Foreign Correspondent.

Surprisingly, the goblins actually bring him a little glee. They want some sweets do they? Fabulous, fabulous. My dad wanders back into the kitchen to see what he might have in store. After a few minutes, he comes back to the front door. The goblins are eager.

One by one they open their bags nice and wide. My dad’s arms slowly uncurl to reveal the fantastical goodies that lay within. And…

… an apple? What the fuck an apple??? That’s not even a toffee apple!

[Note that my dad thinks fruits = desserts = sweets]

The goblins are unimpressed. Crazy old man handing out apples. The biggest goblin, presumably a mother, encourages the young ones to accept graciously anyhow. And they do. And they slowly waddle down our driveway to the next house.

Presumably, the legend of the man who gave apples was bred right then and there, and from that night on, we never got any trick-or-treaters again.

Happy Halloween!

ps. I did have a butt load of fun carving that pumpkin :D

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
195 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
110 grams unsalted butter (at room temperature)
200 grams caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 grams pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting:
300 grams icing sugar, sifted
50 grams unsalted butter (at room temperature)
125 grams cream cheese, cold

a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with cupcake cases

  1. To make the pumpkin puree, remove pumpkin flesh from pumpkin, cut into cubes and boil until soft. Mash or process with a food processor until it becomes a puree. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (Gas 3).
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  4. Put the butter and sugar in another bowl and beat on a medium speed with an electric whisk until light and fluffy and well mixed.
  5. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add one egg at a time and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Add vanilla extract and continue beating.
  7. With the mixer on a lower speed, start adding the flour mixture and pumpkin puree in three stages, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to slightly cool in the tray before removing to wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. When cupcakes are cool, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top. I also topped mine with roasted hazelnuts.

Cream cheese frosting:

  1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer. on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  2. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
  3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
Makes 12-15 cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking, cream cheese frosting recipe from Hummingbird.

18 Thoughts on “I don’t want to celebrate unless there are cupcakes involved… Happy Halloween!

  1. oh wow your cupcakes are super super cute! I thought it was a meringue on top (yum) but cream cheese frosting is good too! Happy Halloween!

  2. why does your pumpkin have fangs? tell me about asian parents & halloween..my mum gave out oranges one year :P

  3. :-D The Bold and the Beautiful was big in Finland too! And no, we never celebrated Halloween either, I don’t know if this has changed in the recent years, but it’s still not something I would even remember if it wasn’t for all the Halloweeny recipes popping up! Your pumpkin looks awesome and so do these cupcakes! But I still won’t wish you happy halloween ;-)

  4. Ha haaa, I did the same one year, I loooooves clementines, so I got loads and gave gorgeous fruits out… and, just because I’m me, the kids who looked grumpy, that’s all they got. The kids who said a genuine thank you got some (proper) sweets dropped in their bags too. HA!

  5. “Trick or treat!” Can I have a dozen of those cuties pls. My flatmate gave out liquorice sweets one year and they never appeared the year after.

  6. jenny: meringues!! What an awesome idea! I might actually have to think about that for next time ;) thanks! x

    Ying: LOL, at least oranges will bring them um, prospertity? Apples are just boring!

    Maria: I actually love the dramas of the rich and gorgeous on B&B LOL.. and now I watch The Hills. See what my mum did to me? And no happy Halloweens to you either ;)

    Kavey: Aww man if people gave out clementines I would totally trick or treat! But they give out shit lollies!

    pigpigscorner: Ingenious! Unless you get a kid like me who loves liquorice ;)

  7. trick or treat – i just want one at all costs! hey you could bake me a few for november ;o)

  8. Your fangy pumpkin is v cute :)

  9. your dad is hilarious. good thoughts with no ill-intentions, with a good result *cough cough*. =P
    My parents probably would’ve just shooed them away with a broomstick, LOL.
    Yeh, Aussies don’t do halloween… though it is very much tide in with American history, so not at all surprising.

  10. love the story:) 7.30 report & Foreign Correspondent! LOL! exactly what my dad watched too, back in the day.

  11. Meeta: you never never know ;)

    meemalee: LOL, yeah first pumpkin cutting effort EVER. I was bloody proud!

    Allan: I know, my dad was actually *happy* to give them apples! To this day I’m not sure if he understands that was all kinds of wrong.

    mc: Hehe, back in the day? What does he watch now?? Is my dad missing out on something awesome (well, awesome-in-our-dads-worlds)?

  12. Linda at Pink Elephants coffee,LLC on October 29, 2010 at 11:50 pm said:

    The Bold and The Beautiful? Hmmmm. I miss the soaps, sometimes. Stopped
    watching because it was addicting ( ABC soaps since 1967). My best gal pal’s
    son is a star on Days Of Our Lives. Galen Gering. Handsome young man. Has his
    mom’s eyes and nose. I never met his dad.
    Halloween has become a big deal since someone gave the hi bone to Martha.But
    I’m confused as to how this is an American history thing. It was taken from the
    Day Of The Dead (Nov. 1st) in Mexico. Old Aunt Thingie may very well be dead,
    but he’s gonna dig her up and poke her anyway.
    Naw. Just kidding. I, too, do not celebrate Halloween. But I do get a kick out of
    the big tah-dah with decorations. I wonder why it’s always gotta be a pumpkin.

  13. Cuuute! Love the little swirl of cream cheese icing, yum yum!

    I made pumpkin scones yesterday but didn’t carve a pumpkin. I find it hard enough just cutting a normal pumpkin, let alone carving a face into one! Lol.

    xox Sarah

  14. LOL apples! Well I think that’s about what you do get in Australia or perhaps some random gum or tic tacs. But as for me? I don’t trick or treat but I love this holiday so much! :D

  15. For these cream cheese frosted delights I would definitely be turning up to your door at Halloween!

  16. Linda: Someone else’s blog was also saying it isn’t an American history thing but started here in the UK! LOL, I don’t know, I don’t really care where it started, it’s a bunch of fun for the kids, really!

    Sarah: OOooooh pumpkin scones! My housemate’s grandma used to make the most delicious pumpkins scones.. heated up with a dollop of butter… *heaven*

    Lorraine: and you SHOULD, you with your awesome Halloween parties! You make it worth while in Australia :D

    Adrian: Haha, I may just put an apple in your bag ;)

  17. I love pumpkins in cakes. Fab blog you have here. Can’t believe I’ve never stumbled across it before!

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