With Halloween just a few days away, things are getting decidedly creepy in my house. Pumpkins have appeared and baking plans have begun. To be honest I’ll take any excuse to bake and get crafty! With the kids on half term, I don’t have time for anything very ambitious, so I’ve been thinking about quick and easy halloween recipes. First up are my creepy Halloween Meringue Kisses of Death. These are basically just meringue kisses, with black food colouring, but as port of a seasonal spread they look great.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Equipment:

I make these in my Kitchenaid stand mixer, but you could also use an electric whisk. Other than that, you’ll just need a spatular and a piping bag with a large nozzle to make these. You’ll also need baking paper and a large baking tray to bake them in the oven.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

3 eggs (whites only)

75g caster sugar

75g icing sugar

Black gel food colouring (I use this one from Hobby Craft)

Halloween Meringue Kisses

How to Make Halloween Meringue Kisses:

Preheat oven to 100ºc. prepare a large baking tray with baking paper.

Turn a piping bag inside out and add stripes of black food colouring. Turn back the right way and add a large nozzle.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Gradually add both the sugars, until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe out small amounts of the mixture to make the kisses.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

These are best kept in an airtight container, until you are ready to eat them.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Let me know if you give these Halloween meringue kisses a try. Obviously you can make them in different colours for different occasions. I’m looking forward to trying some Christmas colours and some cute pastels in the spring.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

For more recipes check out my Baking section.

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Rock cakes are another teatime classic, which I love. These are ideal for a beginner baker and taste a little like mini scones. These can be rustled up in no time at all and are perfect for a casual afternoon tea. There are recipes for rock cakes in so many of my vintage recipe books, but this one from the 1930s is my favourite. I’ve adapted it a bit to allow for modern measures, ingredients and ovens. 

Ingredients:

225g Flour

½ tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

85g Butter

85g Caster Sugar

1 Egg

115g Mixed Dried Fruit

A little milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230ºc and prepare a greased baking tray.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Add the egg, dried fruit and a little milk until it forms a stiff mixture.

Place the mixture in small rough heaps onto the baking tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at the top of the oven.

Cool on a wire rack.

If you try these delicious rock cakes, let me know what you think. I love seeing pictures of your versions of my recipes. I am really enjoying sharing recipes on here again. I have done so much experimenting and baking recently, so watch this space for its more. Also be sure to check out the Baking section of the blog for lots and lots of vintage recipes.

I have a new article in this months Vintage Life magazine. This time I’ve made my own Brownie in a Jar recipe, based on several vintage brownie recipes. Buy your copy of the magazine here.

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Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, that was certainly the case when I gave blancmange a go. Blancmange has always been one of my favourite deserts, it always reminds me of being little. I can’t remember where I had it, but I have a vague childhood memory of eating blancmange and literally thinking it was the best thing ever. A few years ago while feeling nostalgic I picked up a kit to make one from the supermarket. I don’t know what particularly was wrong with it, but it was literally disgusting and up until last week I had been put off trying it again for life!

Raspberry Blancmange Recipe with Whipped Cream

While looking for vintage recipes I came across quite a few blancmange recipes, but I was really put off by the idea of using cornflour as is traditionally used as I don’t think it tastes very nice. I them came across this recipe which I adapted to make my own raspberry version. This uses ground almonds to thicken out the mix and it’s absolutely delicious.

As you’ll see from my pictures I made a big mistake on my first attempt, but the actual recipe is perfection so don’t be put off!

Raspberry Blancmange Recipe

Ingredients:

300ml milk (I actually used skimmed as that’s what I had in the fridge at the time)

600g raspberries (I used frozen ones from Tesco as they are much cheaper)

100g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

5 gelatine leaves

300ml double cream

whipped cream to decorate (if you want to!)

Method:

1. Blend your raspberries in a food processor and then push through a sieve to form a smooth puree.

2. Bring your milk to the boil and add your sugar and ground almonds. Let it simmer for 5 minutes before removing from the heat.

3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Before squeezing out the excess water and dissolving them into the warm milk mixture.

4. Add the cream and raspberry puree to the mixture and stir until completely mixed.

5. Pour into your moulds and leave to set over night.

6. Turn out onto a plate and serve with cream.

Blancmange Fail!

At the turning out stage I made a horrible mistake. To loosen the blancmange from the mould you need to dip it into hot water for a few seconds. Then turn it onto a plate. I got distracted and left it in the hot water too long and ended up melting it! So my first attempt in my pretty glass jelly mould was a disaster! Luckily I had made two more, in my heart-shaped bowls from tiger, so I saved the situation by using one of these. And at least it looks great for valentines! We ate the melted one anyway and it tasted delicious, but it definitely wasn’t so good for blog photos! I probably would have made the whole thing again, but sometimes too much blancmange can be a bad thing!

Raspberry Blancmange Recipe Tiger Heart Bowl

The heart shaped ones came out perfectly as I only popped them in the warm water for a few seconds and they all tasted absolutely amazing however they looked!

Heart Shaped Raspberry Blancmange Recipe

I posted last week about my trip to The Classic Car Boot Sale. I didn’t buy much while I was there, but I wanted to share two of my purchases that I absolutely love. I really enjoy picking up vintage kitchen items, not only do they look amazing I also really appreciate the social history they represent. Being a huge fan of baking, anything vintage baking related always catches my eye. So when I spotted a fabulous stall packed to the brim with kitchenalia I just couldn’t resist taking something home. Here are a few pictures of the stall, which was run by two lovely gentlemen with exactly the same taste as me. I didn’t catch their names sadly!

Classic Car Boot 12 Classic Car Boot 13

They had such amazing things. I have a huge collection of vintage aprons and although I loved the great selection they had on offer, you have to stop somewhere. So I reluctantly passed on them but I did get two really lovely things. Firstly a selection of 1950s Tala cookie cutters which are the same era and design as my icing set. These had to come home with me as they will look amazing next to each other on my kitchen dresser. I also picked up a box of 1930s recipe cards by Elizabeth Craig.

50s Kitchen

I absolutely adore the box that the cookie cutters came in. I wish packaging still looked like this. The box is a little damaged but I think this makes it look even more charming. Inside the cutters are shaped like various animals. I think they are slightly too worn to use but I love them anyway and they’ll look great in baking photos.

50s Kitchen 6

Inside the box there are a few biscuit recipes, which I will definitely be making. I’d love to do more vintage baking recipes on the blog and some biscuits will definitely be included.

50s Kitchen 5 50s Kitchen 4

The recipe cards are absolutely perfect for me. There are so many there, although I’m especially keen to try all the baking recipes I’d definitely like to have a go at a few of the meals too. I did my research and found out this particular set of cards was printed in 1937.

50s Kitchen 8 50s Kitchen 7

The seller could see how much I loved both items and gave them both to me for £10, which is a fantastic price. The recipe cards especially are something I plan to use a lot. To protect the box which is very fragile I will probably make copies of the recipes, I will of course also be sharing lot’s of them on here.50s kitchen 2

 
steel boned corsets by What Katie Did

Over the last few weeks I’ve tried a few recipes from my 1954 copy of Women’s Journal. I found them in an article about traditionally English recipes and I just had to give them all a try. So far I’ve discovered that old recipes are hard to follow, especially with no pictures and very brief instructions. I’ve been really happy with the results so far though and this time I decided to try Eccles cakes.

Eccles cakes for some reason make me think of my grandma. I can remember her talking about them when we visited tea shops together, however I couldn’t really remember what they were like. Having given them a go they remind me a little of puff pastry mince pies only a little less heavy.

Once I’d figured out the recipe these were pretty straight forward to make. I used pre made puff pastry which made the whole thing much easier. Next time I’d give them a couple less minutes in the oven and I’d also try to round off the sides a bit more as it says to do in the instructions.

Despite them not looking exactly like the eccles cakes I’d spotted on Google Images they tasted absolutely delicious and I’ll definitely be making them again.

Check out the other 50s recipes I’ve tried, Sally Lunns and Derby Teacakes.