This Halloween, the hubby and I were invited to participate in celebrations in a part of town called Taman TAR (Tun Abdul Razak). It's a nice little residential area surrounding a golf club and, being that it's the tropics, there's a hill laden with wild monkeys who are a general nuisance, snatching food from residents and chasing joggers (but not, oddly enough, walkers).
Back in Washington, DC, the hubby and I lived in a building surrounded by childless young professionals. This was our first Halloween in awhile where we'd actually see real, live trick-or-treaters, and I really wanted to get into the spirit and, well, let's be honest, make the children like me. To celebrate the occasion, I made a dozen of these little cupcakes. I'm not much of a baker, but Halloween is a holiday that just screams for sugar. It was the hubby's idea to make the tombstones, and I was quite pleased at how they turned out.
Next year, though, I'm reverting back to my original idea of a Halloween pork tenderloin. Those kids need something to stick to their bones while they're out hunting for candy, and nothing says scary more than a dozen tenderloin-wielding children running from a pack of wild monkeys.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Add this chocolate frosting to any basic chocolate cake recipe (I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours) to punch it up a bit, and everyone will think you're a gourmand baker!
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks
5 to 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Place the bittersweet chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water (to create a double boiler). Stir chocolate until just melted, then remove bowl from heat. Let stand for 3-4 minutes and prepare a large mixing bowl filled with ice and water. Place bowl with chocolate over mixing bowl with iced water and whisk butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the chocolate is thickened into a ganache. Use immediately to frost a chocolate cake.