‘Trick or treat?!’ When you hear someone shouting this as you open your front door, you know it’s that time of year again: Halloween! If you value your life, you’d better hand out lots of treats this evening. And as a baker, you can make the most of this tradition.
History of Halloween
Halloween has been celebrated for centuries, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States. The name of the party comes from All Hallows Eve, the English name for All Saints' Eve. However, the origins of the festival go back much further: to the time of the Celts, more than two thousand years ago. There, the year always began on 1 November. The last day of October was therefore their New Year's Eve, or 'Samhain' as they called it. That night, the harvest was celebrated and certain dishes were sacrificed to gain favour with the souls of the dead. The Celts believed that they would return during Samhain.
Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. Nowadays, the day is mostly about horror and candy. As soon as it’s dark outside, children (and often their parents) put on their scariest outfits and go door to door with hollow pumpkin lanterns and other ornaments.
Since sweets and confectionery play a major role during Halloween, it is an excellent celebration for bakers and pastry chefs to capitalise on. This starts, of course, in the shop window, with cobwebs and pumpkins, for example. Orange and black are typical Halloween colours for additional decoration material or possible costume parties among the staff.
The Belgian pastry chef Jaël Verleysen, currently working in his parents' pastry shop in Hofstade, created a number of appealing Halloween recipes for inspiration. How about his 'Scary's', made of chocolate joconde with a crispy base, hazelnut cream, chocolate mousse and a passion fruit filling made with Debic Butter Cream and Debic Cream Stand & Overrun His 'Strangers' are made of choux batter, which, just like the crispy dough in this treat, is made with Debic Butter Brioche. Almond cream is also added. Jael's 'Spiders' are made of joconde biscuit with Debic Butter Crème, a pecan crumble with Debic Butter Brioche and preparations of coffee and caramel.