Halloween 2002



Happy Halloween

  pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin  pumpkin pumpkin 


Chocolate Web Cake

" If you like chocolate, make this cake! "

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups shortening
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.


Sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and 1 1/2 cups of the white sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the shortening and 1-1/4 cup of the evaporated milk. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and beat for 2 minutes longer. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Drizzle 1 square of the melted chocolate in a spiral on top of each cake. Feather lines with a knife to form a web pattern.


Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove from pans and let cakes cool completely.


To Make Filling: Combine the 2 squares unsweetened melted chocolate, 1 1/3 cups shortening, 1 cup white sugar, 3/4 cup evaporated milk and the vanilla together and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.


To Assemble Cake: Cut each cooled cake layer in half horizontally. Spread 1/4 of the filling between each layer making a 4 layer cake with a web design on top. Frost sides with the remaining filling.





Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The
Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United
Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This
day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark,
cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts
believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early
All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would
beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return
for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of
soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots.  Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from entering.

In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much
as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they
were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get
dressed up in costumes and spend the evening "trick-or-treating" in their
neighborhoods. After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with
neighbors and friends. At the parties, many games are played, including
"snap-apple," a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe
or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing
for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as
the "treasure." The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face
down on a table with candy or coins underneath them. When a child
chooses a card, he receives whatever prize is found below it.

A traditional food eaten on Halloween is barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that
can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked
inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater's future. If a ring
is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means
that a prosperous year is on its way. Children are also known to play tricks
on their neighbors, such as "knock-a-dolly," a prank in which children knock
on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened.

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