To go along with the dark Halloween aesthetic here, Halloween Cake, to match it.
Halloween has only been widespread in Italy for a few decades, despite the fact that it is a celebration inspired by many Irish legends, it has an all-Italian history, with stories that vary from region to region.
In Umbria, for example, it is said that since the Second World War children used to put flour in their faces to represent the dead.
Halloween celebrated all over the world and conceived as an American holiday, is actually born in Europe. The first traces report to the Celtic tradition but, before arriving in the New World, Halloween has also passed through Italy.
In Sardinia Halloween takes decidedly characteristic and traditional traits. Andin,an island, takes on two different names: “Is Animeddas” or “Su Mortu Mortu“. In the evening between October 31 and November 1 it is customary to dine with pasta and leave some in the plate for “Maria punta boru“, an old woman who goes on to cut other people’s stomachs open to feed herself in case she can’t find food on the table.
In Sicily, obviously according to local traditions. Halloween is called the “la festa dei morti” and expects all children to receive gifts (trick or treat) during the morning of November 2nd.
The Sicilian children wake up at the first light of dawn with the aim of looking for the gift that has been hidden.
Friuli, where the ancient Celtic New Year is still celebrated with the “La Fiesta dalis Muars”, which falls on October 31st. In the local dialect, Muars means pumpkin, and she is the protagonist of these celebrations; carved and decorated, with lights inside, it is placed outside the door of the house to ingratiate the spirits.
Halloween Cake (Dolce di Halloween)
Cocoa Sponge Cake (cake pan of 15 cm in diameter or 6-inch round and 1 1/2 inch deep)
- 1 1/2 cup flour 00
- 2 tbsp bitter cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 1 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 12.35 oz dark chocolate
Italian Meringue Ghosts
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup of Italian coffee
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- Cocoa Sponge Cake (cake pan of 15 cm in diameter or 6-inch round and 1 1/2 inch deep)
- Mix the eggs with the sugar.
- Beat the mixture in a mixer for 15-20 minutes at medium speed.
- Add the sifted flour and cocoa powder with a spatula from the bottom to the top to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
- Put the mixture into the cake pan properly greased and lightly floured.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 35 minutes, never open the oven before 25 minutes.
- Do the toothpick test to check cooking, insert it in centers, and has to come out clean.
- After the time necessary to allow it to cool and remove it from the mold.
- Take the sponge cake, cool completely before slicing.
- Dark Chocolate Ganache
- Chop the chocolate into very small pieces.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Mix well with a hand whisk until it is completely dissolved to obtain a smooth, shiny mixture.
- Transfer to a bowl and allow the ganache to coagulate at room temperature until it becomes creamy and firm.
- Italian Meringue Ghosts
- Put the whites in a planetary mixer with the wire whisk.
- Start whipping the whites for 1 minute at maximum speed, adding 1/4 of sugar.
- Continue mixing gradually adding the rest of the sugar until the mixture becomes foamy and compact.
- In the wire whisk, you will see that the cream has a little beak that should stay in place and not fold back on itself, if it does this then you have the right consistency of meringue.
- Put the cream in a pastry bag with a large, round tip.
- Pipe the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 1hr a 212°F (100°C) then turn the oven off.
- Without opening the oven door, let it sit in the oven for 1 hour.
- Take a toothpick, insert the tip of the toothpick into the chocolate ganache and draw the eyes on the meringue ghosts.
- Let them dry.
- Coffee syrup
- Prepare 2/3 cup of Italian coffee, add 3 tablespoons of sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Slice the cake into two layers and brush them, with a pastry brush, with the coffee syrup.
- Pipe the chocolate ganache on one layer of the cake and cover it with the other one.
- Frost the surface of the cake with the remained ganache and decorate the cake with the Italian meringue Ghosts.