Serving up 'human victim' fingers at a vegan Halloween party? As someone else said, "Oh the irony"! Yes for sure! However, if you're looking for a gruesome but effective addition to your party table, then these definitely make the grade. And the beauty is, their 'vegan-ness' means no actual harm caused to anyone. Surprisingly, they all got eaten too!
Last weekend I hosted a small (pre-Halloween) party for some of my friends. It wasn't a huge family event or anything, but just a few peeps with a vampire gothic/glamour theme, for which I enthusiastically spent a couple of weeks putting decorations together and considering what I would serve up on the table.
I have to say, I decided to concentrate more on creating my ambience with the decor rather than going all out with 'themed' food. Especially as it was an adult party, not yet Halloween night, and also, I wanted a stylish edge to the evening! Although, things were far from stylish a few hours in.
Mind you, with a few severed and bloody fingers lying on a slab on your table (okay, they were actually just almond biscuits with jam!), you don't need a lot of other themed foods to be effective :)
I can't lay claim to the fingers recipe I'm afraid to say. There are several of them on the web, and I did find two vegan sites with similar recipes. The one I opted for in the end was the on Parsley Soup site, which seemed pretty simple. You can follow the recipe at the link I've just provided, and the ingredients are these:
150g (6 oz) vegan margarine (I used 'pure' - the green one)
75g (3 oz) caster sugar
150g plain flour
25g ground almonds
1/2 tsp almond essence
whole blanched almonds - one for each biscuit
seedless red jam - warmed in a saucepan
I made a lot more fingers than the recipe stated from the amount of dough I had (at least 20 or maybe more), and since they puff up quite a bit in the oven, I suggest you do the same. I also heated the jam in the microwave rather than a saucepan and this worked out well enough.
One tip for making these - the dough heats up really fast and becomes impossible to mould (hence the less shapely fingers). So I recommend keeping a couple of ice cubes nearby, and rubbing them in your palms before rolling each finger. The coolness and wetness helps, though I did have to stick the dough back in the fridge a few times.
The 'Worm Jelly' was fairly simple to make, although I ended up using 4 sachets of vegan jelly mix to the amount of water required supposedly for two sachets, in order to make this. I used a sugar-free brand although I'm not sure which it was now (to make sure it is vegan, as well as gelatine, watch out for the colouring carmine, which is made from cochineal).
I found the strawberry laces in Aldi, and added them to the jelly in my jar - with some spilling over the sides - once it had set somewhat.
Other food that was included on my menu for the night included a beetroot hummous, which was my standard hummous recipe but with a couple of vacuum-packed beets added while blending (I felt it would be good from a colour point of view, but it was very tasty too!). I cooked up a huge pan of vegan chilli for a bit of spice,and I also made a roasted pumpkin & caramelised red onion puff pastry pizza.
Of course, I also included a vegan cheese board with the two cheese I like to make, and some red grapes.
For this, it was simply a matter of having the veg ready, and then rolling packet-bought puff pastry which I topped with tomato puree before adding the roasted pumpkin, red onion (which had been caramelised for around 30 minutes with some sugar) and also some hazelnuts and salt and pepper. It turned out fairly delicious, although I was a little drunk when I took my pictures so they haven't turned out as great!
I also made red velvet cupcakes, and topped them with frozen cherries and 'blood drips' made from Golden Syrup mixed with food colouring.
As well, I made chocolate and glace cherry brownies, and some absolutely divine chocolate cherry truffles - the actual recipe for these I found on another vegan blog (Cherry Ripe Truffles). But guess what? I forgot to put them on the table! So I still have them to eat, and I can't say I'm sorry! They are incredibly lush and yet so easy to make.
I also created a 'blood bank' of drinks on a tray, on the night of the party, close by to my decorative bottles of 'blood' (see picture below. They were simply some wine bottles filled with water that had vegan red food colouring in - and some of my own labels stuck on).
The blood bank tray was a selection of red drinks that guests could choose from, including goblets of red wine, glasses of Kir Royale (in red sugar frosted champagne glasses), a home-made rum punch using red juices, and some Bloody Mary vodka shots.
For the punch, I used a full carton of red grape juice, most of a carton of pomegranate juice, and about half of a 75cl bottle of white rum. I also added sliced red apple, halved red grapes, and instead of ice, I used frozen berry fruit - to keep it cool, add flavour, and not water it down (Dracula forbid!).
The Bloody Marys (not shown in my picture as I hadn't created them when I took this - and forgot later! Hmm. Must have been the punch!) were made using vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, Hendersons Relish, and a bit of salt and pepper. Those who loved Bloody Marys, loved these! But they are an acquired taste, I know.
A black plush throw over the sofa, black crepe over the mantelpiece, black and red shawls draped around doors and over the TV (who wants to see a big plasma screen TV in a glamorous vampire's lair?), red organza, and I painted some black roses for vases too.
Also, I painted up some old tiles and used decoupage prints to make them look like framed pictures with blood dripped down them. And on another old bathroom tile, I glued on red paper roses then added some blood drips using glass paint that I had in my crafts box.
Of course, I also cut out black bats from black card, because you can't have vampires without bats, and I hung these everywhere, with a few crows and spiders scattered around.
I had bought some white lillies and attached a few plastic spiders to those, and then covered the lounge and kitchen in 'cobweb'.
I think my favourite had to be the 'Bathe Yard' though! This was my little surprise for when guests needed to go for a pee, and I wanted it to look like a graveyard effect.
I had some old polystyrene pieces left from packaging of a recent delivery, and also a box which had been used for the delivery of some cold food. I painted these up as two gravestones and a tomb (in which lay Rosemary's Baby!), then put them in the bath among a pile of autumn leaves I collected from outside! It did look really good, I have to admit, and I was very proud of my artistic efforts. I also found a great toilet decoration in the £1 store.
With some candle lighting and a fabulous playlist - oh and some wonderful friends who had all dressed up too - the vampire ambience was created. Though we did a lot of dancing later (you know, as vampires do!) and the neighbours were not very happy at my full-on testing of my new speakers. But it's once a year - and I did warn them in advance.
Anyhow - have a happy vegan Halloween, and try not to get in trouble (not too much anyhow). I hope this post has given you some ideas for food and decoration!