The spooktacular month is still with us, and we couldn't be happier. Whether you're indulging on pumpkin spice lattes or candy corn is your kind of thing, we're all food satisfied (as long as there's Gookie Dough). So, what is Halloween like around the world? Where did it all come from and what celebrations are involved? Find out right here!
(Image credit: My Recipes)
Where did it start?
The tradition stemmed from Ireland, and it's celebrated as madly there as America. Bonfires were lit centuries ago all over the country and children would dress up and spend time trick-or-treating. Games were played including 'snap apple' which is where an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree, and you have to attempt to bite the hanging apple (a bit like apple bobbing). Parents would often do treasure hunts with candy, and the Irish would play a card game where cards are face down with candy or coins underneath them, and you choose a card and win the prize underneath it.
Food that was popular at the time was barnbrack which is a fruitcake that can be bought or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside of the cake, and it can 'tell the future'. If a ring is found, the person will marry, if a piece of straw then a good year is on the way.
Belgians believe that black cats are unlucky and should never cross your path. On Halloween night, people light candles in memory of their dead relatives.
In Hong Kong
Halloween is known as 'Yue Lan' in Hong Kong which means the festival of hungry ghosts. It is believed that spirits roam the world for these 24 hours. Some people will burn pictures of fruit or money in the hope that it will bring comfort to ghosts. Fires are lit, and food and gifts are offered to angry spirits who may seek revenge.
(Image credit: The Cake Blog)
In Sweden, Halloween is celebrated from October 31st till November 6th. Halloween also has an eve which is celebrated or becomes a shortened working day.
Germans tend to put away their knives on Halloween night because they don't want to risk harm to or from returning spirits.
There is a festival similar to Halloween which is called 'Chusok'. Families will thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labour and will pay respect to them by visiting graves. However, this takes place in August.
Spooked enough? Where would you rather live during Halloween? We'll stick to dressing up like a skeleton and munching on Gookie Dough! *Facts adapted from pumpkinpatchesandmore.org*
If you haven't watched Great British Bake Off (GBBO) then where have you been? Mary Berry is the queen of cakes and we love her like she was our own Grandma. Now, she has given her top tips when it comes to baking so we better listen closely. Here they are!
(Image credit: Kuulpeeps)
Using the right cake tin
Different cakes require different tins and it's easy to just disregard this step. Just because you have an expensive tin or one that's nearly the same size, doesn't mean it's right for the recipe. Don't start something until you have all of the correct equipment.
A high-fat content is essential in the butter you choose. Mary Berry suggests over 75% (sorry health nuts). Lower fat kinds of butter have a higher water content which means your mixture isn't top notch.
Baking powder measurements
Baking powder is a great ingredient and is in pretty much every cake recipe. You probably think that adding a little extra of the innocent powder will be fine and will have no impact. However, if you add too much then the cake will rise and fall quickly and will dry out fast.
(Image credit: The Happy Foodie)
So many recipes end up as a disaster just because the wrong measurements were used. Sometimes even being a little bit over or under can have a major effect on flavour and consistency. Concentrate when weighing and use accurate scales. This is why here at Gookie Dough, the hard work is done for you already!
Perfecting your icing
To create a thick layer of icing, brush the cake mixture with a jam coating first. This seals the cake and acts as a base for the icing to be added. This means an even layer that doesn't have excess crumbs lurking!
The toothpick/skewer trick
This trick is great to see if a cake is baked thoroughly. However, if the cake is not a golden colour, it's not ready at all so don't even bother testing. First of all, check the colour, if the cake pushes down and springs back if you pop your finger on top of it then it's ready. If not, keep it baking, baby!
So, the queen has spoken! Any other tips to add to the mix? Let us know in the comments below. *Tips from BBC Good Food via Mary Berry*
Despite Gookie Dough selling a product which isn't one of your five-a-day, we're all for a healthy diet. It's important to remember that our product needs to be consumed within a balanced diet and in moderation. Yes, it is tempting to eat four monster tubs straight out but it's not ideal. Today, we're discussing several habits of unsuccessful 'dieters' and how you can break them.
(Image credit: Unsplash, Estée Janssens)
Do these situations sound familiar?
Your meals come out of a carton, bag or over the deli counter
You never eat alone, the TV/internet/phone or magazine is always there
You can't walk away from free food even if you aren't hungry, including all you can eat buffets and supermarket samples
You spend time regretting what you ate than preparing it
You eat when you're hungry but also based on your emotion
Unhealthy food patterns
There are certain food patterns that people follow which can link to obesity and other food/weight disorders. Food fretting is when you're overly concerned with what you eat and form a negative relationship with food. Task snacking: this is when you always eat while doing something, like doing work and watching TV. Emotional eating: rather self-explanatory but you turn to food in low moments when you're feeling upset. Fast foodism: you eat processed and convenience foods and eat them quickly. Solo dining: you use food to fill a social void. Sensory disregard: mealtime is annoying and you're not bothered about the eating experience.
Solving the problem
A simple way of limiting yourself to binge is to keep a food diary and writing down everything in your life that links to food. It's a lifestyle diary, this includes what you ate, how much, when, where, what time of day and why you ate it. Were you alone? What else were you doing while eating? It's also important to note what kind of food it was. For example, fresh, frozen, processed, baked, boiled, take away etc. From the diary, you will start to see a pattern form and identify your eating triggers.
Eat the Gookie Dough, track the Gookie Dough, look after your body and eat a healthy, balanced diet! *Factual information from WebMD*
So, you're stood in IKEA and there is a bunch of spatulas in front of you. Do you need them all? Just one? Why are there wooden and plastic spoons? The questions are endless. Welcome to baking equipment 101, where us at Gookie Dough tell you the ins and outs of utensils.
(Image credit: Mason Cash)
No oven is the same, it's annoying but true. The first rule of baking is to ensure that the temperature is just right because this means the end result will be perfect. Oven thermometers are designed to stand or hang on an oven rack. Since the temperature inside an oven can vary from one place to another, the position of the thermometer on the oven rack is important. It's usually recommended to keep the thermometer right next to the baking tray for the most accurate reading.
Then, there are candy thermometers. These are used to test the temperature during the cooking of jams, jellies and candies. It has an adjustable clip so it can rest against the side of a large pan.
Spatulas are used for a variety of things such as lifting and turning goods or even spreading fillings and frostings. There is the straight edge spatula, the pancake turner and the rubber spatula.
The straight edge spatula is like a knife but doesn't have a sharp edge. It is used for spreading frostings and can be used when measuring ingredients to level off or remove excess from a measuring cup.
The pancake turner is wide at the base which picks up the food and is used to remove baked goods from baking trays such as your Gookie Dough cookies. The sharp edge cuts the cookie from the sheet.
The rubber spatula has a wooden or plastic handle with a flexible rubber paddle. It is great for scraping excess batter off the sides of a bowl.
(Image credit: Pop Sugar)
You've spent a lifetime lining trays and pans but did you know there are different types and when to use a certain one? Liners are great for transferring and are a godsend when it comes to non-stick.
Parchment paper is a heavy grease and moisture resistant paper, it's great for cookies, pizzas and cakes. Extremely versatile. Wax paper is semitransparent paper with a coating of wax on both sides. It is good for covering food and lining baking pans.
Tin foil is an amazing barrier to moisture, air and odours and can withstand heat and cold. It can come in regular weight for wrapping food and heavy duty which is perfect for freezer storage and lining grills.
Cheesecloth, probably the least known. A lightweight and natural cotton cloth that doesn't fall apart when wet. It can strain liquids, form a packet for herbs that can be popped into soups and can come in fine and coarse weaves.
They say you should learn something new every day. So, what have you learnt? Just call us professor Gookie!
Food is weird and wonderful. Whether it's fruits, veggies, sweets or super synthetic stuff, it's pretty cool. Today we're all about food for thought and these food facts are guaranteed to blow your mind, trust us!
Grapes and microwaves
First of all, we'd like to wonder who even thought about putting grapes into the microwave. What is the benefit? They won't taste any better. So, a warning is that apparently, it will ruin your microwave. When you cut a single grape in half and leave the halves connected by the skin it will heat up and release steam where the microwave radiation is most energetic. The steam will turn into plasma and within seconds, the grape has burst into flames. SCIENCE!
Potatoes are the key to Wi-Fi
Potatoes have high water content and chemical makeup which are able to absorb and reflect radio and wireless signals. Next time you see that weird viral picture of some guy holding a potato on a train, he has a good reason! Remember when pet potatoes were a thing? Like, why?
Oranges aren't naturally orange
Oranges which grow in tropical climates will never get cold enough to break down chlorophyll in the skin which means they'll become yellow or green when ripe. Imported oranges tend to get treated with ripening agent gas to make them orange.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits, however, they're actually mass produced. Yes, the Cavendish banana doesn't contain seeds and it can survive longer than other banana types so it is then cloned by farmers. Magic.
Scammed with wasabi
When in the USA or other Western countries, you may not know that some wasabi you eat is not actually real. Sounds a little confusing but in fact, it is made out of coloured horseradish. This is because real wasabi is expensive.
If you haven't tried fruit loops then you're missing out (a bit like if you haven't tried Gookie Dough). However, time to ruin your childhood with a bit of factual knowledge. Every colour fruit loop tastes exactly the same. Your head will associate the name with fruit kinds which then links the colour to a fruit. You'll think that the orange ones actually taste like oranges. It's strange what your mind can make you believe.
There you have it, mind blown. If you're willing to challenge us to 'who has the best fact about food?' then come and educate us in the comments, don't be scared! *Some facts adapted from Buzzfeed*