DIY Halloween candles!

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Hi guys! Now that it’s October it feels only right that I should post my first Halloween related blog post! Today’s post is a great spooky DIY for all you Halloween fanatics out there.

Say hello to my Halloween candles. My initial intent when making these candles was just to make pumpkins, but the striped Candycorn-esque candle was actually a great way of using up the excess wax that I had melted.

I love how these candles turned out! I hadn’t tried candle making in a good few years, it’s probably five years since I last tried my hand at the craft, but I loved the process of making these beauties! It was fun and really easy, and produced great results! Let’s be honest, making your own candles sounds a lot more sophisticated than it actually is… and that makes it a winner in my book! Anything that will impress my family and friends while requiring little effort on my part gets a big thumbs up from me.

If you’ve never tried candle making before, you don’t really require too much fancy equipment to get started; although I would definitely recommend purchasing a candle making kit to help get you up and running. This is usually a cheaper option than purchasing the equipment individually, and all kits come with detailed instructions and safety precautions. My first candle making kit was this Creative Candle Making kit from House of Crafts, which provided me with the moulds used in this project. I found it to be really good value for money, as you are given enough supplies to make up to 20 different fragranced and coloured candles! Plus it makes a great Christmas present for craft lovers.

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So let’s get started! 

You will need: 

  • Paraffin wax pellets, approx 500g. You can purchase 1kg of paraffin wax pellets here
  • Wick. I found a really cool article explaining how to make your own candle wick here! Great if you want to save some money.
  • A wick rod. A pencil or lolly pop stick would also work.
  • Red and yellow coloured candle dyes. I used these
  • A fragrance of your choice.
  • A mould sealer. This is just blutac or plasticine.
  • A round candle mould and a pillar mould. This is one of the main reasons I so strongly recommend purchasing a candle making kit, as you will be provided with several moulds to get you started. If however you do wish to purchase your own, I use these moulds for my candles.
  • One large and one smaller saucepan that fits comfortably inside the larger.

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Instructions:

The first thing to do when candle making is to ensure you’re working within close proximity to your cooker. Cover your work top in newspaper in order to protect it from any hot wax that may drip onto it. 

Safety tips:

  • Ensure your water level in your large saucepan is always at least as high as the wax pellets in the small saucepan. Add more water as you melt your wax if you need to.
  • Should you wax catch fire, smother with a damp tea towel. Do not add water.
  1. Prepare your moulds. You need to use a spherical mould for the pumpkin candle and a pillar mould for the Candycorn candle. Pass your wick through the small hole in the top of your mould and out the bottom, leaving around 4cm of wick poking out the top of your candle mould and 12cm of wick at the bottom of the mould to tie around your wick rod. Your wick rod is just something that you can tie your wick to.
  2. With your candle mould upside down (so you will have a large opening facing upwards where you can pour your wax in), balance your wick rod so that it is lying across the candle mould, there will usually be two little grooves on your mould here to help you do this. Tie the end of your wick around the wick rod. Pull your wick tight by the 4cm piece of wick sticking out the top of your candle and seal this end of the wick with a piece of blutac or plasticine, this is just to prevent hot wax dripping out of the mould.
  3. Your mould is now ready for your wax.
  4. Fill your large saucepan about three quarters of the way full with water. Place your small saucepan inside your large saucepan, so that it sits in the water. Begin by making the wax for one of your pumpkin candles. If you want your final pillar candle to look more Candycorn-like than mine, make your yellowy pumpkin first. Place your wax pellets in the small saucepan, you will require around 200g of wax for the mould I used, but don’t worry about melting too much. You will be pouring the excess into your pillar candle anyway.
  5. Heat your wax on a medium heat, stirring occasionally as it melts. Add your dye. You will only require a tiny amount of dye to colour this amount of wax, your dye packaging should give you some sort of guidelines for how much you need.
  6. Once your wax has melted, take it off the heat immediately and add your fragrance. A few drops of this will be sufficient, I’d say 3-5.
  7. Pour your wax into the mould and leave to cool. When you have filled your spherical mould, pour the excess wax into your pillar mould. Place your spherical mould in the fridge overnight to aid you with removing your candle rom the mould.
  8. After leaving your candle overnight in the fridge, you may remove it from the mould. To remove your spherical candle, untie your wick rod and run a blunt knife around the centre join of your mould. You should be able to ease the bottom off, followed by the top.
  9. Now make your orangey/red pumpkin using the same process. Pour your excess wax into the pillar candle on top of your yellow layer.
  10. Now make a white batch of wax by adding no dye this time. You will only need about 50g of wax. Pour this on top of the red layer of the pillar candle before placing this candle in the fridge overnight too.
  11. To remove the pillar candle, remove the wick rod and mould sealer before rapping the mould on a hard work surface firmly. Repeat this until the candle falls out.P1230793.jpg
  12. If you wish to make your candles look extra smooth and shiny like mine, you can carry out a process called glazing. Holding the wick of you candle before you cut it down to size, dip your candle in hot water from the kettle. Once the candle has cooled, polish the candle with an old pair of tights to make it extra shiny!
  13. Once you have done this, add your pumpkin’s face! I used a black permanent marker pen for this, though black acrylic paint would also work.

Ta da! There you have it, your homemade pumpkin candles. I know this post seems incredibly lengthy, but the candle making process really is simple, and great fun. Once you have mastered your basic candle making skills you can try all sorts of new colour and fragrance combinations, and maybe even try adding things like glitter into your hot wax to give your candle some extra sparkle.

That’s all from me today, I hope you’re all enjoying October and getting in the Autumnal mood! If you have any trouble with making your candles or would like to know anything more about the process, please let me know in the comments!

What have you been making for Halloween? Tell me all about it!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn small commission if you choose to purchase certain items that I have linked. All items that have been linked in this post have been tried and tested by me and are my favourites, though not all have been bought from the same suppliers! 🙂 

 

 

Homemade salted caramel sauce

This salted caramel sauce is the perfect accompaniment to all your fall sweet treats! Pair it with apple crumble, cheesecake or on top of cupcakes for the perfect Autumn dessert combo! Best of all, it only uses four ingredients!

Hello my lovely readers! 

Are we all loving this Autumn weather at the moment or is it just me? Jason and I arrived back to (very) rainy Manchester on Wednesday evening following our week long stay in France. Despite the beautiful weather we had while we were there (I was applying suncream by the bucket load), it’s always nice to come back to England and snuggle down under the extra layers of blankets that I have added to my bed in preparation for the winter months. Maybe I’m just strange though…

However, even if you don’t enjoy the wet and windy weather that most of us will be experiencing in the coming months, you’re sure to find some respite with today’s recipe. Introducing to you, my homemade hot salted caramel sauce.

This salted caramel sauce is the perfect accompaniment to all your fall sweet treats! Pair it with apple crumble, cheesecake or on top of cupcakes for the perfect Autumn dessert combo! Best of all, it only uses four ingredients!

This caramel sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream, but I find it also pairs wonderfully with spiced cake and apples at this time of year. I’m not a huge lover of caramel, I find it a bit too sickly for my taste, but this sauce is perfect on top of a dense ginger cake or similar; and full of Autumn flavours in my opinion!

Even better, this salted caramel sauce requires only four ingredients! It’s super easy to make and super tasty to eat- what could be better, right?

Also, no toffee thermometer required! Pretty good, huh?

If you fancy making your own, find my recipe below!

This salted caramel sauce is the perfect accompaniment to all your fall sweet treats! Pair it with apple crumble, cheesecake or on top of cupcakes for the perfect Autumn dessert combo! Best of all, it only uses four ingredients!

Ingredients (makes approximately 240ml/ 1 cup):

  • 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 90g (6 tbs) salted butter, room temperature and cubed. (You could also just use unsalted butter if you did not wish to make salted caramel sauce)
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) double/heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1tsp salt

Method:

  1. Begin by heating your sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Make sure you stir constantly in order to prevent your sugar from burning, use a wooden spoon. As your sugar melts it will turn a lovely amber colour. Continue to stir it continuously.
  2. Once all of your sugar has melted, add your cubed butter. (Take care at this step as your mixture will bubble when you add the butter).
  3. Continue to stir your caramel until all of your butter has melted. This will usually take about 3 minutes.
  4. Now you can add your cream. Do this very slowly, drizzling the cream and taking great care as the caramel will bubble as you do so. Once all of your cream is added, bring your mixture to the boil. Let it bubble for one minute before removing from the heat.
  5. Stir in your salt et voila! There you have it, your own homemade caramel sauce. Super easy, right?
  6. Allow your sauce to cool before using. If stored in an airtight container, this sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe today guys! I think caramel sauce is such a great addition to most bakes at this time of year; add it to apple crumble, use it as a cake topping or drizzle it on a cheesecake for an autumnal twist. You could also package it up in jars with some hessian/burlap ribbon for a cute and unique gift idea! 

If you do choose to store your sauce in the fridge, you will have to warm it up in a microwave or on the stove before you serve it in order to allow it to soften. I find 5 second bursts in a microwave work well.

This salted caramel sauce is the perfect accompaniment to all your fall sweet treats! Pair it with apple crumble, cheesecake or on top of cupcakes for the perfect Autumn dessert combo! Best of all, it only uses four ingredients!

Best wishes to you all, I hope you’re having a wonderful day,

Maddie x

Lemon shortbread hearts filled with blackberry jam

These lemon shortbread hearts make a wonderful gift for loved ones! The zesty lemon shortbread accompanied by the tarty blackberry jam is the perfect sweet treat for these Autumn nights.

Hi guys! I am absolutely loving the autumnal weather that’s taken hold of us here in Lancashire over the past few weeks; even though it’s mostly wet and windy, I must admit that I love the evenings growing darker and getting tucked up on the sofa with Jason as it pours it down outside. 🙂

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When the weather’s dark and miserable, I also love baking. One of my fondest memories from high school was being sent home due to the snow, pulling a wooly jumper on and starting baking some mince pies… but I’m getting ahead of myself here! It’s only October!

Today’s bake is my lemon shortbread hearts filled with homemade blackberry jam. I’d been trying to settle on a good shortbread recipe for a while, before finally deciding on the one in this post. These shortbreads were the perfect amount of zestiness and crumbliness- and the blackberry jam went so well with them!

Ever so moorish, these shortbreads are the perfect sweet treat to be tucking into while wrapped up on the sofa on these dark Autumn days!

Find the recipe below!

Ingredients (makes approximately 12 shortbread hearts):

  • 250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 360g plain flour
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 130g caster sugar
  • Blackberry jam to go in the middle of your biscuits (why not make your own? Find my recipe here)

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150C/
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together. Mix in your lemon zest and juice.
  3. Sift your flour into the mixture and combine. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough.
  4. Wrap your dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Once you have done so, remove from the fridge before rolling out your dough on a floured surface. You want it to be about half a centimetre thick, so 5mm.
  5. Cover your rolled out dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge once again for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Remove your dough from the fridge. You can now cut out your love heart shapes. You will need two love heart cookie cutters, one large one and one small one, for this design, though you could use circular cutters or similar to get the same overall effect.
  7. Cut out 24 hearts using your larger cutter. If you don’t have enough dough for 24, or you’ve got way more, no worries! Cut out as many as you wish, simply ensure that it is an even number.
  8. Leave half of your larger hearts as they are. With the other half, use your smaller cutter to cut the middle out. Place your biscuits on a greased and lined baking tray (Silly me had forgotten to buy more greaseproof paper for this project after running out… I had to use tin foil to line my baking trays- I can confirm it works!)
  9. Sprinkle sugar on top of your biscuits before placing in the oven for approximately 14 minutes.
  10. Allow your shortbread biscuits to cool for 5-10 minutes on your baking tray before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. When your shortbread are completely cooled, Spread a layer of jam on your full heart shaped biscuits. Place a cut out heart biscuit on top and there you have it! Lemon shortbread jam sandwich biscuits!

These biscuits went down a treat, I only wish that I’d made more! I think this is a great recipe to try your hand at as we lead up to Christmas, and they would make a wonderful gift for a loved one (it’s never too early for Christmas, right?).

What have you been baking recently? You know I’d love to hear about it!

 

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Best wishes to you all on these blustery Autumn days!

Maddie x