Rocky Road Traybake

There are certain days when only chocolate cake will do. I would love to claim that this cake was the outcome of a desperate need for chocolate due to a bad day, but it was in fact just a way to entertain the kids and have them working towards pudding for a family dinner! Atticus helped Simon make the main course and Seb and Ophelia joined me on the other side of the kitchen to make pudding. On this occasion, dinner certainly was a full family effort. They are happy memories.

Into the pan.
On go the marshmallows!

This cake also gave me an excuse to open the kilogram bag of mini marshmallows that I managed to find and sent Simon and the kids off to discover for themselves and purchase. There was pure delight when they saw such a large bag of mini marshmallows. Previously they had only seen the 150g bags that I would purchase in Tesco. I did miss an opportunity for a maths lesson asking how many small bags would make up the large bag. Oh well, there’s an idea for next time! I was a mean mum though; I made them wait until I had a definite recipe in mind before we opened them. I knew that if we just opened them, I would blink and they would all be finished! I have three marshmallow-loving kiddies and a husband who isn’t averse to adding them by the handful to his pudding or cereal bowl! They would have been inhaled and while this would have been an impressive feat, I really wanted to prevent this outcome.

To mark the opening of our gigantic bag of marshmallows, we made this Rocky Road Traybake. It is a very think cake sprinkled with raisins, chopped nuts and mini marshmallows and drizzled with melted white chocolate. You will be surprised to hear that it lasted more than 24 hours. Although this is probably because I packaged it away and hid it under the bread in the bread bin! No one thought to look there so it was safe until I was ready to distribute it! However, now I have written this, I shall have to find a new cake hiding place.

Ingredients

  • 115g butter/margarine
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 medium egg
  • 5tbsp milk
  • 50g chopped nuts
  • 40g raisins
  • 20g mini marshmallows
  • 40g white chocolate, melted

Method

  1. Grease and line a brownie pan, or small square/rectangular cake pan and preheat the oven to 160°c fan.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add the egg and beat.
  4. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until combined.
  5. Add the milk and mix until smooth.
  6. Dollop the batter into the baking tin and spread so all the edges are covered. This is meant to be a thin cake, so it may require a bit of effort.
  7. Sprinkle the nuts, raisins and marshmallows on top and place in the oven for 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean (unless you go through a marshmallow!
  8. Allow to cool fully before drizzling with melted chocolate.

I hope you enjoy this traybake as much as my family did and do look for a good hiding place for it so it doesn’t all disappear in a blink!

Look at that chocolatey goodness!
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Banana, Orange and White Chocolate Muffins

Still using cups while we wait for the scales to arrive!

We are in the home stretch. Our shipping crate is allegedly imminent. We will soon have all of the baking supplies that I packed including my scales and beloved brownie pan! To celebrate this auspicious occasion, what did we do?! Yes you’ve got it, we baked! We made Banana, Orange and White Chocolate Muffins.

Mix it all up!

There were bananas in the supermarket recently. Back in the UK I would think nothing of weighing out my bananas and buying them so Seb could eat a daily banana. Here in Stanley, I have to remind myself how lucky I am that Seb is the only one in the family who really loves bananas. In our local supermarket they sell for 50p each unless they are brown when they sell for 25p each. I must confess that after seeing a friend buy brown bananas for banana bread and to freeze for smoothies I quickly followed suit. I bought a 10 bananas and promptly froze 8 in slices to put in cakes. Yes I did also ensure that I cut each banana into the same amount of pieces so that I knew how many slices made up a banana. In case you need to know, in this instance it was 6.

Spot the orange between the muffins!

Having all those bananas in the freezer meant that a banana bake was on the cards. I was in the fortunate enough position to have some leftover white chocolate following my raspberry blondie making session for Simon’s birthday so combined with some orange zest and bananas and boom! There you have it these yummy muffins were born!

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4tbsp melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 100g chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan.
  2. Mush the banana with a fork and make it as smooth as you can.
  3. Put the mashed bananas, flour, sugar, milk and melted butter into a large bowl.
  4. Crack the 2 eggs into a small bowl and gently whisk.
  5. Add the whisked eggs to the bowl and then mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Add the chocolate and the orange zest and mix to ensure they are distributed evenly.
  7. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes until they are golden and springy to the touch.

These didn’t last long, and it wasn’t because we had friends popping in to share them! Atticus and Ophelia did a stellar job and even helped with the washing up and were rewarded with a clean bowl of water with bubbles for their boats. Yes they did get rather soggy and it did necessitate a change of clothes for each child, oh and several tea towels to absorb all the water that had spilled onto the floor!

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Peanut Butter Eve’s Pudding

There are two big things we are currently doing; waiting for our shipping crate with the kids’ toys and books and our car to arrive and adjusting to the new house, living in a small community, the weather conditions and the price and availability of food. The first hurdle for me was that the key to our back door, which faces the sea, is labelled front door and the key for the front door which faces the street is labelled back door. It turns out that the sea is used as point of reference. The first time I tried to lock the front door with the key labelled accordingly, Simon had to come to my rescue as I was getting increasingly frustrated at my lack of progress. Have I changed the key rings around? Nope, I have adapted to that fact and moved on.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive. Yes you can buy them, but gone are the 6 small apples for under £1. This has meant that I have adapted. I found some tinned apples in the supermarket. Now had we still been in the UK, I wouldn’t have contemplated using tinned apples. It does have to be said they are significantly less faff than having to peel, core and chop apples and then stew them. We just opened the tin and spread them out in the Pyrex! Simple!

Simple process and yummy results!

Now apple and peanut butter is a favourite snack of mine and I thought adding the chopped nuts and the peanut butter would make this pudding a bit different. I believe I was right as the peanut butter gave it the qualities of a self-saucing pudding. I could have eaten the whole pudding, but I think I would have had an exceptionally grumpy family had the refrain all the yummies are mummy’s turned out to be true on this occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 8tbsp self raising flour
  • 8tbsp butter/margarine
  • 8tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp chopped nuts (3 to put with the nuts and one for the top)
  • 3-4tsp peanut butter.

Method

Dolloping the cake batter on top of the apple and nut mixture.
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c fan.
  2. Spread all the tinned apples out into the bottom of a Pyrex dish or baking tin. I like to use Pyrex dishes for this kind of pudding so you can see the apple and the cake layer.
  3. Sprinkle or spoon 3tbsp of the chopped nuts over the apples.
  4. Gently dollop the tsps. of peanut butter in random places over the apples.
  5. Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix them all together quickly until they are fully combined.
  6. Spread the cake over the apples and peanut butter and then sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts over the top.
  7. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back when gently touched.
Sprinkling nuts

Much to my delight, this recipe was featured in the Falkland Islands Newspaper, Penguin News. I really hope that you enjoy this pudding as much as we did. Please do get in touch if you make this as we love to hear from people who have used our recipes.

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Tropical Flapjacks

Welcome to my first blog post from the Southern hemisphere! I apologise for the somewhat haphazard recipe, but I must confess I have no scales so all measurements were in cups, well mugs actually, and I doubled the recipe below as we were using a roasting tin. The latter doesn’t bother me though; it merely means that we have more flapjack than I originally planned. Faithful readers are bound to have had enough of me droning on about my love of flapjack, but I shall repeat – my love for flapjacks runs deep and true. I am, however, point blank refusing to buy more baking equipment when we should be receiving my stuff at the end of next month. We shall see how firm my resolve is after another fortnight without my stuff, but for now it is cast-iron strong and not at all faltering…

We are starting to settle into our new home, well we must be if the kids are in the kitchen. It was a bit touch and go when I realised that we had no hangers, but I solved that problem so nearly everything has a home with my slightly wonky logic. I really do hate unpacking so Simon may well have had to delve into his savings of patience while I was putting off the inevitable chore!

Our kitchen set up here is a little different, and to tell the truth it may well take some getting used to, don’t think for a second that the kids would let any of this hinder us. I did let Ophelia wash up after this and I did think that it was going rather well and then I realised that she had used nearly an entire bottle of washing up liquid! Why oh why did I turn my back on her?!

A different set up, but we get on with it!

These are Tropical Flapjacks as they contain orange juice and zest, raisins and desiccated coconut. Tropical in flavour but, it’s just a shame that the August weather in Stanley doesn’t match the summery fruity vibes of these yummy flapjacks. They make me think of sunny memories in Loughborough and Surrey before our departure from the UK. They are perfect for after school snacks (if you are lucky enough that your angels have returned) or puddings or even if the kids are driving you around the bend and you need a little treat.

Ingredients

In they go!
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of golden syrup
  • 1 cup jumbo oats
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 60g raisings
  • 3tbsp orange juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°c fan.
  2. Grease a brownie pan or medium-sized roasting tin if you double the recipe like we did!
  3. Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with the orange juice.
  4. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup over a low heat.
  5. Zest the orange, we used a box grater for this – I did have to remove it from Finch as he was about to grate the orange as well.
  6. Pour both types of oats, the desiccated coconut, the orange zest and the raisins into the melted sugary mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until completely combined.
  7. Dollop the oat mixture into the tin and gently spread it around with the back of the wooden spoon. Make sure there is an even layer.
  8. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the flapjacks are golden. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and slicing.

As usual, I demonstrated my lack of patience by endeavouring to slice them before they were fully cooled. Despite the fact that they crumbled a bit, they were really yummy. I think the kids will have to keep a close eye on me tomorrow morning to ensure that I don’t decide to eat the rest of them for breakfast!

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Rhubarb Maple Muffins

A friend very kindly gifted me some of the rhubarb she grew in her garden. Some of it made its way into rhubarb crumble, which according to another friend is an absolute must if you have any rhubarb, but the rest made its way into these Rhubarb Maple Muffins. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will be unsurprised to hear that these were an experiment. My children and husband seem to have become quite indulgent of all the crazy and hairbrained inspired ideas that we trial in the kitchen. I certainly do have children who are eager to experiment in the kitchen and are generally willing to try new foods even if they don’t initially like them. In time, I am hoping they will learn to put their own flavour combinations together and like a wider range of flavours.

The liquid sweetener makes it easier for little hands to mix together fully.

Rhubarb isn’t known for its super sweet qualities. I quite like it when it retains some of its natural tartness in a bake and isn’t fully masked in sugar. So to compliment its flavour I decided we would use maple syrup instead of sugar in our muffins. The maple syrup adds a nutty flavour to them and as it is a liquid makes it very easy for little chefs to mix all the ingredients together. I will say that I cut all the rhubarb into small pieces as it required a bit of strength and the 2 year old wouldn’t have managed this. Her and her brothers did enjoy seeing what the whole rhubarb looked like complete with its large leaf. I think Ophelia’s favourite thing about it was that it was pink. She was over the moon when she realised we were going to use the pink branches mummy had been given!

Such yummy muffins!

This recipe does make a bakers dozen of muffins which is great when it comes to sharing the spoils, but somewhat frustrating when dividing the mixture and then using another muffin tray for a single muffin… You could make some mini muffins with it too if you are looking to control portion sizes more easily for your tinies and if you are unsure what their reaction will be to rhubarb. For full disclosure, my kids were not a fan of the rhubarb. This will not deter me, I am still going to cook it with them as some of them have enjoyed it in other bakes in the past (Strawberry and Rhubarb Flapjacks). All the grown ups who tried them did give favourable reviews so I am unperturbed!

Filled with rhubarb!

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 300g finely chopped rhubarb
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 180ml maple syrup
  • 180ml milk
  • 100g melted butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan and line 13 muffin holes with cases.
  2. Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Add the rhubarb and orange zest and mix again.
  4. Crack the eggs into a jug and whisk.
  5. Add the milk, melted butter and maple syrup to the beaten egg and whisk again to combine.
  6. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix fully.
  7. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until springy to the touch.
  8. Allow to cool and enjoy.
Her favourite part of this bake!

It always surprises me which part of the recipe my kids end up enjoying the most. In this one, zesting the orange was definitely Ophelia’s favourite task. Licking the bowl was a close second though!

Do your youngsters like rhubarb? Do you think they would like to try these? Please do get in contact if you make this recipe; I would love to hear from you.

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Unicorn Blondies

Unicorns standing to attention.

Every time it feels like I have my children pegged, they turn round an surprise me. I know they don’t do this to be contrary, but their little quirks often leave me bemused. Allow me to enlighten you all further. Ophelia, like most two year old girls, loves pink – it is her favourite colour. No one else in the house is allowed to have that colour as their favourite. I have been told that my favourite colour in no uncertain terms is purple! (This is fine by me, but have I created a little bossy monster?!) She lives for the days when she can wear as many mismatched items of pink clothing and display them to as many people as possible. She is also the little girl who refuses to be left out by her brothers and insists on joining in with their superhero games and who received a Hulk costume for Christmas so she isn’t left out.

She also loves glitter and all things that sparkle. Unicorns it seems fall into this category. She has unicorn toys, a back pack and a lunchbox. So with this bake for World Unicorn Day on the 9 April (yes this is a thing, I was unaware until a post on Instagram informed me of the fact) I thought I would be making these with just her, but the boys also eagerly insisted on joining in – an unexpected, yet welcome surprise (this proves you should never – even subconsciously – try to categorise your children…).

The success of this bake should be measured by the fact that I have had to hide them from everyone so that they don’t gobble them up without me noticing. Because I am clearly the only one who can be trusted with leftover cake in this house… My only motive is to ensure that everyone gets their fair share and so I can take a secret blondie tithe!

Beautiful colours in the blondie.

To make the different colours, we used frozen blueberries and raspberries instead of food dyes. They don’t produce as vibrant a colour as food dyes do, but they do add a really nice fruity taste to them. They also make me think that they are slightly healthier despite all the chocolate!

Ingredients

  • 400g white chocolate (300 for inside the blondies and 100 for on top)
  • 75g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 75g frozen blueberries
  • 75g frozen raspberries

Method

Colouring the blondie, dolloping it into the tin and the pretty pattern it created.

















  1. Remove the blueberries and raspberries from the freezer and allow to defrost a little. I placed mine on defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds each.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°c fan and grease and line a brownie pan.
  3. While still in the packets, bash the chocolate with the end of a rolling pin to make small pieces.
  4. Place 100g of the chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl with the butter and put in a double boiler until all melted. Allow to cool a bit.
  5. Put the sugar and eggs in another bowl and whisk together until smooth and completely combined.
  6. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat together.
  7. Sift in the flour and the baking powder and fold together.
  8. Add another 200g of the bashed chocolate and mix so all the bits are evenly distributed.
  9. Divide the mixture between 3 small bowls as evenly as you can.
  10. Using a stick blender, zap the blueberries and raspberries (in their separate containers) until they are smooth.
  11. Put the blitzed raspberries into one of the blondie bowls and the blueberries into one of the other bowl and mix to combine.
  12. With three separate spoons, dollop alternate blobs of the three mixtures into the brownie pan creating a pretty pattern as you go.
  13. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a while.
  15. Melt the final 100g of white chocolate and drizzle all over the blondies (we used a teaspoon to do this) and decorate with copious amounts of rainbow or unicorn sprinkles or even edible unicorn wafers like we did.
Adding the finishing touches to make them worthy of the unicorns.
Photo bombing unicorn!

I hope you have a sparkly and colourful World Unicorn day filled with rainbows and other beautiful things, but most importantly these Unicorn Blondies. Today is 9 April, and I am happy to report that we have three small squares of blondie left for the kids today. That is good planning and restraint on my part!

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Choccy Toffee Squares

I try alone mummy!

I find baking therapeutic. I even find baking with children relatively therapeutic. This is especially true when the alternative is a 20-minute argument about what board game they should play or TV show they should watch or a meltdown because one little Gilbert didn’t listen to any other little Gilbert’s ideas. The reason for this is generally because any argument can be solved by licking the bowl or by consuming copious amounts of leftover melted chocolate. Yes there are times when the melted butter pot gets knocked over or the flour manages to escape out of the packet and everyone swears they didn’t touch it, but the good in it definitely outweighs the bad and most of the time I get through the activity with my frazzled temper relatively intact! Disclosure; I would like to remind my lovely readers that the more children you try to cook with, the more stressful the undertaking for the ‘responsible’ adult. As a mum who has been cooking with little people for around 5 years, if you manage to get through the planned recipe with no mistakes or cross words I salute you! You deserve all the chocolate!

When I managed to decorate without the children!

These squares were initially mummy-daughter baking time. The boys didn’t participate as they had agreed on a game and were tearing around the garden completely immersed in their imaginations (completely lovely to see especially seeing as it was a rather rotten day). But as is so often true, two is company and three a crowd so Ophelia was at a loose end. And as it is a darn sight easier to cook with just one child rather than my whole tribe, I enjoyed this time with just her and she seemed to enjoy having me completely to herself!

This recipe makes a thin biscuit bar coated in chocolate. Don’t be tempted to place it in a smaller tin for a thicker biscuit. It will fit in a brownie pan when spread out thinly – your little chef may need a bit of help to achieve this. If you are making these bars with small children I recommend using more chocolate to coat them as it is easier to spread a thicker layer of chocolate than a thin one to ensure that the top of the bar doesn’t get damaged. I think these are yummy with desiccated coconut or chopped almonds on the top. Unsurprisingly, Ophelia prefers them with sprinkles – the pinker the better! You will see that she and I compromised and both coconut and multi-coloured stars to decorate one of the batches.

Ingredients

For the biscuit base

  • 100g margarine (or softened butter)
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g porridge oats (this recipe works best with bog standard oats rather than jumbo ones)

For the top

  • If for young children 200g milk chocolate and 50g margarine/butter
  • For older children 150g milk chocolate and 40g margarine/butter
  • Chopped nuts, desiccated coconut or sprinkles to decorate

Method

The concentration level was immense!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan and grease a brownie pan with a silicone baking brush and line it with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the margarine, sugar and egg yolk into a bowl and mix until smooth, pale and creamy.
  3. Sift in the flour and add the oats and gently mix them in.
  4. Carefully spread in the brownie tin (adult help may be required here) and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and melt the chocolate and margarine. This can be done in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave. If you are using the microwave, melt it in short bursts on medium power, ensuring you mix it frequently.
  6. Pour the chocolate over the biscuit base (the tin will probably still be hot, so carefully) and spread with a silicone spatula. Decorate with your toppings of choice.
  7. Cut into squares while still warm and then leave in the tin until they have completely cooled.
The compromise: sprinkles and desiccated coconut!

Every time these are made I am surprised when they survive the night as I am always worried I may decide to sneak down stairs and devour the whole batch before the children wake! Do get in contact if you make these and let me know what you think.

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Chocolate Orange Strudel

What to do with the leftovers from a filo pastry packet!

Do you ever buy a packet of Filo pastry and use only a small amount of it only to be left what you are going to do with the rest of the packet?! Maybe it is just me. I made a Slimming World friendly pie for Simon and my mum and it only called for one sheet of Filo pastry. So I decided the kids and I would use the rest in a sweet recipe. As they are often reluctant to try crumble and recipes with stewed fruit (please read here, wouldn’t touch stewed fruit with a barge pole) I decided to try and alter the texture of the cooked fruit with masses of crushed bourbon biscuits, and a couple of tablespoons of Sweet Freedom Spiced Orange Choc Shot. The kitchen smelt amazing while we had this on the stove! I would have happily eaten the oranges, crushed biscuits and Choc Shot mixture straight from the pan. I was instead on my best behaviour as Seb was in charge of the pan and I didn’t want to be admonished by a six year old!

Orange slicing in full swing.

This recipe was so much fun to make; the kids had fun crushing biscuits and painting the filo pastry with melted butter. It’s true that the filo pasty sheets are fragile and they did need help moving single sheets before painting them, but we didn’t have any major mishaps! Also we put the melted butter in a wider based bowl than the last time we worked with filo pastry so I didn’t have any melted butter to clear up!

Dollop it on!
Roll it up!

Ingredients

  • 100g melted butter
  • 3 oranges, peeled
  • 4-5tbsp of light muscovado sugar
  • 100g bourbon biscuits (or any other chocolatey biscuits)
  • 100g walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. Sweet Freedom Spiced Orange Choc Shot
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c and put a silicone baking sheet on a baking tray.
  2. Slice the oranges into bite-sized pieces, bash the walnuts and crush the chocolate biscuits.
  3. Put a couple of tbsp. of melted butter into a saucepan and add the oranges over a low heat.
  4. Add the walnuts, crushed biscuits and the Choc Shot and mix all well. You should have a sticky chocolatey mess. It should be thick and not runny.
  5. Lay a single sheet of filo pastry on the silicone baking mat and paint with melted butter and add a sprinkling of the muscovado sugar.
  6. Add another sheet of filo pastry and repeat step five. Continue until you have used all the sheets of filo pastry.
  7. Place the filling down one long side of the pastry and roll it up to make a long sausage, tucking the ends in as you role (I did this bit).
  8. Ensure the strudel is seam-side down and brush with melted butter and the remaining muscovado sugar.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and crisp and the pastry is cooked through. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling with icing sugar and serving with ice cream and/or more Choc Shot.
Oh yum!

Two out of the three kids loved this recipe so I am counting it as a win. I thought it was yummy and would have happily scoffed the whole strudel all by myself. The only thing that stopped me is that I had had quite a cake-heavy day and I really thought I should lay off more sweet treats or I would have had a sugar rush all night!

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Slow Cooker Steamed Lemon Sponge

And just like that the Christmas holidays are over for another year. Part of me is rather looking forward to having a bit more time to get everything done, but the other part of me is mourning the end of the holiday time and the fact that the boys are returning to school. As a last fun activity for the holidays I thought it would be fun to experiment in the kitchen with a steamed sponge. If the thought of having to watch the pan and continuously top up the water puts you off making a steamed sponge, we cooked ours in the slow cooker.

You could make this with any flavour jam or curd that you have leftover in the fridge or even some gift jars like we did. As we made lemon sponge we put in lemon zest and juice, but altering the flavours would be really easy. For a vanilla sponge, use 1tsp of vanilla extract and your jam flavour of choice. For a chocolate sponge, remove a tbsp of the flour and add a tbsp of cocoa powder and 100g of chocolate chips and use chocolate spread instead of jam or curd. I am sure a chocolate-based pudding is pretty much a firm favourite in most households!

Atticus zesting. Shortly before he tried to eat the lemon without the skin!

Since starting cooking with the kids regularly, I have learnt that asking small hand to hold a citrus fruit and have a go at zesting invariably ends up with somewhat grumpy children. They want to complete the task, but as yet are unable to hold such a large fruit and operate the zester at the same time. To enable them to complete more of recipes using zest on their own, we tend to use a tub grater with the small grater attachment to achieve fine zest. Atticus managed this admirably for this recipe and was quite sad when he had done it all! It may seem obvious, but maybe this tip will help someone. It took longer than it probably should have for the penny to drop for me!

In the slow cooker on high for 3 hours.

The one bit of this recipe the kids didn’t do by themselves, was folding the lid and tying the string around the pudding basin. This can be a bit of a tricky process. I had Seb lay the foil down first and then the baking parchment over it. We folded it in half and then he painted the greaseproof paper with butter. I tied the string round in a double knot while he held on to the edges of the paper to ensure it all went under the string. I did also let Atticus pour the water into the slow cooker. Yes we did have a bit of a puddle on the surface and the floor as the jug was too full for him to accurately gauge the angle and say splish splosh at the same time!

Ingredients

  • Butter/margarine for greasing the pudding basin and parchment
  • 5tbsp of lemon curd
  • 175g butter/margarine (remove from the fridge early to soften if using butter)
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1tbsp milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
The entire lemon sponge in all its yummy glory!

Method

  1. Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with lots of butter or margarine. We always use silicone brushes to do this and the kids have fun painting the surface.
  2. Put the 5tbsp of lemon curd in the bottom of the basin and put to one side while making the sponge.
  3. Put all the ingredients for the sponge in a large bowl and mix together until fully combined. We used electric beaters to do this.
  4. Pour or dollop the cake mixture into the pudding basin over the lemon curd.
  5. Lay out a bit of foil which is large enough to cover the pudding basin with a bit extra and then a piece of baking parchment on top of it. Put a fold vertically down the middle and grease the baking parchment with butter.
  6. Put the baking parchment (butter side down) over the pudding basin and tie the string round in with a knot. You could also fashion a handle from the string, but I don’t tend to.
  7. Pour water into your slow cooker so that it reaches half way up your pudding basin. We used cold water so the kids could decant the water.
  8. Put the slow cooker on high for 3 hours. I checked the progress of ours by peaking under or poking a skewer through the wrapping at 2 hours. The pudding is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
  9. When out of the slow cooker, uncover and turn the pudding out onto a plate. Serve immediately with custard or ice cream or even plain.

You could also make this on the stove in a large pan allowing it to simmer for 2 1/2 hours. I have found that this is a wonderfully adaptable and versatile pudding. We made ours after lunch and served it for pudding at our evening meal after afternoon when it was ready.

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Bounty-ful Baked Doughnuts

Coconut didn’t feature very much in my childhood. I am certainly making up for that now. I can’t seem to shake the need to buy Bounty bars or to make copious bakes with the chocolate and coconut combination. I do have to try an find a more inventive place to hide my secret stash of chocolate though as my husband has discovered it and I need to ensure its safety!

This time, I decided that we would used baked doughnuts to showcase the chocolate-coconut combination and decorate with pieces of Bounty bars. The whole process was really fun, but for the kids the best bit was dunking the doughnuts and then counting out the three slices of Bounty to decorate them. I would be lying if I said these survived 24 hours in our house. I won’t tell you how long they lasted, but I can guarantee I didn’t eat the majority of them. I am surprised by this (I have a very big sweet tooth), although you may not be.

Ingredients

This recipe makes 9 doughnuts.

For the doughnuts

  • 125ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 25ml melted coconut oil (just under 1/4 cup when solid)
  • 100ml coconut flavour Greek style natural yoghurt
  • 1tsp coconut flavour
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 100g sugar
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 100g chocolate chips

For the glaze

  • 2tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3-5 tbsp water
  • 3 large Bounty bars, sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c and grease your doughnut trays. We have silicone doughnut trays, but I do tend to give them a spray with frylight anyway.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and put all the liquid ingredients in a large jug and mix them until fully combined.
  3. Put the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and mix.
  4. Make a well in the centre and pour the liquid ingredients into it. Bring it all together with a spoon.
  5. Add the desiccated coconut and chocolate chips and make sure they are evenly distributed.
  6. Put an equal amount of the mixture in each of the 9 doughnut moulds and place in the oven for 15-17 minutes until they have risen, are golden and springy to the touch.
  7. Leave to cool in the moulds for a little bit before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Meanwhile slice the Bounty bars and make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. This glaze needs to be quite thick for the Bounty slices to stay on well. You may need to add extra icing sugar.
  9. Dunk one side of each doughnut in the glaze and then decorate with Bounty slices. Leave to set before enjoying.

Go on! Make some – they are yummy!

The kids are eager to make these again soon as they were so easy and yummy so keep your eyes peeled for more flavour variations! Do drop me a line if you make these. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I shall leave you with another picture of the yummy Bounty-ful doughnuts to encourage you that you really do want to give this recipe a go!

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