Butterfly cakes

Quick, easy and just gorgeous!! My two love making the butterfly wings more than anything :-))) 100g butter 100g caster sugar 2 eggs 100g self raising 1 tsp baking powder 175 g butter for the icing 350g icing sugar Usual procedure cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and then sift the flour and baking powder. Then bake at 180 for about 15 to 20 mins. For the wings, cut a slice from the top of each cake and then cut this in half. Pipe or spoon your buttercream in and then place your sponge halves into the cream to look like wings. Adorable. Enjoy x

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Make a battenberg cake

My daughter has been asking to make this cake for as long as I can remember and today we finally got our chance to give it a whirl. Ingredients sourced, food dye at the ready, marzipan ready to roll. What fun!!! It was a little lob sided but on the whole we were very pleased with our first attempt!! We used Mary Berry’s recipe but this one I’m sure would be just as good. Happy baking slow mummies and slow daddies alike – might try a blue boy version next!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/battenburg_cake_60878

Design a dessert

This was fun. I supplied the kids with a selection of yummy ingredients and then gave them ‘carte blanche’ to come up with their own dessert. British Bake off eat your heart out, my daughter came up with the idea of creating a dessert ‘tower’ made up of multiple layers of thinly sliced cake and strawberries. She put some ice cream on the side and delicately sprinkled some chocolate drops on top. It looked amazing. I was very impressed. My son was happy to serve himself with a giant dollop of ice cream and squeeze a pint of chocolate sauce on top so all in all, everyone was happy !!!!! A lovely culinary ‘slowie’. We were quite content !!

Make some hot cross buns

It’s still Easter…kind of!! Found this recipe on the BBC Good Food site and had a whirl with the munchkins. Our first time!! They’ were delicious!!!

450g strong white flour

2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast

50g caster sugar

150ml warm milk

1 egg, beaten

50g unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp mixed spice

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

100g currants

4 tbsp plain flour and 2 tbsp granulated sugar to decorate

  1. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.
  2. Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
  3. Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.
  4. Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  5. When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns. A-MAZ-ING!!!

Easter nest cakes

Easter nest cakes are a classic at this time of the year and are just brilliant for making with children. Apart from melting the chocolate, they can make them pretty much by themselves. Here you go ……………

8 shredded wheats (full size)

4 digestive biscuits

2 handfuls mini marshmallows

2 handfuls sultanas

200g chocolate

Jelly beans to decorate

Break up the shredded wheat into a large mixing bowl (using fingers !!)

Break up the digestives into little pieces then stir into the shredded wheat, along with the marshmallows and sultanas.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt

Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of shredded wheat and then mix until everything is evenly coated.

Share the mixture between approx 16 paper cases and press down in the centre to create the nest effect.

Nestle three jelly beans or mini eggs in the centre of each nest and then pop in the fridge to harden for an hour.

THEN MUNCH AWAY!!!!

Make a banana loaf

My two do love to ‘squish a banana’ so here’s a perfect recipe for all you fellow ‘squishers’ out there……ENJOY!

INGREDIENTS
100g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 small ripe bananas, mashed
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
icing sugar to dust (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 160C fan. Lightly grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl for about two minutes, until well-blended. Spoon into the prepared tin, and bake for about one hour, until well risen and golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

EAT!!!

Make a butterfly sandwich

I don’t know about yours but my two are much more likely to eat their ‘grub’ if it’s served interestingly. So next time you’re thinking of serving them a plain, old sandwich why don’t you try making a butterfly shaped one instead. All you need is some sliced bread, cream cheese or equivalent , bananas, raisins, olives and vegetable slices. Cut the bread diagonally, place the triangles point to point to make a butterfly  shape, spread the bread with the cream cheese, peanut butter or whichever bread spread you’re into, then decorate with pickles, banana slices, raisins or olives and then cut the carrots or peppers into thin strips for the antennae. They’re ultra cute and they’re wolfed down too! Bon appetite sandwich munchers!