31 August 2015

Bank Holidays, Bake-offs and Blueberries

My daughter loves baking and we've headed to the kitchen together countless times over the last few years to whip up a variety of tasty goodies, but it's something my older son has never been interested in - preferring instead to use the quiet time with his sister preoccupied to get in some quality X-Box time.

baking with kids

Over the last couple of weeks though, the young chap has found himself caught up in the highs and lows of the Great British Bake Off, and this weekend he uttered the words I never expected to hear from him 'Mum, can I help you do some baking soon?'
Since the iffy bank holiday weather meant we weren't likely to get much outdoor adventuring done, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some baking done as we were due to see family so would have an array of willing cake-eaters around.

We quickly managed to recruit my nephew to our baking team too and between the three of them they had all the tasks covered, so all I had to do was supervise and do the oven bits. For the record, I managed to make a mess of meagre tasks (by not putting the oven on high enough!) but as you can see, I wasn't the only one making a mess!

baking with kids

Issues of oven temperatures and incorrect ingredients (yes, also my job - they were meant to be blueberry and white chocolate cakes but I picked up the wrong kind of chocolate! Still, who doesn't like milk chocolate?!) aside, they turned out pretty handsome I reckon! Here's how we made them:

150g sugar
50g butter
1 egg
150g self-raising flour
100ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g fresh blueberries
50g chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 190. Mix together butter and sugar, break in an egg and whisk all together. Sift and fold in the flour. Add milk, vanilla essence, blueberries and chocolate and mix everything in thoroughly. Divide mixture between 12 bun cases and bake for 15 minutes.

kids baking
The young ones, as you may expect, were not the most patient when waiting for the cakes to cool enough to decorate but I somehow managed to convince them to hang on. We made the icing by cooking a handful of blueberries in a pan with a couple of spoonfuls of water. After a few minutes we squished the blueberries and sieved the product, leaving us with some lovely purple blueberry water. We mixed this with icing sugar until we hit the desired consistency and used it to ice the cakes, topping each one with blueberries.

fruity cakes

Sticking fruit in cakes is a great way of making them feel healthier without compromising on taste - I especially like avoiding horrible food dyes to get this ace shade. Plus, my recently health-conscious cousin (you all know Carl, don't you?) has been lecturing me on the low calories in an egg as well as all their other health benefits (tonnes of protein and vitamins and the like - British Lion Eggs are full of info!) On this basis, I'm absolutely convinced these are good for me, and I'm off to go get another!

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