No one informed us - family bereavement
Should we ban them? - politicians on TV
Hard to develop relationship - family far away
We know that two thirds of gransnetters enjoy spending quality time in the kitchen with their grandchildren. Hardly surprising: not only is baking with little ones fun, but you'll also end up with a
mostly edible delicious bake that you can eat together afterwards! So whether they're a mini Mary <gah - we miss her on GBBO already> or a pint-sized Paul, or have never picked up a rolling pin or licked the bowl, here are some fun recipes for baking with kids.
1. Melt the chocolate bars and the butter over a gentle heat until well melted (you will need a big saucepan). This will take a while and quite a bit of stirring - and make sure the mixture doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.
2. When it has melted, add enough Rice Krispies so that you can still stir them into the mixture, and stir until they are all covered.
3. When they are well coated, put into individual cake cases and lightly press down. Alternatively, pop into a brownie tin and cut into squares when cooled. For extra creativity, add marshmallows to the mixture or brightly-coloured Smarties. For added luxury and to make them a bit more grown up, you could add a chocolate top or chips to the mixture.
For the topping
N.B. They may be bouncing off the walls after this one.
For the cake:
For the decoration:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Grease a 25cm cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and light.
3. In a separate bowl, stir the sunflower oil and vanilla extract into the beaten eggs.
4. Gradually beat the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, adding only a little egg mixture at a time and making sure it is well incorporated before adding more, until all of the egg mixture has been incorporated and the mixture is well combined.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder until well combined.
6. Gradually fold the flour mixture to the cake batter mixture, a spoonful at a time, until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated into the cake batter.
7. Add the flat cola to the cake batter and stir carefully.
8. Pour the cake batter into the greased lined cake tin. Level the top of the cake out with a palette knife or spatula. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking regularly, or until the cake has risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. If the top of the cake browns too quickly during cooking, cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil.
9. Carefully remove the cake from its tin and set aside on a wire rack to cool.
10. When the cake has cooled, cut the cake in half or thirds horizontally to create the layers.
11. Spread the jam over one of the cakes, then spread the whipped cream over the jam layer. Place the second cake on top to create a sponge sandwich.
12. Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and suspend a heatproof bowl over the simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate to the bowl and allow to melt.
13. Spread the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake.
14. While the chocolate is still soft, place the decorations over the cake. Set aside to cool.
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2 and line a 20.5cm round tin with greaseproof paper and grease with oil.
2. Place the mixed fruit into a large saucepan, pour over the apple juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes, then allow to cool.
3. Cream the margarine and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour and mixed fruit.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and leave for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire cooling tray. Sprinkle the top of the cake lightly with brown sugar whilst still warm.
1. Cream the butter and sugar.
2. Add one egg and a tablespoon of sieved flour, then the other egg (if using).
3. Blend in the rest of the flour and add a teaspoon of vanilla flavouring.
4. Add milk until it drops off the spoon (may not be necessary).
5. Put the mixture into 16-18 cases.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
7. Decorate as desired.
Lemon curd topping:
1. Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, mix in the beaten eggs and fold in the flour. Carefully fold in the lemon juice and zest. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
3. Using a knife, cut out a small piece on the top of each cupcake and spoon in a small amount of lemon curd. Trim the removed cake and replace on top of the lemon curd. Repeat until all cakes are 'curded'.
4. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter into the icing sugar until it looks like fine breadcrumbs and add the lemon zest. Tip in the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffly (be careful - if you overwhip it will go runny and cannot be used).
5. Top each cake with the cream cheese icing, eat and enjoy!
And if you're in need of some cake decorating inspiration - your grandchild will think your cakes look oh so pretty with these piped roses...
1. Rub the margarine into the flour.
2. Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
3. Mash the banana and add milk to volume 150ml.
4. Stir into mixture.
5. Knead lightly.
6. Push onto floured work surface - until about 1.25cm (0.5in) thick and cut into rounds or stars.
7. Paint lightly with milk.
8. Cook at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for about 10 minutes until golden and yummy. They taste even more delicious when warm.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and grease shallow oblong tray (18cm x 28cm).
2. Break the chocolate up into a bowl, add butter and melt over a pan of simmering water.
3. When it has melted, take off heat and mix in all the other ingredients.
4. Spread the mixture into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes.
5. Let the mixture cool in the tin for 10 minutes. It will sink a little bit. Then cut into squares and cool on wire rack.
6. Store in a biscuit tin.
1. Heat margarine/butter with syrup and sugar in a small saucepan until mixed and melted, but not boiling.
2. Sift the spices and flour into a large bowl.
3. Mix the baking powder with a little cold water and add this to the warmed margarine/syrup/sugar mixture. Take care when dealing with the melted fat and syrup mixture.
4. Add this (now frothing) mixture to the flour and mix to a dough. Let it cool for about an hour and then use as needed for biscuits or houses. If it gets too dry, add a little water. If its too wet, add a little flour. It's pretty foolproof.
5. Cook on baking parchment at 170°C/Gas mark 3 in a fan oven. Small shapes only need about 10 minutes, large a little more. You can cut holes and add broken boiled sweet for window panes. Make hanging holes with a sharp tool when they come out of oven and are still soft. They crisp up as they cool and will keep for a good week in an airtight tin.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
2. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and then place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper - you can make your cookies any size you fancy but, as a guide, a heaped tablespoon makes a good sized cookie. Be sure to leave a reasonable gap between each cookie to allow them to expand during baking.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown in colour. When cooked, place onto a cooling rack. Decorate if required.
The great thing about this recipe is you can add anything you fancy: chocolate or chocolate chips, dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas), nuts, oats and/or cereals (for cookie-flapjacks), mixed spice cinnamon or nutmeg. You can also use almond essence rather than vanilla if preferred.
If you really want to keep it quick and fuss-free with no need to fire up the oven, then watch our easy-to-follow video guide to whipping up these delicious bars using just almonds, dates, peanut butter, maple syrup and oats.
|3 Blonde Bears Personalised Apron||Taylor's Eye Witness Cookie Cutters|
A fabulous and thoughtful gift for budding bakers made from 100% cotton.
|This colourful assortment will add some extra fun to home baking.|
Buy: £15, notonthehighstreet.com
|Buy: £5, John Lewis|
|Edible Cake Decorating Brush Pens||Teddy Bear Birthday Cake Starter Kit|
Bring colouring to the kitchen with these fine-tipped pens. Ideal for adding decoration to icing.
|A six-piece set, including a baking pan and candy eyeballs, to create the ultimate teddy bear cake.|
Buy: £9.99, Lakeland
|Buy: £15, Hobbycraft|