8 articles Tag baking

Teaching Kids to Bake WITHOUT Making Cakes!

bake with kids - cauliflower cheeseAs you’ll know if you read this blog (or The Keto Life) regularly, 2017 has been a year of lifestyle changes in our house, not just for Husband and I but for the girls, too. The summer was a bit of a lapse for us all, as we ate and drank what we wanted (which included a few too many Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) but now that school has started again we’re all trying to get back to a healthier lifestyle. The problem with this is that the girls and I absolutely love to bake together and we don’t want to give up just because we’re not eating cake, so we’ve been trying to cook together but deviate from the usual biscuit and cake offerings!

One of our favourite things to make (and eat!) is our own low carb take on cauliflower cheese, which is really easy to make, tastes incredible and is simple enough for the girls to get involved with. www.worktop-express.co.uk have asked us to share our recipe with you:

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)
 
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A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
Author:
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Baking
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • A head of cauliflower
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 20g grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and par-boil for 10-15 minutes, until it just starts to go soft (there is nothing worse then HARD cauliflower in cauli cheese, if you ask me!)
  2. In a separate bowl, place the double cream, cream cheese, 200g of the cheddar (keeping some back for sprinking on top before baking) and garlic powder and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted together. Stir to combine fully.
  3. Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool for a minute (this will allow more moisture to evaporate away and stop you from ending up with a watery sauce at the end)
  4. Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9"x9" Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
  6. Bake at 180° for 25 minutes and the finish under a hot grill for a minute or two to get a really browned-off finish
Nutrition Information
Serving size:  Calories: 432 Fat: 38.2g Saturated fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 58mg Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 16.7

This cauliflower cheese contains just 5.8g of carbs and is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially if you’re trying to avoid carbs. It feels like a rich, cheesy treat which won’t derail a low-carb diet and making it with the kids is really fun, especially if you’ve got kids of different ages – one can chop cauliflower and one can mix ingredients so they both feel involved and get to do things at their own level.

Do you bake with your kids? Have you got any fab healthy baking recipes to share? I’d love to see them.

Mum’s the Word’s Mega Mince Pies

About 10 years ago, I went to a work Christmas get together where someone had put on a little spread of festive nibbles. One of the things that was on offer was mince pies (obviously!), but these mince pies were a little different. Instead of a fully enclosed pie, the top was nestled on a dollop of brandy butter and it made them taste incredible – like Christmas on steroids!! I decided that I’d try to recreate something similar and thought I’d share them with you here:

Mum's the Word's Mega Mince Pies
 
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Mince pies with added kick!
Author:
Recipe type: Christmas Baking
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • One pack of chilled JusRoll shortcrust pastry
  • One jar of mincemeat
  • Small pot of brandy butter
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • (You'll also need a dimpled baking tray, a 2.5" pastry cutter and a star-shaped pastry cutter - we also placed a pastry holly leaf on the top of each star but these aren't absolutely essential if you don't have a holly leaf cutter)
Instructions
  1. (Before you start, take the JusRoll out of the fridge and leave for half an hour to reach room temperature)
  2. Cut out 12 cirlcles of JusRoll and place in your baking tray
  3. Place a moderate teaspoon of mincemeat in each pastry case
  4. Bake at 160c (fan oven) for 25 minutes
  5. Cut out 12 stars and place on a flat, non-stick baking tray
  6. Bake at 160c for around 15-18 minutes
  7. Allow everything to cool completely
  8. Place a dollop of brandy butter (about half a teaspoon) on top of each mince pie and top with a pastry star
  9. Dust with icing sugar before serving

mega mince pies
It’s a super simple recipe which the kids will probably love to help with and it takes a really short time to prep and cook, but the result is fantastic and takes your mince pies to the next level.

Merry Christmas!

BKD London Baking Kits Review and Discount Code #bkdbakes

If there’s one thing that Sausage and I love to do together, it’s baking. We’re never happier than when we’re in the kitchen, working together to make something tasty for the family, so when the lovely folk at BKD London got in touch and asked if we’d like to try one of their baking kits for kids, we agreed straight away. Even the boxes they come in are gorgeous!

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The kits contain everything you need to make gingerbread men, apart from butter and golden syrup, including the cutter and everything to decorate them. The instructions were really clear – so much so that I basically stood back and let Sausage do everything herself (minus a little help with measuring and weighing).

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The whole process from beginning to end was super simple – the only part that Sausage didn’t like was having to wait for her gingerbread dough to chill before she could roll it out! Here’s the finished product:

BKD London cookies

They tasted absolutely delicious!

These kits come in a number of varieties (I’ve got my eye on the unicorns!) and would make an amazing sticking filler for any kid who loves baking. The best news is that we’ve got a 10% off code for all Mum’s the Word readers. Just enter the code MUMSTHEWORD10 at the checkout. Happy baking!

Sponsored Post: World Baking Day with Stork

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Today’s the day! Then one we’ve been planning for a couple of weeks; today is World Baking Day and the lovely people at Stork challenged us to make something spectacular for someone special, using Stork. As you’ll know if you read our previous post, we chose to make for my mother-in-law, as a thank you for everything she does for us and for being an all-round brilliant person.

We decided to bake a Victoria sponge cake as it’s MIL’s favourite, and we made it special by using fresh cream. Also, MIL isn’t a fan of the bits in jam, so Sausage and I painstakingly sieved every single pip out of the jam before spreading it on the cake as we couldn’t seem to find any jam without bits in the supermarket! Here’s the end result:

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Needless to say, MIL was chuffed with her surprise. We had her round for Sunday dinner and fed her a lovely lamb roast before presenting her with the cake and although she needed half an hour to let her dinner go down, we all enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea as soon as we had enough room.

Baking with someone special in mind always makes the process that much nicer, in my opinion. Sausage and I put more care and attention into the cake than we would have during any normal baking session because we wanted it to be perfect for MIL, who really deserves the best.

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We had a lovely time doing this project. From preparing and baking the cake, surprising MIL and enjoying it together as a family, it’s been a wonderful undertaking from the beginning and something that Sausage and I will definitely be doing again. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well the cake turned out, never having actually used Stork before but the sponge was light and fluffy and tasted amazing.

Thanks to Stork for setting this challenge, to Sausage for being my beautiful assistant and mostly thanks to my mother-in-law, for being the sort of person  we want to make cake for and not being a stereotypical nightmarish MIL! We love you!

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Sponsored by Stork.

Sponsored: Bake the Worlds’ Happiest Cake with Stork on World Baking Day

World Baking Day 2015World Baking Day falls on 17th May and the lovely people at Stork are encouraging people to bake themselves happy by creating the world’s happiest cake. You see, the concept behind it is that baking makes you happy, de-stresses you and adds to your overall feeling of well-being. Therefore, if you bake a cake with the best ingredients and serve it up to your favourite people then you’ll end up with the happiest cake in the world!

Stork are asking people to choose someone for whom to make a cake and to get baking on 17th May to spread the happiness and I thought I’d blog all about my baking journey to share with you guys.

The person I’ve chosen to bake for is my Mother in Law, who we’ll call MIL for the purposes of this post! My MIL is genuinely one of the nicest people in the world. When I hear my friends moan about their in laws, I’m never able to join in because there’s nothing I can moan about. She’s the sort of person who’d help anybody if they needed her, she’s always there with a cuppa and a packet of Penguins if we need a shoulder to cry on and the girls, Sausage and Burrito Baby, absolutely adore her. She’s a proper Nan, feeding them up on biscuits when they go to her house having us over for fish and chips on a Saturday so we can all spend time together.

MIL is also one of those people who rarely takes time for herself, so Husband and I like to spoil her when we can, be it taking her for meals or just having her over to us for dinner and a film. She’s one in a million and absolutely deserves to be baked for on this special day.

MIL is fairly simple in her tastes, going for classics rather than fancy new flavours, so we’ve decided to honour her with a Victoria sponge cake, which is her favourite, and we’ll make is special by using fresh whipped cream for the filling, as well as using Stork instead of butter.  Victoria sponge should be super light and fluffy and Stork is a great way for ensuring it’ll turn out perfectly.

I’ll be reporting back after World Baking Day to show you how we got on and what MIL thought of her cake, so keep your eyes peeled for that. In the meantime if you’d like to get involved, or encourage your own blog readers to take part, you can visit the following pages for more information:

Visit worldbakingday.com/uk for more details and select that special someone
to bake for.
Join the World Baking Day Community on Facebook
Follow the World Baking Day on Twitter, Instagram, Google +
Pin the World Baking Day on Pinterest
Check out Stork’s Website, Facebook and Twitter

Stork

Sponsored by Stork

Spring Cake Pops with Renshaw Baking

logoWhen the people at Renshaw Baking got in touch and asked if we’d like to enter their competition to make some Spring-inspired cake pops, Sausage and I jumped at the chance as it seemed like a great activity for the Easter holidays. Our bundle of goodies arrived in the post and included the following:

200g Colour Melts Blue Tub, 200g Colour Melts Green Tub, 200g Colour Melts Pink Tub, 200g Colour Melts Red Tub, 200g Colour Melts White Tub, 200g Colour Melts Yellow Tub, 250g of flower and modelling paste, 130g of Multi-Coloured Sprinkles,165g of Multi-Coloured Hundreds and Thousands

We decided to make our lives easier by using a bag of pre-mixed sponge mixture and ready-made icing, so it was just a case of chucking the cake into a bowl with some milk and egg, baking it and then crumbling it into a bowl once cooked and cooled. We added the icing, spoon by spoon until we’d achieved a good ratio of cake:icing and a pleasant consistency (which can ONLY be judged by tasting copious amounts as you go along. Ahem…) Sausage and I decided to use all of the melts and just wing it, hoping that something beautiful would happen spontaneously. Here are our results:

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What I will say here is that making cake pops is NOT as easy as it looks! Here’s how we did it, along with some handy tips:

1. Once you’ve mixed your cake and icing and achieved a good consistency (not too sloppy as it needs to bind well into balls) you’ll need to roll it into balls using your hands. Remember to remove any rings as they’ll end up very cakey and will hinder your ability to roll good balls.

2. Make sure your balls aren’t too big. When we first started rolling, we made our balls about the same size as a golf ball, but this was FAR too big and when you put them on the sticks, the cake balls slide down under their own weight. We then halved them and they were perfect.

3. When you melt your colour melts, give them an extra few seconds to make sure they’re slightly runnier as  otherwise when you dip your cake, the weight of the melts will pull the cake off of the stick if it’s too thick.

We were pretty easy-going about decorating our pops, trying different colour combinations as we went and the first few were disastrous, but I think our successful pops were pretty cool, and definitely reminiscent of spring! We also bought some edible flower decorations and stuck them into the melts just before they completely solidified and the effect was great. We also noticed how much they looked like Foofah from Yo Gabba Gabba, so if you wanted to make some Foofah cake pops for your little one, this is a really easy way to do it!

Have you ever made cake pops before? Do you have any pro-tips to add? Let us know.

Bavarian-Style Pretzels

Last week, we went to Lakeside for our Build-a-Bear experience and on the way out, grabbed a pretzel each from the vendor there. Not the small, hard pretzels that you get in bags but the large, bready ones that you find in Germany, and we all loved them.

Husband has been to Germany many times and even to a few proper beer kellers in Munich where they have ladies walking around selling freshly baked ones, but he’d only ever had a pretzel at Disneyland, so I decided to have a go at making our own, so that we can have them whenever we want.

After a little research, I discovered that true Bavarian pretzels are dipped into Lye (caustic soda) before baking to get the shiny, dark brown exterior but it’s difficult to buy food-grade Lye in the UK as it’s quite dangerous and can dissolve human flesh! We discovered that you can use a bath of bicarbonate of soda and water as a substitute, which doesn’t give such a deep-brown shine but still gives a good colour and crisp, so I thought I’d give you all the recipe and method to make your own.

 
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Ingredients
1 sachet of active yeast (7g or  teaspoons)
520g self-raising flour
350 ml warm water 
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
Bicorbonate of Soda
Water
Sea Salt
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Knob of butter, melted
 
Method

^ Heat the oven to 200c

^ Start by placing the yeast in a large bowl with 30ml of the warm water and mix until dissolved

^ Add the brown sugar

^ Sift in the salt and flour

^ Add the remaining warm water

^ Start bringing the mixture together with a wooden spoon

^ Once you have a solid mass, start kneading

^ Knead the dough for ten minutes until smooth and elastic. It doesn’t need to prove before shaping

^ Grab a saucepan and add three cups of water and 6 tbsps bicarbonate of soda and bring to the boil

^ Allow to simmer until all soda has dissolved then remove from heat and allow to cool a little

^ Cut your kneeded dough into 8 equal pieces

^ Take each piece and roll into a long snake which is slightly thicker in the middle, about 15 inches long

^ Make the pretzel shape by holding each end of the snake, crossing the lengths over each other twice and sticking the ends at if they were at twenty to four on a clock

^ Place on two baking trays lined with parchment paper and allow to stand for ten minutes

^ Take the moulded dough shapes and one by one, submerge into the bicarb solution for about ten seconds

^ Place the dipped dough onto the parchment paper, four on each tray and reshape a little if needed

^ Once all of the dough has been dipped, season one tray with sea salt

^ Bake all of the pretzels at 200c for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown

^ Brush all of the pretzels lightly with a little melted butter and add more salt to the savoury ones

^ Mix the icing sugar and cinammon in a bowl and sift over the 4 unseasoned pretzels

Enjoy while warm!

UPDATE: Carolin and Helen were true to their word below and both made their own pretzels! You can find their recipes HERE and HERE.

Banana, Blueberry and Walnut Cake (It’s Healthy, Honest!)

I start my new job tomorrow so I wanted to do something nice with Sausage  today, but while we were getting ready to go out, the sky went black and didn’t fill me with much of a desire to go out and get tiddled on, so I suggested we do some baking instead. The trouble is, I’m trying to lose weight, so I had to find something vaguely healthy for us to make. My friend Kerry (And Then All I Thought About Was You) mentioned that the Slimming World banana cake recipe was nice and low-fat, so I found it online and decided to experiment by adding a few things. It also uses sweetener rather than sugar which, as a diabetic, makes it perfect for me. Here’s the recipe:

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