Baking is a splendid way to spend a calm but fun afternoon at home. If you have kids, these baking recipes are a terrific way to bring your little helpers into the kitchen. Allow the children to lick the spatula while mixing the batter or decorate a batch with colourful sprinkles and icing.
Although the procedure will be untidy, the result will be fantastic. Do not halt yourself in baking and try these simple and quick baking recipes that leave no room for mistakes! If you don’t have an oven or are trying to reduce your energy bills, you can even try this recipe for a sponge pudding that you can make in the microwave!
Is it just me or has 2020 been one of the most stressful years of your whole life?! The constant worry, the changing rules, remembering masks and hand sanitiser, homeschooling the kids, working from home… The list of additional stressors seems endless. With this in mind, I’ve been trying to do some things recently to improve my self-care, and it’s definitely helping. Here are just a few of my new rituals:
On Saturday afternoon, I was bored. We didn’t have much to do, the housework was mostly done and the kids were just doing their own thing. We didn’t have much in the cupboards, but I decided to have a rummage around to see what I could find. Two things I did happen upon were a bag of unopened cacao powder and some dessicated coconut, both of which had been bought for other projects, but never used.
I wanted to have a go at making a cake, but we didn’t have any eggs in the house, so I decided to see if I could knock up a decent vegan cake without going to the shops for ingredients. It turned out that not only could I do it, but it tasted GOOOOOD!
The cake part was chewy and dense and super coconutty and the chocolate icing that I made for the outside was so rich and delicious that I’m thinking of making it my go-to icing next time I make a chocolate cake. Our vegan chocolate and coconut cake would also be great for people dealing with allergies as it contains no dairy, no eggs and no lactose. Obviously there’s wheat flour and coconut, which I know can cause people issues, but if you’re okay with coconut, maybe substitute the flour for almond flour, Buckwheat Flour or rice flour instead. Here’s how I did it:
Vegan Coconut and Chocolate Cake
Recipe Type: Baking
Author: Jayne Crammond
A chewy, sweet chocolate and coconut cake which is egg-free, dairy-free and lactose-free.
For the Cake
300g self raising flour
200g white sugar
160g dessicated coconut
360ml Full Fat Coconut Milk
120ml Coconut Oil (Melted)
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Icing
420g Icing Sugar
120g Raw Cacao Powder
110g Coconut Oil (melted)
60ml Coconut Milk
2 tbsps Dessicated Coconut (for decorating)
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Rub two 8 inch cake pans with a little coconut oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar, salt and dessicated coconut. Mix together well.
Then add in the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla and stir into a thick batter. Make sure it’s well mixed, you do tend to find pockets of dry ingredients if you don’t.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and spread it out to the edges of the pans with a spatula or the back of a spoon, the batter will be too thick to spread out on its own.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
Prepare your icing by adding the icing sugar, cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut milk to a mixing bowl and mixing with an electric mixer starting off slow and then gradually increasing speed until thick and smooth.
If your icing is too thick, add a tiny bit more coconut milk, a drop at a time until you reach the right consistency, if it’s too thin add more icing sugar.
Ice your cake and decorate it with plenty of dessicated coconut.
We’re trying really hard at the moment to reduce the amount of animal products we eat and knowing that we can still have a properly indulgent treat without using any animal-derived ingredients at all is so encouraging. I think that added drop of virtue made this cake taste even better! Let me know if you give this a go and if you make any tweaks to the recipe, I love to see variations and changes that other people try. Next time, I’m going to try to find some vegan pouring cream to go with it!
As 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)
Recipe Type: Keto
Author: Jayne Crammond
A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
A head of cauliflower
200ml double cream
100g cream cheese
250g mature cheddar cheese
2 tsps garlic powder
20g grated parmesan
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!)
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.
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)
Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9″x9″ Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
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
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.
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
Recipe Type: Christmas Baking
Author: Jayne Crammond
Mince pies with added kick!
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)
(Before you start, take the JusRoll out of the fridge and leave for half an hour to reach room temperature)
Cut out 12 cirlcles of JusRoll and place in your baking tray
Place a moderate teaspoon of mincemeat in each pastry case
Bake at 160c (fan oven) for 25 minutes
Cut out 12 stars and place on a flat, non-stick baking tray
Bake at 160c for around 15-18 minutes
Allow everything to cool completely
Place a dollop of brandy butter (about half a teaspoon) on top of each mince pie and top with a pastry star
Dust with icing sugar before serving
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.