The Crazy Kitchen: February 2011

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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Cooking With Your Toddler...Mini Chocolate Cupcakes & Tantrums

This cake recipe is a nice quick and easy one that you can do with or without your toddler. It's sometimes easier to make the cakes yourself and let them do do the decorating, whatever you do the little ones enjoy joining in but if they're anything like Jack they haven't got much patience - he soon got bored with mixing & wanted to get the sprinkles out....


4oz Butter or Margarine - softened
4oz Caster Sugar
2 Eggs - beaten
4oz Self Raising Flour - sifted
1tsp Vanilla Extract

For decorating

Milk chocolate
Double cream

Its always best to have your ingredients at room temperature before you start.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F

Line a 12 hole cake pan with cases or 24 hole mini muffin pan. We also used my new Cupcake Maker which I haven't yet used.

1. Cream the butter and sugar together.

Jacks love of mixing was short-lived

2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.

3. Stir in the flour.

4. Spoon into the cupcake / muffin cases & fill about 2/3 full.

5. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes for mini cupcakes or 15-20 minutes for standard size. In the Cupcake Maker they were cooked after 9 minutes.

My new cupcake maker 

6. Remove from pan & allow to cool

7. When the cakes have cooled down melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts and stir well.

8. Stir in some double cream, enough to thin the chocolate down slightly and make it smooth and glossy.

9. Spoon chocolate onto the cakes & decorate with sprinkles.

10. Enjoy

Gone before I had chance to get my camera out!

And this is what happened when (after eating 3 cakes) Jack was told he could have no more!!


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cooking With Your Toddler........Rocky Road Clusters

Today we have been making Rocky Road Clusters. It's a very easy 'no bake' recipe that you can do with your toddler, Older children should be ok to do this one on their own although I would recommend assisting with the chocolate melting.

300g Dark or Milk Chocolate
50g Butter
100g Biscuits, broken into small pieces (I would normally use digestives but the kids had eaten those so I used Malted Milk)
100g Mini Marshmallows
75g Sultanas

Melt the chocolate & Butter over a pan of boiling water, or in the microwave (on short bursts, stiring frequently) until smooth

Stir in the remaining ingredients & mix well

Or you could just pick out the marshmallows & eat them!!

Heap spoonfuls onto a baking sheet or mini muffin pan

Refrigerate until set.


Want a bite Mummy?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Cooking with your Toddler......Cheesy Valentine Oatcakes

I thought it was Thursday today so to me that meant 'Cooking with your Toddler'......I started it last Thursday and will try and post a quick and easy recipe each week that I have tried with my toddler. I probably won't manage to do this every Thursday, especially after his 2nd birthday in a few weeks as he will be starting Preschool.........Whoohooo Boo Hooo ! But anyway, like I said, for some reason I thought it was Thursday, maybe wishful thinking but who knows and by the time I realised that it was still only Wednesday it was too late.......the oats were all over the floor & I had no intention of cleaning them up again tomorrow.

Cheesy 'Valentine' Oatcakes...........there's not a lot 'valentiney' about these, not something that your Valentine would really appreciate receiving I'm sure, but I wanted to try out my new bargain heart cutters - £1 for a set of 4 from Asda.


225g Medium Oatmeal
50g Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp paprika (optional)
2tsp finely chopped rosemary (or mixed herbs)
25 g melted butter
1 egg yolk
5tbsp warm water

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C / 400F / Gas Mark 6.

Lightly grease a baking tray.

Mix the oatmeal, cheese, salt, bicarb. of soda, paprika & rosemary together in a large bowl.

Stir in the butter, egg yolk and water to make a sticky dough - add more water if the mixture is too dry.

Use your hands to press the mixture together.

Roll out the dough to about 2mm thick (I admit mine was a bit thicker than this, due to an impatient toddler with cookie cutters in hand!!)

Re-roll the dough as many times as you need to use it all up.

We also used a star shaped cookie tray (a present from my Sister In Law for Christmas) as it's easy for little hands to press into the tray.

Place the biscuits onto the baking tray & bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven & allow to cool completely.

Jack was so excited to try one of these after his nap but before he could speak his face told me that he didn't like what he was eating - or perhaps it wasn't as sweet as what he was expecting his 'biscuit' to be, but when he said 'I don't like it' we were both so surprised by his first 'real sentence' that we just started laughing! It's amazing how short a toddler's memory can be (or how quickly their tastebuds can change) as only an hour later when his Daddy was trying one of his biscuits Jack wanted to try one too...........and this time his words were 'mmmm, nice'.

And if anyone was wondering, yes he is still wearing that pink apron....... he likes it !! ( but if anyone wants to send us a nice 'boy' apron to review then we will be more than happy to receive it!!)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Make It, Bake It: Caramel Cupcakes …........ a successful failure

Before I started my own blog I came across a tweet from Carol at New Mummy's Tips looking for contributor's for her Make It Bake It blog that was about to relaunch.

I had just made some Cupcakes that didn't exactly turn out how they should've done but were delicious all the same, so I jumped at the chance of sharing the recipe with her readers. Please click on the link below to see the post on the Make It Bake It blog.

Make It, Bake It: Caramel Cupcakes …........ a successful failure

Friday, 4 February 2011

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I was going to give my weekend baking a break this week, after baking 3 trays of vanilla blondies last week and causing riots in the streets of our village..............well maybe not exactly riots........but it wasn't far off !!

It started when, after recipe testing for Vanessa Kimbell's new book Prepped!, I was left with quite a lot of pecan blondies that the kids wouldn't eat because "they've got nuts in" and I  would've eaten but Mr WeightWatchers says "no" (I'd already eaten 3, shhhh don't tell anyone!)  and I didn't give the husband much chance to say anything!, so I decided to take a few to friends who were a bit laid up..........and then word got around the Facebook grapevine that Blondies were being delivered to the 'infirm' of the village. Well they were feigning illnesses and injuries left right & centre after that, they all wanted some! 

And so I decided to make 2 more trays of blondies, this time trying an alternative 'salted peanut' recipe. I delivered a batch to my 'dealer'  who informed the 'addicts' that she had some 'gear'..........they were mad for them, they couldn't get enough, those that didn't get any wanted some, and those that did wanted more!! It was taking over my life..........I was even dealing at kids parties! At the school gates I would be asked in a hushed voice "got any blondies?". So that is why I decided I would lay low this week, not wanting to get in over my head again!

But by 3pm today I could no longer resist the urge to bake, and so I decided upon a rather delicious Sticky Toffee Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream.  


180g pitted dates, chopped
180ml boiling water
180g S R Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
80g Unsalted Butter
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Caramel Sauce

125g Caster Sugar
60ml Water
80ml Double Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt


180g Butter
200g Icing Sugar

Firstly make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan170ºC/gas 4 

Line a 12 hole cupcake (muffin) pan with cases

Pur the boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for 20 minutes. 

Gently mash the dates and stir in the vanilla. 

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition

Fold in the flour, and then mix in the date mixture

Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes (the tops should spring back when pressed with a finger). 

Remove and leave to cool. 

For the Caramel Sauce

Dissolve the sugar and water in a small pan over a gentle heat.

Increase the heat to & bring to the boil. 

Boil gently until the mixture has thickened & turned a rich caramel colour  - as soon as it does remove immediately from the heat.

Add the cream & beat well, until smooth

Add the salt and the vanilla. 

Leave until cold. 

Make a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with a spoonful of the caramel sauce (this makes them extra sticky & gooey)

For the buttercream 

Cream the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the remainder of the caramel sauce (reserve some for decorating if you prefer)

When the cupcakes have cooled ice them with the buttercream & drizzle some of the caramel 
sauce over the top or decorate with your favourite sprinkles.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cooking with your Toddler......Valentine Chocolate Crispy Heart

Here is a recipe for a simple teatime treat that you can make with your toddler. It only takes around 20 minutes........although it did take longer with my little one as he doesn't like any help when he's weighing the cornflakes!

My kids like this served with a chocolate sauce, which is so simple to make (see below..)

Valentine Chocolate Crispy Heart.

You will need :

Greaseproof paper
100g plain or milk chocolate (I used a mixture of both)
40g butter or margarine
40g Golden Syrup
75g Cornflakes

Simple Chocolate Sauce

Pack of instant custard Powder
60g plain chocolate - broken into small pieces

First you will need to make a template for your cake - I lined a 30cm round tray with a sheet of greaseproof & drew a heart - if you don't feel confident drawing a freehand heart you can find templates here which can be enlarged, then turn the paper over so that the lines are on the underside of the paper.

Melt the chocolate, butter & syrup in a pan over a low heat, until smooth.

tip : I weigh the ingredients directly into the saucepan to save on washing up!

Pour the cornflakes into a large mixing bowl  and add the melted chocolate mixture.

This part took a while !!

Mix well 

Spread over the greaseproof paper template, trying to keep within the shape as much as possible.

tip: Whilst you are concentrating on forming your perfect heart let your toddler lick the bowl out!

The best bit !!

Refrigerate for around 30 minutes until set.

Remind me to buy him a non pink apron !

Chocolate Sauce

Make up the custard as per directions on the pack.

Stir in the chocolate until melted

Serve a slice of crispy cake with warm sauce poured over the top.  

and for the sole purpose of testing, I ate this seconds

I have also now joined in the valentine party at A Holiday Haven. You can join in too by clicking the banner below :

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