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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Well, as part of my goals for 2011 I told you I was going to do more cooking with Lilly, and that I was going to join in with the Cooking With Kids challenge being run by Cass at Frugal Family.

Well, here we go with the first challenge: cheese straws.

As ever, with our cooking sessions, we waited until Isla was having her long afternoon nap and, as the sound of snoring came on the monitor, we donned our aprons and started cooking.

This is the first time Lilly and I have made something savoury, I think. After we’d put in the flour and butter, Lilly said: “And now, we add the chocolate!!!” Luckily, she wasn’t too disappointed when I told her we were adding cheese, instead. I was a little nervous how these biscuits would go down, as Lilly doesn’t like “hard” cheese. So I fooled her by presenting the cheese ready-grated, so that she wouldn’t realise what it was we were adding (mwahhahahahaha evil laugh!)

 Whether she was fooled or not, I can’t be sure, but she was happy enough adding it, and once we had a dough like consistency, she enjoyed throwing flour all over the table (and floor), rolling out and cutting some shapes.

(NB A lesson I have learnt vis a vis cookie cutters. We have millions of them, but only about five should be made available each session. Otherwise you lose count of which ones you use and have to wash them all.)

Anyway, Lilly was much better at using the cookie cutters all by herself than last time we used them, and was rather pleased with herself as she cut out little gingerbread man shapes, arrows, stars and butterfly cheesey biscuits. I stuck with making the straws, for a bit of variety.

Lilly’s absolute favourite part of this recipe, though, was painting the biscuits with the egg and milk, and sprinkling the cheese on top. (When I say “sprinkling” I actually mean “layering on pretty thick”, so that the biscuits resembled cheese on toast!)

And, I am happy to report that, despite the presence of “hard cheese”, the biscuits went down very well with both of us and have been the snack item of choice in this house ever since.

So, if you want to have a go at making cheesey straws (or shapes) yourself, you’ll find the recipe here. And why not join in the Cooking With Kids Challenge? It’s a really great idea Cas, and I hope we will be able to join in with plenty more challenges during the course of 2011.

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Well, my debut in Amy Lane’s Bake Off Club was a success – so much so I actually won this gorgeous cupcake book! Thank you Amy, I am slightly overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous cakes in the book and how complicated they look… but having had a closer look it does look like they do explain things for dummies (me!) so I will be brave and have a try! I’ll let you know how it turns out…

Anyway, October’s Bake Off recipe is Sticky Ginger Cake – servable with custard, which sounded all very nice to me, especially at this time of year.

I really love cooking and baking, both of which I want to always keep improving at and trying new things. So I love it when I come across a new technique or ingredient that I’ve not used before. And, I must confess, I have never used stem ginger from a jar before making this cake – and wasn’t sure where to find it in the supermarket even (by the herbs and spices – not in the cake making section where I spent a good 10 minutes hunting!)

Anyway, this cake was enjoyable but simple to make – I was slightly nervous as I wasn’t sure how much my (slightly fussy) hubby liked ginger, and it seemed like quite a lot of ginger that went in! However, by the time the mixture was made a quick taste confirmed the ginger wasn’t overpowering and I was slightly more confident.

 Unfortunately, I was a little bit overgenerous with the amount of mixture I put in the loaf tin, and it came out looking like this:

Kind of like the elephant man in cake form!

However, all was not lost – after a bit of trimming it was looking a bit more acceptable. And, most importantly of all, it tasted GORGEOUS! Really moist and delicious, and, in case anyone was worried, not overpoweringly gingery!

So, thank you Amy for an excuse to try another delicious cake recipe, and may I just stress the slightly alarming appearance was entirely of my own making, and definitely not a fault in her recipe!

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Tonight i’ve made a cherry bakewell cake… very nice it is too.

The recipe is as follows:

200g butter

200g caster sugar

10g ground almonds

100g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

half tsp almond extract

4 eggs

Morello cherry conserve

Pre-heat oven to 180c. Butter and line two 20cm round sandwich tins.

Mix together all the cake ingredients, except the eggs and conserve, with your hands until they get to breadcrumb consistency. (doesn’t matter at this stage if they are quite big lumps!).

In a seperate bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add to the breadcrumb mixture.

Whisk the mixture using electric mixer.

Divide between the two sandwich tins and level the top.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, making sure not to open the oven for at least the first 25.

Cool for a few minutes, then tip out onto a cooling rack before spreading the morello cherry jam in the middle and sandwiching the two halves together.

You can ice it if you like – (using 175g icing sugar mixed with 5-6tsp water or lemon juice) – i’m too crap with icing to contemplate this!

Make yourself a cuppa and serve. Yummmmmmm!

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