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Daddy’s Ice-cream Birthday Cake

I know I have posted about this before but it is that time of year again…. my husband’s birthday and this year Zoe made him a spacerocket ice-cream cake with smarties and chocolate buttons and to switch it up a little bit, brunch ice-cream.

 

Blowing out the candles before they melt the cake!!

Blowing out the candles before they melt the cake!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Litres Ice-Cream of your choice ( we used HP Brunch )

To Decorate:

  • Chocolate Buttons
  • Mini-Smarties
  • Milky Bar Discs
  • Smarties

To Make:

Take the ice-cream out of the freezer to let it soften. Get a 21cm Cake tin and line it with cling film with extra dropping over the edges.

When the ice-cream has softened, spoon it into the lined cake tin pushing down to ensure it fills the tin completely.

Cover completely with cling film and place back in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Take the ice-cream cake out of the freezer, remove the cling film lid and turn it upside down onto a cake board or plate, then remove the rest of the cling film.

Now the Fun bit! Decorating.

Space rocket ice-cream cake

Space rocket ice-cream cake

Zoe decorated this cake with smarties in the shape of a space rocket, the moon and stars. If you give your child free reign to design their own cake theme it will just add to the fun and excitement for them. As ice-cream can be tricky to decorate without melting, I recommend you set out your design on a plate first so you leave as little time as possible decorating the cake outside of the freezer.

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Pancakes with a hint of Indian flavour

With Pancake Tuesday around the corner I had to post a recipe for some of the tastiest pancakes around.

IMG_8360-2

This recipe is my husband’s creation, they are savoury pancakes but they go very well with some sweet additions like jam or banana and honey.

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g of plain cream flour
  • 10 g of caster sugar
  • Half teaspoon of turmeric
  • Half teaspoon of paprika
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Butter for frying

Method:

Put all the ingredients into a bowl or jug and blend until mixed evenly.

Let settle for 30 mins

Heat some butter in a pan, pour a portion of the pancake batter and fry on a medium heat for approximately 2 to 3 minutes each side until golden. Repeat, this batter should make between 6 to 8 pancakes.

These pancakes can be served with your favourite toppings, our favourites are: jam, banana and honey, cheese and rashers and of course the traditional lemon and sugar.

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Summer Strawberry Smoothies

Although this recipe requires no baking, it is an easy one that is quick to make and is a great Summer treat to make with the kids. The amount in this recipe would be enough to fill two highball glasses.

Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 250g strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 scoops of vanilla ice-cream
  • 100ml of milk
  • Some honey to taste

To make:

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve. You could also add a straw and a strawberry to decorate.

 

 

 

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Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

Well I didn’t think I’d be writing a Valentine’s post but Zoe is very excited about it, she made a card for me and her dad in school and is mesmerised by anything heart-shaped. She doesn’t think of Valentine’s as a day of romance but a day to celebrate love and I like that!

Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

So, Zoe decided she’d like to bake butterfly cakes for us and I’m sharing the recipe with you guys as it would be a nice treat for the ones you love today. The ingredients are from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible but the method is different.

Ingredients:

Cupcake:

  • 100g Butter cut into cubes
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

Chocolate icing:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons of Hot Water
  • 175g Butter cut into cubes
  • 350g Icing Sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C

To Bake:

Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand-mixer until soft, gradually add the sugar beating constantly. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork, gradually add the eggs to the mixture whilst beating with the electric hand-mixer. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir in until the flour has been incorporated into the wet mixture, then beat until smooth.

Fill a 12 bun tray with fairy cake cases and fill each one with the mixture. place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cup cakes on a wire rack to cool.

The Icing:

Add the cocoa powder to the hot water and stir, then leave to cool slightly. In another bowl beat the butter with an electric hand-mixer until soft, sift in the icing sugar and stir, add the cocoa mixture and beat all together until a smooth paste has been formed. Cut the tops off the cupcakes and pipe the icing onto them, cut each top in half and place back onto the cake in a butterfly shape. Zoe also made cupcakes covered in chocolate icing and topped them with some chocolate hearts that we saw in the supermarket today and I thought they looked very appropriate for Valentine’s.

Valentine Cupcake

Valentine Cupcake

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Home-Made Pizza

This is one of the most popular dishes in our house. The pizza dough rolls out to make a thin crispy base and I love the tomato base sauce so much I add it to lots of other dishes also.

Chicken, Mushroom and Sweetcorn Pizza

Chicken, Mushroom and Sweetcorn Pizza

I make this with Zoe and she loves it! particularly the wet ingredients, she thinks the yeast and sugar falling through the water looks like a snow globe. I recommend this recipe for parents of the fussy eaters because Zoe would eat any topping as long as she made it herself.

The pizza dough is from Jamie Oliver, the tomato base sauce is my own design and the toppings are whatever you desire!

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 100g finely ground semolina flour
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of fine sea salt ( I use table salt and it still tastes wonderful)
  • 7 g dried yeast sachets
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of golden caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 325 ml lukewarm water
For the sauce:
  • 300ml passata
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of basil
  • teaspoon of Oregano
  • teaspoon of parsley
  • teaspoon garlic purée
  •  generous pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of onion salt

Now, Jamie Oliver’s recipe is for a larger quantity and slightly more detailed as I make mine the lazy way with a kitchen mixing machine but it is so much easier! If you don’t have one, the kneading part will have to be done by hand. This recipe will easily make 4 dinner plate sized pizzas.

Method:

First, add the sugar, yeast and olive oil to the lukewarm water and leave it to mix.

Next, sieve the flour, semolina and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre, add the water mixture. Then using the dough hook, knead the dough until it has mixed into smooth, springy dough. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a ball sieving flour all around it so it is no longer sticking to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea-towel and leave to prove for 1hr, it should double in size.

Place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, generously wrapped in cling-film, in the fridge (or freezer) until required.

If using straight away, divide the dough up into the same amount of balls as you want pizzas. I use about 160g per dough ball to make a pizza that would be a dinner plate size and approx 100g to make the kids’ pizzas.

The Sauce:

I tend to go with my gut when making this rather than religiously measuring all the ingredients so the measurements are just a guide, if you want to add or subtract from it, go ahead!

Pour the passata into a jug and add the garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, black pepper, onion salt and mix it all together with a hand whisk.

Preheat the oven to 250°C

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and when it is at the required size, cut a piece of tin foil that is a little larger than the pizza itself, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with semolina, then place the pizza base on top.

Spoon a little of the sauce onto the top of the pizza base and spread evenly. I love this sauce so much I spoon as much as the dough can take.

Add a handful of grated cheddar cheese  and another of grated mozzarella and your preferred toppings. Remember some topping may need to be cooked in advance.

Place the pizza (still on the tinfoil) in the oven and cook for approx 8 minutes.

Some popular topping here are:

  • Chicken, tomatoes and Sweetcorn
  • Chicken and Mushroom
  • Sausage and Mushroom
  • Sausage, Red Pepper, Jalapeño Peppers, Chilli Oil
  • Chicken and Prawns
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Easy Strawberry Swiss Roll

This recipe is quick and it is an easy cake to make, the only caveat is that you need to have a swiss roll tin to bake it but you can find them in most local supermarkets. The sponge recipe is from Rachel Allen’s Cake book.

Strawberry Swiss Roll

Strawberry Swiss Roll

Ingredients:

  • Butter, melted, for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 125g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Some Icing Sugar for dusting
  • 4 Tablespoons Strawberry Jam

You will also need a 25 x 38cm Swiss roll tin.

To Bake:

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Line the base of the swiss roll tin with baking parchment, brush the base and sides of the tin with melted butter and dust with flour.

Using a hand-held electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, water and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared swiss roll tin and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the centre of the sponge is slightly springy to the touch.

Take a piece of baking parchment slightly larger in size then the tin and spread out onto a worksurface. Sprinkle the paper with caster sugar, this will stop the cake from sticking to the paper. Quickly flip the Swiss roll tin over onto the sugared paper and carefully remove the tin and parchment from the bottom of the cake.

Place a clean slightly damp tea towel over the cake when it is cooling, this will prevent drying out and cracking when you roll it up. Personally I never have the patience to wait until it is completely cool, nobody minds a few cracks in the sponge when they’re hungry!
When the cake is cool spoon the strawberry jam onto the cake and spread evenly. Roll up the swiss roll away from you and carefully transfer to a serving plate.

Sift some icing sugar on top for decoration.

Zoe adding the finishing touches to our swiss roll

Zoe adding the finishing touches to our swiss roll