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
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.
- 100g Butter cut into cubes
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 100g Self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
- 3 Tablespoons of Hot Water
- 175g Butter cut into cubes
- 350g Icing Sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C
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.
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.
Gingerbread is a real Christmas biscuit, the smell of it wafting through the house is magical! Any item of food that can be decorated without constraint is a winner in my child’s eyes so we decided to bake some Christmas treats that Zoe could get creative with.
Gingerbread biscuits gleefully decorated by my 4 year old
- 75g soft light brown sugar
- 75g butter softened
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 250g of plain cream flour
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
You will also need some shape cutters
Cream the butter with an electric hand mixer until soft and then gradually add the sugar and cream until light and well mixed together. Add the bicarbonate of soda, golden syrup, and the egg and continue to mix .
Sift the flour, ginger, and cinnamon into the bowl and mix well using a spoon or a K mixer if using an electric kitchen machine.
Knead the mixture into a ball, then wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until quite thin, not too thin though, it’s nice to have a little weight on them. Using the cutters that you have, (we used gingerbread man and Christmas shapes) cut out the shapes that you wish to have. Place the shapes on a baking sheet covered baking tray and put in the oven for about 15 minutes turning the tray halfway through.
Once the Gingerbread shapes are baked, place them on a wire rack to cool.
I found some glitter icing gel in the supermarket today so decided to give them a try but my opinion is simple white icing tastes much better. We also used some smarties and coloured balls but you could decorate with whatever you have in your pantry or my preference, don’t decorate at all, which may not go down too well if you have a budding artist helping you.
My husband asked me to make him an ice-cream cake for his birthday, no sponge just ice-cream! It is probably the easiest cake I have ever made but it felt wrong not baking anything!
Ice Cream Birthday Cake
- 2 Litres Vanilla Ice-Cream
- Chocolate Buttons
- Milky Bar Discs
- Hundreds & Thousands
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.
Put the decorating ingredients into separate bowls and tell your child to have fun!
You can either serve immediately or put it back in the freezer, the smarties colouring seeps into the cake to make a cool tie died look.
We bought some cute biscuit cutters and decided to test them out on my favourite biscuit recipe. The recipe is from The Great British Bake Off Book.
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- One large free range egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 450g plain flour
- Good pinch of salt
Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar.
In a small bowl beat the egg and vanilla together with a fork until frothy, then gradually beat into the butter mixture. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and work them into the butter mixture with your hands to make a shortbread–like dough. Bring the dough together into a ball, then flatten to a thick disk. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes until firm enough to roll out.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured worked up to 4mm thickness.Using floured biscuit cutters, cut out shapes and then gather up the trimmings into a ball and re-roll and cut more shapes. Arrange the shapes well apart on lined baking sheets and chill for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Bake for about 12 minutes until a pale gold colour. If necessary rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking so the biscuits colour evenly. Leave the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel from the lining paper.
This is definitely one to do with the kids. Zoe absolutely loves helping to make these and having total control over the decoration! The recipe for the vanilla sponge is from Rachel Allen’s Food for living with a simple white icing topping.
Zoe, so proud of her work she photo bombed this pic lol
- 75ml milk
- 25g butter
- 75g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 125 g caster sugar
For the Icing
- 200g Icing sugar (sifted)
- Boiled water
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place cupcake cases in a bun tray. The mixture is intended to make 12 cup cakes but I make 24 smaller fairy cakes so there are more to decorate! So if you are planning to the same as me, you will need 2 bun trays.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until it almost comes to the boil, take it off the heat, add the butter and stir until it has melted in the milk. Set aside.
Sift the flour and the baking powder, add the salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla bean paste with an electric hand mixer until it is light and fluffy, about 10mins. (It’s at this point that Zoe usually does some colouring while I mix) Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and moose like. Turn the speed down and blend in the flour then the milk. Stop beating as soon as it’s all mixed in.
Spoon into each paper case and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before moving to the wire rack and icing. Now spooning the mixture in with two spoons is fine but I got a batter pourer and haven’t looked back, makes buns very easy to pour indeed!
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually add 4 table spoonfuls and beat with a spoon until the required texture. You may need to add more water a little at a time to get the right consistency. When ready pour on the cupcakes to cover .
Now for the fun bit:
Decorations! There are too many things to list on here to decorate but some of Zoe’s favourites are mini smarties, pink sparkles, edible flowers, multicoloured sprinkles. Let the little artists do there thing and see the pride in their little faces when they’re finished!
Decorated fairy cakes