‘Us’ Time

‘Us’ time

The proliferation of baking programmes such as Junior Masterchef http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/junior-masterchef are to blame, if blame is the right word, for a new found interest, in our household at least, in baking.  Not cooking, but baking.  Baking is so much more satisfying than cooking, isn’t it?  It’s something beyond the day to day.  A treat.

And, if you approach it with an open mind and a determination to enjoy the process, it can be great family time away from the daily grind.  It’s also a learning curve for both you and your child.  For you it’s about allowing them to ‘do it on my own’ and, become more independent in the process.  As parents no doubt we can all do it quicker, more efficiently and with a minimum of mess that is manageably tidied up swiftly and efficiently.  None of the words in that previous sentence apply when cooking with children.  Except maybe ‘mess’.

For them it’s about learning new skills, spending time with you, and getting to lick the bowl.  That’s always a déjà vu moment, watching them lick the bowl.  Doesn’t it always trigger a memory of scraping your finger round in the bits that missed the cupcake cases and ended up on your chin or nose, saved for later?

And these days we don’t need to settle for plain old white cases and buttercream icing.  There’s an amazing array of cupcake cases available (link) and toppers (link) to make your creations look fabulous, delectable and moreish.  Good enough to eat in fact!

If baking is new to you too, or something you’ve not had time to squeeze into your busy schedule, then a simple cupcake recipe is a great place to start, and they couldn’t be quicker or easier.

Simple cupcake recipe

Ingredients:

125g self-raising flour, sifted

125g caster sugar

125g unsalted butter, softened /at room temperature

2 large eggs

½  tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

Cupcake tray and cases.  Makes approx 12.

Pre-heat oven to 200o/Gas mark 5

If you have a food processor blitz all the ingredients together, adding the milk at the end on a slower speed.  If making by hand (and this is more fun!), cream the softened butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is fluffy and light colour.  Add the eggs, flour, vanilla extract and milk to the bowl and beat until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into cases, spreading it evenly and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until golden on top and firm to the touch.

Allow to cool on a wire rack, decorate and enjoy!

You can guess who is usually left to do the washing up, mind you…..

Check out our great selection of cupcake cases to get you started http://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk/catering/cake-accessories/

If you have any recipes or baking experiences with you and your family you would like to share with us, please add your comments below.  We’d love to hear what you have to say.