Monday, 20 October 2014

Get the kids involved this Halloween!

Countdown to Halloween is on! Paper mache outfits are drying, trick or treat routes have been drawn up, now all you need is something delicious for your trick or treaters when they come knocking on your door next Friday..

Why not keep your children occupied this half term and get them involved in baking by helping to make some bootiful chocolate krispie creatures for your trick or treaters?

We love the Spider and Owl Krispies from Cookies and Cups and set about making our own version with our little helper and top taste tester, George.


For the body

Ingredients:
900g coco pops
300g mini marshmallows
55g butter

Method:
1. Lightly grease a square 9 x 9 inch baking pan with butter or       cooking spray.
2. Melt butter over a pan and stir in marshmallows until melted.
3. Put coco pops in large mixing bowl and pour butter and marshmallow mixture over the top. Stir in until all the coco pops are covered and mixed in.
4. Press in to square baking or cake tin and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Using a cookie cutter cut out circles and decorate.

For the decoration

Ingredients:
2 x mini marshmallows (per creature)
Black icing
Pack of Starburst sweets (or something similar that can be squashed flat)
Pack of pretzel sticks
Sticky marshmallow mixture left over from the mixing bowl

Spider:
1. Push 8 pretzel sticks in to the side of the body for legs.
2. Squash 2 marshmallows and stick to the body for eyes using a bit of the sticky marshmallow mixture left in the mixing bowl. Dab a dot of black food colouring on each eye for pupils, or even better if you can get your hands on an icing pen.
3. Squash the Starburst with a rolling pin and cut 2 triangle fangs using a sharp knife.

Owl
1. Make your eyes the same as the spider.
2. Push two broken pretzel sticks on top of the owls head for ears.
3. Using a squashed Starburst sweet cut out a triangle and stick to the body for a beak.


Equipment:
square baking or cake pan
saucepan
large mixing bowl
mixing spoon
round cookie cutters
rolling pin
small chopping board and sharp knife
black food colouring

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Chocolate Week - Oct 13th - 19th

As if we need Chocolate Week as an excuse to bake chocolate cakes or treat ourselves to hot chocolates loaded with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Millionaires shortbread is one of my favourite things to bake, it's smothered in chocolate and is super easy!

For the shortbread: 
Ingredients:
175g butter
250g plain flour
75g caster sugar

Method:
1. Line a loose based cake tin with greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to 180ÂșC
2. Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and then rub in the butter using your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Knead the mixture together into a dough and then push into the base of the cake tin.
4. Prick the top of the shortbread using a fork and bake in oven for about 25-35 minutes or until firm to touch and slightly browned.
5. Leave to cool in the tin.

For the caramel

Ingredients:
50g butter
50g light muscavado sugar
1 x 397g condensed milk

Method:
6. Put all ingredients into a pan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have dissolved.
7. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring all the time. Once the mixture has slightly thickened pour over the shortbread base and leave to cool.

For the chocolate

Ingredients:
200g of dark or milk chocolate broken into pieces.

Method:
8. Gently heat the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the bottom as this may burn the chocolate.
9. Once melted, pour over the shortbread and caramel, spread evenly and leave to cool.

Equipment:
Kitchen Scales
Large mixing bowl
Loosed based cake tin
Saucepan
Wooden spoon
Glass bowl
Chopping board & Knife

The hardest part of making this recipe is waiting for everything to cool because it smells so delicious you will want to eat it straight away! I like to make it in the evening and leave over night in the fridge. Once it is cool, remove from the tin, cut into chunks and enjoy!