Tag: chocolate

Chocolate muffins

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 25 minutes + 20 minutes baking

Serves: 12

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plain yoghurt
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup chocolate chips

 

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Chocolate cake

Hedgehog slice

Blueberry and apple muffins

 

Muffins are a great thing to bake with little chefs. There are loads of fun steps they can get involved with – from measuring and mixing, to spooning the mixture into the cases. The kids loved how much these rose in the oven, and we all enjoyed eating the chocolatey deliciousness of course!

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C and prepare a muffin tin

Get your toddler to line a muffin tin with cases or grease every corner of it with oil and butter if you have no cases to make sure the muffins don’t stick.

Mix the dry ingredients together

Get your child to measure each of the dry ingredients (2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder) in turn and add to a large mixing bowl.

  

Give it a good mix.

 

Whisk the wet ingredients together

Add the vanilla extract (1 tsp), egg, yoghurt (1 cup), milk (1/2 cup)and vegetable oil (1/2 cup)to a separate mixing bowl.

 

 

Whisk it all together until it is well combined.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Get your child to help you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl and mix it together just enough so you can’t see any more flour. It’ll still be a little lumpy but that’s fine.

 

Bake the chocolate muffins

Spoon your mixture into your muffin tin/cases. If you let your kids help with this step be prepared for a bit of mess! I let the kids half fill up the cases then finished it off myself so there was an even amount in each muffin.

 
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. They’re ready when a toothpick or skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

chocolate muffins
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and leaving on a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate muffins

 

Bear claw cookies

Difficulty: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking

Time: Fairly easy

Serves: 24 cookies approx

Ingredients
225g unsalted butter, softened
200g Demerara sugar
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark chocolate.
To decorate
Large chocolate buttons
Small chocolate drops

 

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Double choco-smarties cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Cookies are a great thing to bake with your kids. They don’t involve rolling out or cutting like other biscuits do which, although fun, can make baking a little bit more time consuming. They’re so simple and have lots of steps your little ones can get involved in: measuring, mixing and then dolloping the dough out on the baking sheets.

To make these cookies, we just used a cookie recipe we’ve tried before from the Hummingbird Bakery, but made them a bit more fun (and chocolatey) by turning them into bear claws. They’d probably look more like bear claws if we made them smaller, but that’s unlikely to happen in our house. They were a hit though: “ooooh Mummy, I love it” was the response from my ever enthusiastic toddler! I hope you like them….

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line your baking trays (at least 4) with greasproof paper

Mix the butter and sugar
Get your child to measure the butter (225g) and sugar (200g demerara, 150g caster) out and then add to a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. If the butter isn’t already soft, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, just to make it easier to mix.

Mix them together using the paddle attachment of your mixer if you’re using one, a hand held mixer, or wooden spoon until the sugar and butter are light and fluffy.

  

Add the eggs and vanilla extract
Get your child to break the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Add them to your bowl, mixing it a little between the additions of each egg.

 

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and get your child to help you measure the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) into the bowl. Let them use the spoon on their own if they are able to (my 3 year old can just about do this), or help them and steady their hand while you pour if you need to (my 1.5 year old can help do it this way).

Add the remaining ingredients
Measure the flour (400g) into a small bowl. If your child is able to, get them to help measure the salt ( ½ tsp) and bicarbonate of soda (2 ½ tsp) into the flour. Add these into your large mixing bowl.

Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. If you need to, use a spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl.

 

While everything is mixing, chop up the chocolate into small pieces. Get your toddler to add it in to your dough mixture and give it one last mix so that everything is nicely combined.

 

Form the cookies
Using a spoon (or your little ones might like using their hands!) add 6 dollops of dough mixture to each of your baking trays. The mixture is quite sticky, so your kids might need help getting the mixture off the spoon. You can always form them into neater balls with your hands. These cookies spread a lot while baking so leave as much space as possible between each cookie as possible. Get your little ones to help you add a chocolate button and small chocolate drops to form the ‘claw’.

  

Bake the cookies
Pop them in the oven for roughly 10 minutes. They’re ready when the edges have turned golden brown and they’ve flattened down.

Leave them on the baking trays to cool slightly, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

bear claw cookies

You can bake other delicious cookies: double chocolate smarties cookies and chocolate chip cookies

 

Easter rocky road

Difficulty: 20 minutes + 2 hours chilling

Time: Easy

Serves: 25+ pieces


Ingredients
400g Milk/Dark Chocolate
125g Golden Syrup
125g Unsalted Butter
100g Mini Marshmallows
150g Digestives, chopped
4-5x 90g Bags of Mini Eggs
1-2x 89g Bags of Mini Creme Eggs (pop them in the freezer for an hour or so before to make them easier to cut)
250g White Chocolate

We’ve made rocky road (or hedgehog slice, or tiffin) before but this one is extra special because it’s Easter themed and full of mini eggs and cream eggs! Rocky road is one of the easiest things to make with really small children as, with the exception of melting chocolate, there’s no cooking involved. Hannah and Lewis really enjoyed getting to bash the biscuits and eggs and mixing everything together. And then getting to share it with their friends (it’s too good to keep to yourself!)

Method

Line an 8/9 inch square baking tin with baking paper and leave to one side

Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together
Get your children to help you break the chocolate (400g) into pieces and pop in a heat proof bowl. Measure the butter (125g) and add to the chocolate. Pop the bowl on your scales, reset them back to zero and measure in your golden syrup (125g).

  
Melt everything together on a double boiler (pop your bowl on a saucepan with simmering water). Or you could put it in the microwave and zap it for short intervals until everything has melted.

Stir everything together so it is nice a smooth. Be careful not to overheat it.

Measure the dry ingredients
Measure the biscuits (150g) into a large bowl (you don’t need to be too precise). Give your toddlers something to bash the biscuits – we used spurtles and the end of a rolling pin – and let them attack them until they are in smallish pieces.

 

Add the mini marshmallows (100g) to your bowl.

Before taking the mini eggs out of their packets, get your kids to bash them so they are broken into chunks. They might need a bit of help as they can be a bit tough. Add them to the bowl, saving one packet for the end.

 

Chop the cream eggs into halves/quarters. This is a task for the grownups unless you trust your little ones with sharp knives.

Mix everything together

Pour the melted chocolate mixture into your biscuit mixture. Get your little ones to get everything a good mix.

Pour into your tin and pat it down with the back of your spoon until it is evenly spread.

 

Prepare the topping
Get your wee chefs to break the white chocolate up and pop in a bowl. Melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.

Pour it over the top of your rocky road and sprinkle over the last bag of mini eggs.

  

Pop your tray in the fridge to set for a few hours, slice and enjoy!

Easter rocky road

Try some other Easter baking: Easter chick biscuits, Easter chocolate nests.

 

Chocolate cake

Difficulty: Difficult

Time: 1 ¼ hours + 30 minutes baking + a few hours chilling

Serves: 10 – 12 slices

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

100g softened butter, unsalted
260g ccaster sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160ml whole milk

For the chocolate custard
500g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
200g cornflour
85g softened butter, unsalted
½ tsp vanilla extract

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We had a birthday in our house so Hannah chose to make a chocolate cake for Daddy (whether he wanted it or not!) This recipe came from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook again; it was delicious even if when we made it we had a bit of a disaster. Top tip: make sure the chocolate custard is properly chilled before you assemble the cake or you might have a mess on your hands (see picture at the end)!

We cooked it all in one go, but there are quite a few steps so if your little chefs are helping you’re better off cooking the cake the day before and making up the custard and assembling the cake just before you serve it.

Method

Preheat your oven to 170C and line 3 x 20cm cake tins with baking paper.

Make the chocolate cake

Mix the butter and sugar
Get your toddler to measure the butter (100g) and the sugar (260g) into a small bowl. Add it to a freestanding mixer or large bowl.

 

Mix it together with your paddle attachments (or hand held mixer / wooden spoons) until it looks light and fluffy.

 

Add the eggs
Break them into a bowl one at a time (or get your little one to do it if you trust them). Add them to your bowl one at a time, mixing between additions. If you need to, scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the rest of the ingredients
Get your child to measure out the cocoa powder (45g) into a small bowl, before adding it to your mixing bowl.

Add the vanilla extract ¼ tsp), baking powder (¾ tsp) , bicarbonate of soda ( ¾ tsp), and salt (pinch) to your bowl. If your child can help you get them to hold the spoon while you measure each out.

Mix everything together.

Weigh out the flour (170g).

Get your little one to measure the milk (160ml) into a jug. The easiest way to be accurate if you have digital scales is to use the ml setting.

Add the flour and milk to your mixture then mix everything together until it is well combined.

  

Bake your cake
Pour the mixture into your cake tins and use a palette knife to smooth out the top.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the chocolate custard
Get your toddler to measure the sugar (500g) and cocoa powder (125g) into a bowl. Pop it in a small saucepan.

  

Measure the golden syrup out (1 tbsp) into a spoon and add that to your pan. Add 600ml of water to your pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Whisk occasionally, or if your child is a bit older and you trust them around your cooker you could get them to help.

While the custard is heating up, get your child to weigh out the cornflour (200g) into a small bowl. Add 120ml of water and give it a good mix. It should end up the consistency of a thick glue. If you need to,add some more water, but no more than 250ml in total)

Add gradually to your chocolate mixture in the pan, stirring all the time.

Bring the mixture back to the boil, whisking constantly, cook for a further few minutes until it is quite thick.

Remove from the heat, get your toddler to add the butter (85g) and vanilla extract (½ tsp). This can be a good place for your child to help, if you haven’t trusted them near the hob. They can add the butter, safely away from the heat and watch it melt.

Pop it all in a bowl and leave to cool completely.

Assemble the chocolate cake

To make a cake crumble to top your cake with slice off a little from each cake and zap it in a food processor until it’s nicely crumbled.

Put the first chocolate cake down on a cake stand and spread one quarter of the chocolate custard on top. Put the second cake on top and add another quarter of the custard on top. Pop the last cake on top. Spread the remaining custard over the top and sides of the cake. Cover with your crumbs. Chill for a few hours.

 

Enjoy!

 

chocolate cake

 

Raspberry and white chocolate brownies

Difficulty: Easy/a bit harder

Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking

Serves: 12

 

 

 

Ingredients

200g white chocolate
115g butter (unsalted)
2 eggs
115g golden caster sugar
125g plain flour
115g raspberries

 

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Chocolate brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week we did some spontaneous baking so had to find a recipe that used things we had in the house. We found this recipe for raspberry and white chocolate brownies on the bakingmad.com site which has loads of recipes and a great search function. Their recipe used fresh raspberries but we used some from the freezer which still worked nicely and apart from melted the butter and chocolate, it just uses one bowl which is my favourite kind of bake!

Method

Preheat oven to 190C / 170C Fan and prepare your baking tin.
Get your toddler to help line a line an 18cm/7 inch square tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate
Get your child to measure the butter and pop it in a sauce pan. Heat it gently until it has all melted. Meanwhile, break the chocolate up, add half to the butter and take off the heat. Stir until the chocolate has melted.

  

Whisk the eggs and sugar
Get your child to break the eggs into a bowl. Measure out the sugar and add it to the eggs. Whisk together until the mixture has thickened slightly and turned creamy. Whisking is always a popular task in our house!

  

Add the flour

Get your child to measure the flour and then sieve into the sugar and egg mixture. Add the melted chocolate and butter.

Stir together gently until thoroughly mixed.

Chop up the rest of the chocolate and get your child to add it to your mixture along with the raspberries.

.

Bake
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

 

Leave you raspberry and white chocolate brownies cool in the tin, then remove and cut into squares.

Raspberry and white chocolate brownies

Chocolate cupcakes

Difficulty:Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 12 cupcakesimg_3335-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

115g soft margarine/butter
110g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
2 large eggs
2 tbsp cocoa powder
25g plain chocolate

Lemon buttercream
85g butter
150g icing sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon,
1 tbsp lemon juice

 

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Strawberry cupcakes

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Rainbow cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

We fancied doing a bit of baking while waiting in for a delivery recently so needed to do something we had all the ingredients for in the store cupboard. Rather than doing anything too plain we tried these chocolate cupcakes which have a tangy lemon butter cream. They were supposed to be butterfly cakes where you cut the top off before adding the buttercream then popping the lid back on top to look like a butterfly but I simplified it a bit instead.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C / 170C Fan and prepare the baking tin
Get your toddler to line a muffin tin with paper cases.

img_3337-small
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl
One at a time, get your child to weigh the sugar and flour into a bowl then add in to your large bowl.

Weigh the butter, cut into a few pieces before adding to your bowl.

img_3342-small img_3344-small

Get your child to crack the eggs into a small bowl before adding to your mixture.

Spoon the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl.

img_3346-small img_3347-small img_3349-small

Mix everything together until the mixture is smooth

Melt the chocolate – we normally pop it in the microwave but you can do it in a bowl over some simmering water. Add it to your mixture

img_3354-small img_3358-small

Cook the cupcakes

Divide the mixture equally between your cases then pop your baking tray in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes or until they are cooked and springy to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to and leave to cool.

img_3361-small img_3362-small img_3364-small

Make the icing
Get your child to weigh the butter then either beat it with a wooden spoon or pop in your mixer until it is pale and fluffy.

Weigh the icing sugar into a bowl then gradually add to your butter, mixing all the time.
Add the rind from your lemon and the lemon juice, beating well.

img_3365-small img_3367-small img_3373-small

Finish the chocolate cupcakes

To save time, we just piped the icing straight on to the top of the cooled cupcakes. If you want to make butterfly cakes use a serrated knife to cut the top off each cake then cut each cake top in half. Add the butter cream to the cake then get your child to help you push the two pieces of cake top into the icing to form a butterfly.

chocolate cupcakes

Hedgehog slice

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: approx 20 slices

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 ½ packets of plain biscuits (we used Nice and Malted Milk)
250g unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tin condensed milk
300g milk chocolate (or a mixture of milk and white)
100g raisins

 

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When I was looking for hedgehog biscuits to make with the kids a few weeks ago I also came across this. Hedgehog slice is similar to tiffin or rocky road – it might not be very healthy but it’s so easy to make I filed it away for a rainy day. There’s no baking involved and a bit of biscuit bashing so even our 1 year old was able to join in. Some recipes also include shredded coconut or nuts or miss out the raisins, so once you’ve got the basic hedgehog slice recipe done you can really just add in whatever you like.

Method

Line a 20cm x 20cm* tin with baking/greaseproof paper.
*If you don’t have a tin exactly this size you might just need a little more/less chocolate to cover the top of your slice.

Crush the biscuits
Get your kids to pop these in a bowl and then give them a rolling pin to bash them until they are nicely crushed! Even the smallest children should be able to help with this.

Alternatively you can put one packet in a food processor until they are finely crushed before adding the second packet and whizzing them until they have broken into large pieces.

Set the bowl aside for now.

Make the butter/milk mixture
Get your child to cut the butter into small pieces and then add them to a small saucepan. Use a measuring spoon to count the cocoa into the pan. Finally, add the condensed milk then melt over a low heat mixing until everything has combined.

  

Mix everything together
Pour the melted ingredients into the biscuit bowl. Your kids can help you stir it all together until the butter mixture has coated the biscuits.

Add the raisins or anything else you are using (try shredded coconut, nuts, mini marshmallow) and give it all one last mix.

 

Pour it into your tin and flatten down with the back of a spoon.

 

Add the melted chocolate
Break your chocolate into pieces and add to a small microwavable bowl. Your child might be able to help with this but Hannah found it a little hard. Cook in the microwave for 30 second blasts (stirring in between) until it’s all melted. Pour over the top of your slice.

We did the milk chocolate and then white chocolate in turn which gave a slight marbled effect when we added it to the top.

  

Put it in the fridge to set (4 hours+).

hedgehog slice

Hedgehog biscuits

Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Time: 30 minutes + 12 minutes baking + decorating

Serves: 16 biscuits

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
For the topping
150g chocolate
Chocolate sprinkles or crushed nuts (walnuts)

 

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Easter chick biscuits

Bear claw cookies

Jammy heart biscuits

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a bit of a hedgehog themed day last week where we met a hedgehog, and made some hedgehog art at Gorgie City Farm. Inspired by that I thought we would try some hedgehog themed baking. We’ve not made biscuits for a while, so I got out our trusty biscuit recipe and got Hannah to give me a hand.

There are probably better recipes for this, as there is a lot of butter in this one which makes it a bit soft, but it’s an easy one to do and I know that they’ll taste nice. If hedgehogs aren’t your thing you can use this recipe as a base for something else that tickles your fancy.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan

Line a baking tray with greasproof paper

Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl
Weigh out the butter (or just use a whole stick). To make it easier to mix, either leave it out of the fridge for a while before you start or pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so.

Get your toddler to weigh the sugar and then add it to the bowl.

..

Mix together with a wooden spoon.

 


Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract

I did both these parts myself with a little help from Hannah as she doesn’t quite have the dexterity to do it all on her own yet. Your toddler can help to mix it all in though.

Sift in the flour
Weigh the flour in a separate bowl then sift it into your mixture. It can get a little messy, but Hannah really enjoyed this part! Once it’s all in give it another mix until it’s well combined.

 

Form the biscuits
Use your hands to finish mixing and press the dough together into a ball. To make the hedgehogs, break off little bits and roll them in your hands to form balls, then shape the snout/nose.

Don’t worry too much about making them perfect, ours spread in the oven so I ended up doing it again a little after they had been baked. Put them on their baking tray with a little space between each one. If you put your baking trays in the fridge for 10 minutes it should stop your biscuits spreading as much.

 

Bake in the oven
Put your baking tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and put them on a wire rack to cool (you might want to reshape the noses a little before they cool).

Decorate your hedgehogs
Your toddler can help you break up the chocolate into a microwavable bowl then zap them for 30 seconds+ until it’s melted.

 

Either pour the chocolate over each biscuit, dip them in your bowl or use a spoon to spread the chocolate on. We did a mixture of all 3. Sprinkle over your chocolate sprinkles or nuts to form the hedgehog spines.

  

Use something pointy like a chopstick or cocktail stick to dip in the chocolate and form the eyes and nose.

hedgehog biscuits

 

Chocolate brownies

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 45 minutes

Serves: 24 piecesimg_1311-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
275g softened butter
375g caster sugar
4 large eggs
75g cocoa powder
100g self raising flower
100g plain chocolate chips (or chocolate cut up)

 

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Double choco-smarties cookies

Chocolate cake

Hedgehog slice

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_1361-smlToday we went to a coffee morning/cake sale at Hannah’s playgroup. Chocolate brownies are my favourite thing to bring to these things: they are relatively simple to make, tend to go down well and I’ve generally got all the ingredients in the cupboard. I’ve also been lucky up until now that Hannah’s never really wanted to eat chocolate so I’ve not had to stop her from licking the spoon … unfortunately I think those days are now officially over).

This recipe comes from one of Mary Berry’s books and is super easy as you just have to measure everything into one bowl and mix it together!

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 160 Fan.

Prepare a 30 x 23 cm baking tin
Get your toddler to grease the baking tin. I normally just tear off a corner of the butter packet or some grease proof paper and use that to spread butter in the tin. Once greased, line the base and sides with baking parchment.

img_1313-small  img_1314-small

Measure out the ingredients
Measure all the ingredients into a bowl. (375g sugar, 100g flour, 75g cocoa powder, 4 eggs). We used a small bowl to weigh everything out in turn and then added them into the mixing bowl. Face the scales towards you so you can see how much is going in and either use a spoon or pour the ingredients in.

img_1320-small img_1333-small img_1331-small

Measure the butter (275g) out and get your toddler to cut it into small chunks. If it’s slightly softened they should be able to do this with a butter or table (ie not sharp) knife. If it’s too hard, try zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds.

img_1315-small img_1336-small

The recipe calls for chocolate chips – i don’t tend to have these in the house, but we’ve always got some kind of chocolate in the cupboard so today we just used 100g from a bar of white chocolate. I cut it up into small pieces with a sharp knife and Hannah popped it into the mixing bowl.

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Mix everything together
I got a new mixer for Christmas which Hannah loves so we used that to mix everything together, but you could just use a wooden spoon or a hand held mixer. You’re done when it all looks evenly blended.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, using a spatula spread the mixture gently into the corners and level the top.

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Bake your chocolate brownies
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. The brownies are cooked when the top has a nice crust and a skewer put in the middle comes out clean. If it starts to look a bit brown on top, cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes.

img_1380-small chocolate brownies

Leave the chocolate brownies to cool in the tin then cut them into 24 squares (or fewer if you want bigger pieces).