Tag: chocolate

chocolate eclairs

Chocolate eclairs

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time:30 minutes + 30 baking

Serves: 12

Ingredients

For the choux pastry
50g (1/4 cup) butter, diced
150ml (¼ pint) water
65g plain (2/3 cup) (all-purpose) flour, sifted
2 large eggs, beaten

For the filling
300ml double (heavy) cream

For the icing
50g plain chocolate, chopped
15g (1 tbsp) butter
2 tbsp water
75g (3/4 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

raspberry meringue roulade

Raspberry meringue roulade

sticky toffee pudding

Sticky toffee pudding

chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

berry pavlova

Pavlova

I’ve wanted to make chocolate éclairs for a while but kind of assumed they would be too difficult – or certainly too complicated for the kids to get involved. I came across a recipe in Mary Berry’s baking bible last week though and saw that they were actually simpler than you might think. I also figured that there weren’t too many ingredients in them so if it went pear shaped we wouldn’t be wasting too much!

As it turned out, they were much easier to make than I had first thought and Hannah really enjoyed making (and trying them). Ours might look a little wonky, but they tasted good and that’s what counts!

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan / 400F and grease 2 baking trays or line with baking paper. Get a piping bag with at least a 1cm (1/2 inch) tip ready.

Make the choux pastry

Get your kids to help you measure the butter (50g) and water (150ml) and add to a small pan. Melt the butter over a low heat then slowly bring it to the boil.

Meanwhile measure the flour into a small bowl.

Once the butter/water mixture is boiling, remove it from the heat and add the flour. Beat it until the mixture forms a soft ball and leaves the side of the pan. Leave to cool slightly.

Add the eggs

Get your kids to break the eggs into a small bowl and give them a little whisk. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating really thoroughly between each addition so you have a lovely smooth shiny paste.

Make the eclairs

Spoon the mixture into your piping bag. Pipe the éclair mixture onto your baking trays in straight lines about 15cm or 6 inches long. Leave space between them to allow for spreading. Hannah enjoyed helping with this although not all her éclairs were particularly straight or even. We found it worked best if I still squeezed the piping bag while she just helped guide it.

Bake the éclairs

Pop the eclairs in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170C/150C Fan/325F and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. They’re ready when they are well risen, crisp and golden brown.

Remove the éclairs from the oven and split them with a sharp knife down the side to let the steam escape. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Fill the éclairs

Get your little one to help whip the cream with a hand held electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the whisk attachment. It needs to be just firm enough to pipe.

Fill each éclair with the whipped cream with a piping bag with a plain nozzle.

 

Only fill each éclair when you are ready to eat them. If they sit for too long with the cream inside they’ll go a little soggy.

Decorate the chocolate eclairs

Make the icing

Melt the chocolate (50g), either in the microwave or a bowl set over a pan of hot water (making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water).

Add the butter (15g) and water (2 tbsp) to the chocolate and continue to cook on a low heat until everything has melted. Stir occasionally.

Add the icing sugar and mix well until it’s smooth.

Spoon the chocolate mixture over the top of each éclair and leave to set.

Enjoy!

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Christmas tree brownies

Christmas tree brownies

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes plus 45 minutes baking

Serves: 10

 

Ingredients

275g (1 ¼ cups) softened butter
375g (1 2/3 cups) caster sugar
4 large eggs
75g (5/8 cup) cocoa powder
100g (7/8 cup) self raising flour
100g plain chocolate chips
For the decoration
200g (2 cups) Icing sugar
Green food colouring
Sprinkles

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Mince pies

yule log

Yule log

I’ve seen Christmas tree brownies online and knew I really wanted to make them this festive season. I love brownies (who doesn’t) and this is a really simple way of making them look a bit Christmasy.

We used our favourite brownie recipe so you could use any recipe or a packet mix. Our recipe is delicious and gooey on the inside but a bit crisp on the outside, the way I think brownies should be. It’s also easy to make as you just throw everything into one bowl and mix it all together.

Method

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

 

Measure out the ingredients

Measure all the ingredients into a bowl. 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.

Before putting the butter in 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.

 

Mix everything together

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with wooden spoons, mix everything together until it is evenly blended.

Add the chocolate chips

The recipe calls for chocolate chips if you don’t have any, you can use 100g of chocolate chopped into small pieces. Add them to your brownie mixture and give it one final stir.

Make the brownies

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

Bake the brownies

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. It’s cooked when the top of the brownies have a nice crust or you can stick a skewer in the middle and it should come out clean. If it starts to look a bit brown on top, cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes.

Make the Christmas trees

Once it’s fully cooled remove the brownie from the tin. Cut into Christmas tree shapes (ie triangles). I cut along the middle and then cut a zig zag to form roughly even triangles. There’ll be a little but left over at the edges.

Decorate the Christmas tree brownies

Get your little ones to help you mix some icing sugar together with a spoon or two of water until it is a little runny. Add the green food colour and mix until you have a nice even colour.

You want the icing to be runny enough to add to your trees but not so runny that it spreads everywhere.

Using a small piping bag or if you don’t have one a small zip lock bag with a tiny hole in the corner, pipe a zig zag of icing from the top of your tree to the bottom.

Get your little ones to add a star on top of the Christmas tree brownies and some sprinkles before it sets.


Enjoy!

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Halloween cookies

Halloween cookies

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking

Serves: 15

 

Ingredients

100g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
125g (2/3 cup) golden caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
150g (1 1/8 cup) self-raising flour
100g (1/2 cup) plain chocolate chips
Bake safe colouring
To decorate
Chocolate chips
Maltesers
Black ice writers

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Gingerbread mummies

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread mummies

 

Halloween is the perfect excuse to do some fun baking with kids. There are lots of really simple things you can do and just give them a spooky twist and these biscuits do just that. We took an easy cookie recipe and just decorated them at the end with spiders. The kids really loved making them and when we shared them with friends at a toddler group they were a real hit!

You could use your favourite cookie recipe or a pre-made cookie mix and just add the decorations at the end or follow the recipe below. I found the eyes in a supermarket but if yours doesn’t have them you can find them online.

Method

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F and line 3 baking trays with baking parchment/paper.

Mix the butter and sugar together

Get your little one to measure butter (100g) and pop it into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Measure the sugar (125g) and add to the mixing bowl.

Mix the butter and sugar together until they are evenly blended.

Add the vanilla extract and egg

Get your little one to help you measure the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) and add to your mixing bowl. Crack the egg in a small bowl. Give it a little whisk and then add it gradually to your mixing bowl, beating it well between each addition.

  

Add the flour

Weigh the flour into a small bowl then add to your mixture. Finally add the chocolate chips and give it one final mix.

 

 

Make the Halloween cookies

Spoon large teaspoons of the cookie mixture on to your prepared baking trays. Make sure you leave enough room for them to spread.

Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. They’re ready when they are turning golden. I like them a little gooey in the middle still. If you don’t cook them a minute or two longer. Don’t leave them in too long though as they’ll turn dark brown very quickly.

Decorate the cookies

Remove the cookies from the oven and, if you’re little ones are helping to decorate them, carefully place them on to a wire rack. You can leave them on the baking trays if you’re doing it yourself, being careful not to burn yourself!

 

Add either a malteser or a few chocolate chips to each of your cookies while they’re still warm.

Let them cool a bit, then draw the spider’s legs on with the black writing icing.

Melt a sqare of chocolate and use that to stick the candy eyes on to your maltesers.

Enjoy! The cookies will keep for a few days in an air tight container.

Halloween cookies

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Giant cookie

Giant cookie cake

Giant cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes plus 20 minutes baking

Serves: 16 slices

Ingredients

225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
350g (2 cups) soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large packs of M&Ms

giant cookie

 

 

 

 

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I’ve wanted to make a giant cookie for a while (who doesn’t!) so when the kids asked to do some baking while we were packing to go on holiday I thought it was the perfect excuse! I figured we’d use a cookie recipe we already know and love and just try and bake it differently in one large cake tin. I’m pleased to say it worked. As long as you like your cookie a wee bit gooey in the middle I think you’d like this.

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line an 8 inch/ 20cm cake tin with baking paper

Mix the butter and sugar

Get your child to measure the butter (225g) and sugar (350g) out then add to a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Mix them together using the paddle attachment, a hand held mixer, or wooden spoons until the eggs 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 each addition.

 

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, or help them and steady their hand while you pour if you need to.

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 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. We seem to have to do this a lot, especially to get the bits at the bottom, but it’s a good excuse to sample a wee bit of raw cookie dough as you go along!

Get the toddler to add in one pack of the M&Ms to your dough mixture. Give it one last mix so that everything is nicely combined.

 

Make the giant cookie

Pour the cookie dough into your prepared cake tin. Press down the mixture with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a few more M&Ms on top until it looks nice and colourful.

Bake the cookies

Pop the giant cookie in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes. It’s ready when the edge has turned golden brown and they’ve flattened down. It’ll still be a bit gooey in the middle but that’s how I like them. Cook it longer if you prefer a more crispy cookie.

Leave it in the cake tin to cool slightly, then move it to a wire rack to cool completely.

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raspberry and chocolate brownies

Raspberry and chocolate brownies

 

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 30 minutes + 35 minutes baking

Serves: 25

Ingredients

300g milk/dark chocolate
250g (1 cup) pack butter
400g (2 cups) soft light brown sugar
4 large eggs
140g (1.25 cup) plain flour
50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
200g (1 cup) raspberries

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Brownies are a great thing to make with kids because they’re so simple: you mix everything in one bowl recipes, pour in a baking tray and pop in the oven. These are a little harder than my usual brownies because you have to melt the chocolate in a pan first, but they make a tasty alternative and are still loads of steps for your kids to get involved with.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 20×30 cm baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar

Get your kids to break the chocolate into pieces and put into a small pan. Measure the butter and sugar out and add to your pan.

  

Heat over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until it is fully melted, then remove from the heat.

Add the eggs

Break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or cup and add to your melted chocolate mixture.  Stir the eggs in, one at a time.

Add the flour and cocoa

Get your kids to measure the flour out and add to a large bowl. Measure in the cocoa. We did this through a sieve to get rid of the lumps (but be warned it can get really messy so keep a close eye on it!)

raspberry and chocolate brownies raspberry and chocolate brownies

Add the chocolate mixture to your flour and stir it in.

raspberry and chocolate brownies raspberry and chocolate brownies

Add the raspberries

Stir half the raspberries into the bowl.

Bake the raspberry and chocolate brownies

Pour the raspberry mixture into your prepared baking tin. Get your child to scatter over the remaining raspberries. Make sure they spread them out as much as possible. Ours were a little to clumped together which meant those bits didn’t cook very well.

raspberry and chocolate brownies raspberry and chocolate brownies

 

Bake for 30-35 minutes. It’s ready when the top has crisped up but it still has a little wobble. Cook it a bit longer if you want a firmer texture.

Cool in the tin, then remove and cut into squares.

Enjoy! These raspberry and chocolate brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long).

raspberry and chocolate brownies

 

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