Tag: medium

Raspberry and white chocolate brownies

Difficulty: Easy/a bit harder

Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking

Serves: 12





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


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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!


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.


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

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Brazilian chicken

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes cooking

Serves: 2 adults and 2 toddlersimg_2802-small






5 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
1 large onion (or 2 small)
2 cloves of garlic
A thumb size knob of ginger
Tin of tomatoes
150ml coconut cream
1 tsp chilli flakes* (*optional)
4 sprigs of fresh coriander (or a tbsp of dried)


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We only discovered this Brazilian chicken dish recently, but it has become a family favourite. I don’t know much about South American cuisine, so don’t know what makes this particularly Brazilian, but I do know that it tastes nice and that both the kids eat it! It doesn’t have too many ingredients, and doesn’t take too long to cook so makes a perfect midweek meal.


Make a puree with the onion, garlic and ginger
Get your toddler to help peel the onion and garlic, and then pop them into a small blender. (We have a small hand pulled chopper which Hannah likes to use so we used that).
Peel the garlic – using a teaspoon is the easiest way, and a way your child can safely help with. Add the piece of ginger to the blender.

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Blend together until you have a puree
*This recipe still works if you don’t have a blender. Just chop the onion finely, crush the garlic and grate the ginger.

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Brown the chicken
In a large pan add a drizzle of oil and cook the chicken until it is brown on both sides. Remove it from the pan, and set aside for now.


Make the sauce
Add the onion/garlic/ginger mixture to your pan and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes until it’s softened.


Get your child to help you open the tin of tomatoes if they can and add it safely to the pan.

Bring the pan back to the boil, and then add the chicken again.


Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through (add a splash of water or stock if it reduces too much).

Get your toddler to measure the coconut cream into a jug or bowl. Add it to your pan and give it all a stir.

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Add the coriander.

Serve with rice or pasta.

Brazilian chicken

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Hot cross buns

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 1 hour + 1-2 hrs proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 12 bunsimg_1994-small






For the dough
450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
150ml warm milk
1 egg, beaten
oil, for greasing

The spices and dried fruit
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
100g raisins (or any other sultanas/currents/peel etc)

For decoration
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp granulated flour


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With Easter just around the corner, Hannah might be excited that the Easter bunny is coming but i’m more happy that it’s hot cross bun season! I’ve never made them before but it was quite easy – just like making any bread or pizza dough. We shortened the length of time we left the dough to rise (there’s only so many times you can expect a toddler to wait patiently) but they still turned out well and were nicer than the usual ones we get from the supermarket.


Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl
First, get your toddler to weigh the flour (450g) and sugar (50g) into the bowl. While they’re doing that, measure in the salt (pinch). Open the two packets of yeast, and add them to the bowl.

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Prepare the wet ingredients
Measure the butter (50g), then melt it either in the microwave or gently over the hob. Measure the milk (150ml) into a jug and heat that gently (we popped in the microwave as well.) Neither need to be too hot as that will kill the yeast – lukewarm/tepid so you can comfortably hold your finger in the mixture is about right.

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Make a well in middle of the flour and break the egg into the centre. If you’re worried about shell, break it in a separate bowl first. Mix it a little before adding the butter, milk and 50 ml of warm water.

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Make the dough
Mix everything together until you have a soft dough. Start using a spoon and once it starts to come together finish with your hands. If the mixture is too dry (ours was) just add a little more warm water. If it’s too wet, add more flour. It should be able to come together to form a ball.


Knead the dough in your bowl or lightly oiled or floured work surface until it becomes smooth and springy. It’ll take at least 5-10 minutes or longer depending on how much fun you’re having!

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Pop it in a clean bowl, cover it and leave in a warm place until it has roughly doubled in size. It’ll probably take about an hour depending on how warm it is.

Make the hot cross buns
While the dough is rising, measuring the fruits and spices into a bowl. (1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 nutmeg, 100g fruit).

Once the dough has risen, tip it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds then add the fruit and spices. Knead the dough until it is all evenly distributed.

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* At this point we started to run out of time so cut out the next step. They turned out pretty well without it though so I might not bother with it in the future.

Leave to rise for another hour until it has doubled in size again.

Once it’s ready, tip it onto your work surface again and knead for a few seconds. Divide into 12 even balls. We rolled out 4 sausages, then divided each into 3 pieces before rolling into balls.

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Put them on to a greased baking tray or a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave a little room between them as they’ll expand. Mark a cross on top of each bun using a sharp knife then cover them loosely and leave them to rise for 20 minutes or so. They should roughly double in size again.


Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan.

Bake the buns
Before you put the buns in the oven, mix the plain flour with enough water to make a thick paste. Use a piping bag or a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the buns are golden. When they’re ready they’ll sound hollow if you tap them on the bottom.


Take the hot cross buns out the oven and while they’re still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan and brush it over the buns to give them a nice glaze.

hot cross buns

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White chocolate and custard biscuits

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 40 minutes + 15 minutes baking

Serves: Makes 18 biscuitsimg_1500-small






175g caster sugar
140g butter
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
85g custard powder
85g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks


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My favourite biscuit is a classic custard cream and these are a delicious take on that, with the yummy (in my opinion) addition of white chocolate chunks. I use a well loved recipe I cut out from a copy of Good Food magazine years ago.

These white chocolate and custard biscuits are also a great way of getting you and your toddler’s hands a bit dirty as you form the biscuits into balls by hand rather than using any cutters.


Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan and prepare your baking trays.
Get your toddler to put baking paper down on 2-3 baking sheets. I find these biscuits spread a bit in the oven so the more space you have to spread them out the better.


Mix the sugar and butter
Measure out your sugar (175g) into a bowl, or mixer if you’re using one.

Measure the butter (140g) and chop into a few small pieces before adding to the bowl. It’s easier to mix if you use slightly softened butter (leave it out the fridge for a while before you use it or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds). In addition, the softer the butter the easier it is for your toddler to practice their cutting with a blunt knife – one of Hannah’s favourite things to do!

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Mix together until they look light and fluffy.

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Add the egg and vanilla extract
Crack the egg into a separate bowl before adding it, along with the vanilla (1/2 tsp), into the sugar/butter mixture.

Sieve in the flour and custard
Weigh out the flour (225g) and custard powder (85g) then add to your mixture. You can use a sieve here if you want, although if your little one is anything like mine it might just add to your mess!

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Pulse your mixture together (ie mix it slowly and not too much) until it comes together into a bit of a dough.

Add the chocolate
Chop the chocolate (85g) into small chunks then get your toddler to add it into your biscuit dough. Stir them in with a spoon or by hand.

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Form the biscuits
You and your toddler can do this bit together: grab little bits of your biscuit dough and roll them into balls. They are supposed to be about the size of a walnut but I don’t really know how big walnuts so I go for a ping pong/golf ball size… It doesn’t really matter, as long as they are all roughly the same size.


Place them on the baking sheets, a little apart as they’ll spread in the oven. Press each biscuit down lightly with your fingers so they end up slightly squashed balls.

When I made these most recently, our scales still weren’t working so our measurements were a little off and the dough a little sticky… but here’s what they should look like before they go in the oven.

Bake you white chocolate and custard biscuits
Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are lightly golden. If yours have ended up a little uneven in size, like ours tend to, just keep an eye on them in the oven and move your baking sheets around if you have to.

Remove your white chocolate and custard biscuits from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

White chocolate and custard biscuits


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Homemade chicken nuggets

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 40 minutes + 25 cooking

Serves: 4img_1559-small






1 or 2 chicken breasts *, cut into strips/pieces
2/3 slices of bread
2 eggs


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Chicken nuggets are a good midweek meal but I don’t really like the thought of what goes into shop bought ones so we make them from scratch. It’s much quicker and simpler than you might think and they go down well with all the family, especially James, (the biggest kid).

We used 1 large chicken breast and it was just about enough to feed all of us. Next time I’ll probably use 2 and put any left overs in the freezer – they’re easy to reheat in the oven.


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan and prepare a baking tray.
Get your toddler to line a baking sheet with grease proof paper. You don’t have to do this, but I find it helps stop them sticking.

Prepare the coating
There are three parts to the crumb – flour, egg and breadcrumb.

First, make the breadcrumb. Hannah just tore up two slices of bread, and whizzed them up in our hand food processor. Slightly stale bread works a bit better, but I just normally use the heals from whatever bread we have open. You can add seasoning if you like at this point, or some parmesan or herbs. Put the breadcrumb in a dish ready for dipping.

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Next, crack the eggs into a dish and mix them with a fork.

Finally, spoon some flour into a dish.


Coat the chicken
To make it easier, line the three dishes up in the right order with the prepared baking sheet at the end.


Take each bit of chicken and dip them first in the flour, then coat them in egg before covering in breadcrumbs. I don’t normally let Hannah near raw chicken but I let her help me cover them in breadcrumbs, on the condition she didn’t touch anything else (especially herself) before we were able to wash her hands. I’m glad I trusted her as she did a really good job.

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Bake the chicken nuggets
Bake them in the oven for approx 25 minutes. They’re ready when they’ve crisped up and become a nice golden brown colour.

chicken nuggets

You can serve them with anything or try sweet potato wedges: cut a sweet potato into wedges, drizzle in oil, place them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven with your chicken nuggets.


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Homemade pizza

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 30 minutes + 1-2 hrs proving + 25 minutes baking

Serves: 1 large pizzaimg_1396-small






For the pizza dough
2 cups of strong white plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1tsp salt
½ tsp fast action yeast
150ml lukewarm water

For the topping
Packet of mozzarella
Tin of tomatoes
Any other toppings you like


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On a snowy Saturday where better to while away some time than the kitchen? Making it from scratch somehow makes it feel like a healthier dinner than shop bought pizza plus you can add any topping you want. This recipe makes one large pizza or you could make 2-3 small ones and let your kids choose their own toppings.
Our scales broke when I went to use them so I switched to a recipe that uses cups instead of grams – the rough equivalent of flour is 275g.


Measure the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (2 cups) into a large bowl. While they are doing this you can add the salt (1 tsp) and yeast (1/2 tsp). I don’t quite trust Hannah to do this all on her own yet as it’s such a small amount but if you have older children with a steady hand they could do this step with a little help.


Make the dough
There are two ways of doing this: the more authentic version sees you mix everything on a floured work surface. When Hannah is involved however, I prefer to go for a less messy way and do it in the bowl. Make a well in the flour and simply get your toddler to pour the water (150ml) and olive oil (1 tbsp) into the middle.

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With a spoon, mix the ingredients until they come together to form a (slightly wet and sticky) dough.

At this point you can use your hands, and get your toddler to knead it for a few minutes, either in the bowl or a lightly floured work surface. Pizza is great for practicing kneading as, unlike something like bread, it doesn’t rise much so it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it perfectly. Hannah’s version of kneading at this point probably more closely resembles bashing.

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Once the dough ball looks smooth, pop it in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave it in a warm place until its roughly doubled in size.


When it’s ready (or if you can’t wait, just when you’re hungry) turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and roll it out – it’s just like rolling out play dough so your toddler should be good at helping even if you need to get it to the final size and shape. Place it on to a baking sheet.

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Heat the oven to 200C

Make the topping
Drain the tin of tomatoes then get your toddler to spread it on the pizza base. We also like to add some tomato puree for a bit of extra flavour.

Chop up or grate some mozzarella then get sprinkle that on top.

Add any other topping you like.

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Bake the pizza
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on it. You may need to turn it if one side is browning faster than the other.

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