Thursday, 6 February 2014

Let them eat cake

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I asked the children whether they wanted to make saltdough hearts or bake.
It's the equivalent of asking them if they want to sit on the thinking step or go to the park.
And so.
We baked.
I have learned that they must bake with me.
Otherwise the moment my back is turned the food mixer has been switched on.
Our cupcake receipe, known off by heart by Seren, is:

4 free range medium eggs
220g caster sugar
220g softened butter
220g self-raising flour
2tsps vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4.
Place 30 cases into cupcake tins.
Cream the butter and caster sugar till smooth and pale.
Mix in the eggs, one at a time.
Add the flour, in at least three parts, ensure well mixed.
Add the vanilla extract and mix.
Spoon into the cupcake cases (1 and 1/2 heaped teaspoons or half full).
Bake in the oven for 20mins or until golden brown, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool.

For decorating we tried something new: Renshaw's Snip and Swirl Chocolate flavour icing.
I was pleasantly surprised on two counts.
Firstly, unlike my piping bags they are enclosed, so I could happily let the children use them independently without it splurging over the top.
Secondly, a sort of big plus- the children ate it. They hate icing, they hate my buttercream- whatever the flavour.
It is one of my biggest dilemmas. They love decorating cakes but then I end up scraping off the toping for them to eat the sponge.
No more.
Now my biggest problem is getting them to the bathroom quick enough to clean their mucky face and hands.

And so, they had lots of fun icing their cakes.
 And then I set them to work decorating the cake, with sprinkles and these were their cakes, and they were so proud of their valentine's gifts for daddy.
Seb was so impressed with his cake, that of course he started eating it as soon as he had finished (I expect nothing less of this eating machine).

And because I relented, because they were so proud of their efforts, that their reward was eating the cakes (poor daddy!), I decided to let my OCD have an outlet and make some Valentine's cakes with Seren for the week's packed lunches.
And what beats chocolate and flowers for Valentine's?
Disclosure: We received a Cupcake Frosting pack from Renshaw to create an entry for their Valentine's competition. As Mr J hasn't a clue on baking me treats, the children and I decide to bake for him... well that was the intention!

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