You know you’re happy when things like these happen:
And the beauty of it is that it doesn’t take much – some baking ingredients, two keen bakers and a tiny bit of determination on your side. That is basically all. The rest comes as you go.
I loved these two little baking stars and the whole photo recipe making. They were gorgeous, and I am glad they had such a fine time together. Hoping a bit now, I can share with you not only the recipe, but a bit of the fun they had that day. Let’s get started then! Wink.
The Little Person was very keen on having his lovely friend come over for a playdate, and with that being quite near Easter, we thought doing a little seasonal bake would be a good idea – so our minds followed Easter bunny in his footsteps…from carrots we got very easily to carrot cake, and from that we wondered if the cake could possibly be transformed into single cupcakes. And it kind of worked.
When working with your little ones at home, it is quite necessary to be prepared beforehand: you need to have your ingredients ready before their arrival to the kitchen, plus, make sure they know there’s a couple of things only adults can do, that depending on the age of your little bakers.. e.g. working with a hot oven or sharp knives etc.. The rest is easy and a great joy for both you and them.
As for my blogger / photographer friends, it is also great to explain the little chefs a bit how it works with the camera, why you need those diffusers, reflectors and also, why sometimes you would want them play the “statue game” – that is when you don’t want to loose a fantastic shot. Believe me, it works, it makes them feel special and they like to become “the photo stars”. At least with those less shy ones.
Naturally, the best and most important thing is to make your little ones feel comfortable and happy to do that baking!
During our baking afternoon, we not only baked, of course, but learnt things.
We learnt to recognize some ingredients – like ground ginger and stem ginger, or what the difference between measuring in tbsp and tsp is. I wonder if they remember, smile.
We started with dry ingredients:
280g plain flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp salt and 175g dark muscovado sugar.
One of the main ingredients of our cake were 175g freshly grated carrots.
In my country, adding vegetables into sweet recipes is still a bit of a taboo and I hope none of my friends here will dismiss this lovely recipe just for its name, for the juicy and beautiful veg it contains.
Stir in the carrots, 2 pieces of chopped stem ginger, 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger, and 55 g raisins – I dusted those with a bit of flour to prevent them from falling to the bottom of the baking cups.
Mix together 3 tbsp sunflower oil (I used olive oil), juice of 1 orange, 2 beaten eggs and pour them into the dry ingredients. Here we went a bit too fast, however, we mixed our dry and wet ingredients well together.
You would usually preheat the oven at the beginning of your work, we, however, were perfectly fine turning it on at this point, and let it preheat to 180 ºC (fan), because instead of using one 20 cm greased and lined round cake tin (which you use if you’re not into the cupcake version), we used cupcake cases and it takes a while till those get filled by little hands.
Place paper cupcake cases into the muffin/cupcake tin.
Now comes the truly very fun part, and that is spooning the cake mixture into the paper cases.
It was a bit messy and absolutely lovely business.
Bake in the preheated oven, until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and when the wooden stick inserted into centre of each comes out clean. Let cool completely.
To make the icing, mix together 250g cream cheese (I always use full fat soft cheese), stir in 3 tbsp icing sugar and 1 tbsp vanilla paste.
If you’re making the whole cake, remove it from the tin and spread the cheese icing all over the top. Use orange zest stripes to decorate it.
If you make cupcakes like we did, spread the cheese icing over the top of each one of them, and then add some small decorations – we used chocolate eggs and mini carrots. Our green icing melted a bit after few hours, we kept them at room temperature, though.
The little ones liked them, the cupcakes needn’t be of perfect shapes. What is important is the fact, that they made them themselves and decorated them the way they liked.
Above all, we had a really lovely time together, and I felt happy for having those two at the baking table, both of them excited about doing some nice work – a wonderful thing, because besides having some nice activity to keep them busy, it also adds to creating their childhood memories.
Original recipe comes from my favourite and often used book of “Easy Baking” by Marks & Spencer.