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Baking with mother

Some of my earliest memories are cooking with my mum- now Saturday morning is baking time with North London Toddler. Messy play, creativity and life skills (if you want to live on sugar) all rolled into 1!  Here are some of our all time favourites!


One of the first things I ever learned to make as a child- and still a firm favourite- lots of opportunities for getting stuck in!

Plain flour: 100g
Butter: 25g
Sultanas: 25g
1 level teasp baking powder
Caster sugar: 25g
4 tablespoons milk

Pre-heated oven: Gas Mark 6, 200C.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour mixture until the mixture is like breadcrumbs. Add the sultanas to the mixture. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, mixing by hand to form a soft dough. Flatten the dough on a floured surface into a circle 2 cms thick. Either cut into triangles or use a cookie cutter to shape. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm with butter and jam!


Is it cheating to buy a packet? I don't think so! North London toddler spotted Dora cupcakes (by Greens) from the trolley in Waitrose so we gave them ago.  Lots of fun getting the mix into cup cake cases, and within 10 minutes there is a batch of cupcakes waiting to be iced. The packet has icing and also rice paper figures to decorate the cakes with- we ended up with a great batch that North London Toddler looked forward to each day!

If you fancy making your own- we love this recipe:

Equal quantities (we use 110g) of self raising flour, caster sugar and butter.  1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 of vanilla essence. 2 large free range eggs.

Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (we usually have a good go by hand and then finish off with an electric beater).  Mix until the mixture is light and fluffy. Place teaspoons of the mixture into fairy cake cases (either doubled up or in a muffin pan). The recipe usually makes 12 (taking into account spillages and finger-licking!). Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden and firm to touch.

To decorate we grab anything in the house- although Waitrose does a great line of sprinkles, sparkles and jewelled sweets.  When the cakes have cooled, place 200g of sifted icing sugar in a bowl. Add either the juice of 1 large lemon or 55ml of boiling water a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of mayonnaise. Put a little icing on the top of each cake, and decorate freely!


Maybe obvious- but lots of fun! We cheat with a shop-bought base - prick with a fork all over, drizzle over a little olive oil and then spread with passatta. Then its over to the kids- depending on what's in the fridge a combination of grated cheese (cheddar, ementhal) and mozarella, and sliced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms some herbes de provence!


A great treat- if the kids aren't old enough to toss the pancakes then they can do the fillings:

Plain flour: 50g
1 egg
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter

Nutella (of course!)
Banana and honey
Lemon juice and sugar

Sift the flour, with a pinch of salt, into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg, a little milk and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon. While stirring, add the rest of milk and beat thoroughly. Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and melt the butter- just enough to coat the pan. Beat the pancake mixture once more and pour into a jug. Pour just enough of the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan very thinly. Cook quickly, shaking the pan to prevent sticking, until the underside is lightly browned. Turn or toss and cook on the second side. Pile high on a plate and let the children get filling!

What are your favourite things to bake or cook with the kids? We would love to hear from you!

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