Posts Tagged With: project

Microwave play dough

I haven’t actually made this, but they made it at the children’s centre a few weeks ago and I asked for the recipe because it worked so well. I will update this when I’ve tried it

2 mugs plain flour

1 mug salt

2 mugs cold water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tsp cream of tartar

Optional glitter or food colouring

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl

Cook in microwave for 1 minute on high

Remove and stir well

Cook for 1 more minute

Knead well

You can apparently also do it on hob by cooking on a low heat whilst stirring

When you can’t mix it any more remov from heat, wait until it’s cooled and then knead

Whichever way you make it, store it in the fridge and it lasts at least 2 weeks

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Easter egg rocky road

This is a reader recipe from the latest good food magazine and it was so yummy! Such a fun thing to make with panther for Easter. A little expensive as you need a whole 2 bags of mini eggs, but luckily I already had the cranberries and I always use cheapo chocolate in recipes. Well worth a try!

200g dark chocolate (recipe said 225 but this is daft, awkward and unnecessary!)

100g butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp golden syrup

100g rich tea biscuits

50g mini marshmallows

50g dried cranberries

200g chocolate mini eggs (2 bags… Quite an expensive recipe really!)

Start by lining a tray… You could make them thin in a traybake tin but I used a loaf tin with a liner. It makes about 10 bars at 399 calories each

Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt until smooth and glossy

Remove from heat and add cocoa and syrup

Mix together

Leave to cool for 15 mins

Bash the biscuits in a freezer bag using a rolling pin (fun for kids!)

Stir the biscuits, cranberries, marshmallows and 2\3 of the mini eggs into the chocolate

Our the mix into the tin and press down until even

Scatter the remaining eggs over it (to make it look eastery!)

Chill in fridge for 1 hour, then cut into bars

Apparently this will keep for a week… Not sure whose house that’s in though, wouldn’t last that long here!

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Simple gingerbread house

I saw some of these in morrisons and had a real urge to make a Halloween haunted house. Then found that Lakeland sell cutters to make your house, making it easy enough even for me! We stuck this together with dark chocolate and made spiders, spiders’ webs and ghosts to decorate it, it looked amaxing! A photo will follow eventually but it’s on my old phone 😦 planning to do a Christmas one using white chocolate soon! Most recipes say to use icing to stick it together, but I find chocolate sets quicker and harder. What’s really good about this is that the biscuits were actually really delicious to eat, even after several days, so nothing was wasted!

250g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb
4tsp ground ginger

Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan
Stir in flour bicarb and ginger, it makes quite a stiff doug
If you don’t have cutters you need to google a template, or make your own
Roll some dough out to a thickness of 2 £1 coins and cut out 4 sides and 2 roof tiles, plus any people etc you want (my set also included windows)
When cutting out the sides and roof you need to roll your dough out on the greaseproof paper, remove the extra bits, and lift the paper onto the tray. Don’t try to lift the gingerbread on its own as the shape will distort and then your house won’t work.

You need to construct your house in stages. Start with the 4 walls. Use melted chocolate (plenty) to stick them together, place cups in the middle to hold them up, and put in fridge for 10/15 mins
Then put roof on in same way. I was worried about this, but mine was easy.
Decorate with whatever ingredients you have / want. We used leftover coloured icing, initially bought from morrisons for the honey bee biscuits, which was very useful.

This is a great recipe, strongly recommended for some fun time in the kitchen!

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Honeybee biscuits

I’ve eaten loads of home baking today, whoops! These are brilliant! Samantha desperately wanted to try honey, so we tried these out (she also tried the honey and almonds on the way and loved them). The original recipe is here in video form (which is really useful when baking with those who can’t read at all!) it’s from Cathryn Dresser, whose book I discovered in tesco last week. I intend to buy it as a present for Samantha for Christmas. My only comment on the recipe would be at you need more flour. I used the amount it ways and then at the end shook some more in until it was a realistic dough to work with. It started off way too sticky, there was no way we could shape it at all.

125g butter
65g icing sugar
130g plain flour (add more after)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp honey
Pinch salt
Demerara sugar

More honey to decorate
Yellow and black sugar paste (I bought a mixed box of colours for just over £2. Means I have other colours to use up but cheaper than buying a whole pack of each, and around the right amount for 10 biscuits, we actually managed to decorate 8)
Flaked almonds (only for the wings, probably don’t buy these just for this recipe, you could do without!)

Blend sugar and butter with electric whisk
Add honey and whisk
Add egg yolk and whisk
Add flour and salt and whisk briefly to mix
Stop whisking and mix a little with a spoon. Add a bit of flour to make the dough less sticky so you can work it
Put some cling film on surface and sprinkle Demerara on it
Form the dough into a sausage on top of the sugar, then sprinkle sugar all round the sausage
Tie up the ends of the cling film sausage like a sweet and put in fridge for 20 mins

Whilst waiting make your bees…
Cut yellow sugar paste into 10 squares
Roll each square into a bee shape
Use your black sugar paste to make 2 stripes and 2 eyes for each bee
Stick 2 flaked almonds into each bee like wings

After 20 mins, take the dough sausage out of fridge and unwrap
Slice it. It should make about 12. 10 proper biscuits and 2 ends (‘chef’s perks’!)
Place slices on a lined greased baking tray and bake in pre heated oven for 10 mins approx
Let biscuits cool a bit, then decorate…

Brush each biscuit with a little honey (used like glue here!)
Place a bee on each one

Here is the finished item, complete with bees, some of which have been single-handedly decorated by panther, age 3!


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Biscuit beach!!!

This was a great project, suggested it to Samantha a few weeks ago and she really took to the idea. It is a Frances Quinn idea from good food magazine, but she’s a bit complicated for is, which was putting me off. In the end I decided to simplify it loads, and make it loads smaller. I didn’t even read much of the recipe as it took up a full page and involved way too many steps! My way is loads simpler. Luckily we had a really small bucket and spade which were a perfect size to make a cheesecake to do four portions. So essentially there are three individual elements to this cake… The biscuit beach, the sandcastle cheesecake and the ice cream cone cakes. Easy!

Sandcastle/ beach
About 450g mixed biscuits (we used malted milk for the castle and ginger for the sands, but better to mix. If you had a normal size bucket you’d need more biscuits)
150g butter (approx)

Cheesecake centre and icing
200g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla (might miss out next time, was a bit sickly)
100g icing sugar
150ml double cream
A few raspberries to put inside the cheesecake (optional)

cone cakes
4 ice cream cones (I used normal ones as that’s what I had but if you have to but them the flat bottomed ones might be easier, although less authentic)
50g butter
50g sugar
50g sr flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sprinkles to decorate
Flake (could use little ones, I just broke up a big one as it was cheaper)

For the cheesecake castle
Crush most of the biscuits in a processor
Melt the butter and stir it in
Use a brush an a bit of oil to grease inside the bucket. Do this quite well
Push the biscuit mixture into the bucket. To make a hole in the middle (for the cheesecake, grease the really small tube from the top of the processor and put it in
When it’s totally full, leave the tube in and place in fridge for an hour

cheesecake filling
Whisk the cream (I didn’t do this but should have)
Whip up the cream cheese in the stand mixer or electric whisk (you’ve probably used this for the cream, so I guess just add in the cheese)
Add in the icing sugar and potentially the vanilla and whip until smooth
Put in fridge until needed

make the cake batter
I did a basic sponge…
Cream butter and sugar
Mix in the egg and vanilla
Stir in the flour

to make the cone cakes
If you’ve used normal cones you need to find a way to hold them upright. I used foil to wedge them into a casserole dish, which worked pretty well. If you’ve used stand up cones you’re laughing!
Put the cake batter in a piping bag and pipe it into the cones. I didn’t do this, I tried to do it with a spoon. Which was tricky. But the main problem I had was I left the mixture poking out of the cone like an ice cream… But of course when it got hot it got wetter and dripped down. So pipe it right into the cone and let it magically rise up like an ice cream… And then use the icing to improve the effect!
Put cones in oven. Didn’t record time. Check after 20 mins

Back to the cheesecake castle
Remove it from fridge after an hour and pull the tube out carefully
Fill the hole with cheesecake mixture and a few strawberries
Put back in the fridge
You can probably have a break for an hour now!

the beach itself
We made our biscuit beach on a plate with quite a good ridge at the edge
Crush the rest of your biscuits and add to the ones you’ve got left over. You may need to add a bit of butter depending how you want it. I did but it’s up to you.
Spread these biscuits on your plate
Turn your castle out. This is a little tricky. I used a knife to help separate it from the bucket, but then it came out surprisingly easily, just like a real sandcastle
Put the remaining cheesecake mixture in a piping bag, with a nozzle if you’ve got one (this was surprisingly easy too. I put the nozzle down the bottom of the closed bag, put the icing in, and then when I snipped the bag I could push the nozzle through the hole.
Pipe the icing onto the cone cakes, so it looks like icing. Add sprinkles.
If you’ve used normal ice cream cones they obviously won’t stand up by themselves so you’ll have to be a bit creative. We leant one on the castle, lay one down, and put one upside down on the castle (we only made three)
When your ice creams are in place put the flakes on
Decorate the beach with your bucket and spade

This was really fun to make, and surprisingly cheap and easy! Took about two hours… And I was sitting down for an hour of it!


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