Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Caking In The Dark with Wholesome Ireland

One of my favourite Irish bloggers Caitriona Redmond of Wholesome Ireland has been kind enough to write a guest post for me. It comes on the back of a fabulous article in the Irish Times today by another brilliant Irish blogger Sinead Fox from Bumbles of Rice, who talks about her love of getting her 4 year old and 2 year old boys involved in the kitchen. Caitriona agrees wholeheartedly - although going by this experience I'm not sure her own kids will be let back in for a few days at least!

And before you roll your eyes and think to yourself - 'well it's ok for stay at home Mums like them...' - Sinead is actually a solicitor who commutes to Dublin from Wexford, and Caitriona is currently in the middle of writing, producing and photographing her very first cook book. So no excuses I'm afraid!

Take it away Caitriona...

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Caking rules to learn by heart:

Baking is best done when the kids aren't around. Sticky fingers on doors, clothes, and cake mixture in my hair is not a good combination.
When cool (parent as well as the cakes) lay out all the decorations in separate dishes on the table.


Take the toddler off the table.
Show the kids how to spread frosting on top of the cakes.
Remind the kids to use spoons.
Decide that fingers will just have to do.

Turn a blind eye to the finger licking and double dipping of the frosting mixture.

Show the kids how to dip the cakes upside down in the sprinkles to get even coverage.
Wonder where the heck the goggles came from.


Turn your back for a second.

Rookie mistake.
Goggles are now full of sprinkles and on the 4 year old's face.
Realise that the number of sprinkles multiplied by millilitres is the approximate amount of caffeine it's going to take you to get through the day.
Wrestle the acceptable looking cakes from the kids to take a photograph.

Grab the camera.
Discover the 19 month old has driven a Tonka truck through the display.

Take a photo and realise that the truck has a cheeky smiley face. Not unlike the sprinkle covered ones around the table.

Sweep the table.

Vacuum the children.
Discover that the 4 year old thought it would be funny to dip a frosted cake in cat litter.
Dump the cakes.
Open a packet of rich tea.

Next time I'm caking in the dark, after they've gone to bed.

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And just in case you think you could do better - here's the recipe:

Makes 12 large Cupcakes or 24 buns.
Ingredients
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g malted milk powder (horlicks or ovaltine are the brand names in Ireland)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method
Preheat your (fan) oven to 180 degrees Celcius and put liners into a cupcake tray/tin.
Put the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, malted milk powder and baking powder). into a large bowl and stir.
Put all the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract) into a large jug and stir well so that they are mixed together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat until there are no lumps. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, making sure to fill only to the 3/4 mark as otherwise they will spill over.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. The malted milk powder will make them turn quite golden on top and crunchy. Test the centre with a cocktail stick after the 20 minutes. If the stick comes out clean then they are baked. Otherwise bake for a further 5 minutes.
These cupcakes taste delicious on their own but equally they can be frosted/iced with a whipped combination of 100g softened butter, 300g royal icing and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
(Goggles are optional..)



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