Cajun Veggie Stew

I found this recipe recently and I thought I would share it (along with my alterations). This recipe is Vegetarian, Vegan and (most importantly) a one pot meal, making it perfect for a midweek meal you need to cook in a hurry or a simple comforting dish when the weather is, well, British. It’s packed full of veggies so it is perfect for kids. “My kids don’t like veggies”. Well, guess what, Karen, neither does my fiance. He is a big kid or a ‘manly man’ when it comes to food. It’s either turkey dinosaurs or lots of meat and failing that, lots of cheese but he actually liked this AND had seconds AND requested I made it again!

I find this is best served with warm crusty bread but you could serve it with rice. This recipe makes enough to serve 4. Being a one pot meal you will literally only need one large saucepan, a chopping board, a sharp knife and a sieve (if you want to rince your tinned chickpeas). That’s it!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g sweet potato
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic (I buy the jarred, already minced stuff because I’m lazy)
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (I buy the Schwartz one found in the spices aisle)
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • tinned chickpeas
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cut sweet potato, red onion and bell peppers into bite sized chunks. Mince or finely chop the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and add the sweet potato, red onion and peppers.
  3. Sauté until softened then stir in the garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the Cajun seasoning, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Simmer on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally,  until the sweet potato is soft enough to your taste. This should take between 10-20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm crusty bread.

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It is literally that simple. I like to make a big batch of this so I can reheat it for lunches or make multiple dinners for my little one. You can add more Cajun seasoning to intensify the flavour or add chilli powder to give it a kick. It is so versatile that it will suit almost anyone’s tastes.


If you make this, I would love to hear how it went. Follow me on my socials and you can share pictures with me when you make this! Hope this has helped with the dreaded meal planning or a last minute “what do I make?” panic. Thanks for reading!

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Star Wars Day: Wookie Cookies

I know. You’re surprised to see Star Wars content on this blog. I haven’t even seen a full movie (don’t come for me). However, Steven and his family are Star Wars fans, verging on super fans. So, I thought this May the fourth, I would cheer them up with these! I first saw this idea on Pinterest and wanted to recreate it with my own recipe.

I have previously made other Star Wars themed bakes for Steven’s brother’s 40th birthday. We organised a Star Wars themed kids party (with no kids) in our new home (at the time), which included: Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda, Star Wars pun food (Ham Solo sandwiches), inflatable lightsabers, homemade photo booth and a Millennium Falcon cake.

It’s a relatively simple recipe but, nevertheless, may the force be with you! See? I can do Sci-Fi!

Recipe

You will need:

Ingredients

  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 180g Butter (soft)
  • 125g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 125g Golden Syrup
  • 190g chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Sift the flour and spices together in a large bowl.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add egg and golden syrup to creamed mixture and combine well.
  4. Gradually add in the flour and spices until fully combined and makes a loose dough.
  5. Split the mixture into 3. Wrap in clingfilm and chill overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170° Fan.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  8. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut out your gingerbread man shapes.
  9. Using a fork, make impressions in the dough to look like fur.IMG_8379
  10. Bake on a lined baking tray for 8-12 minutes (depending on size of cookies and whether you like them soft or crisp).
  11. Leave to cool on a wire rack.IMG_8382
  12. Once fully cooled, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between until fully melted.
  13. Leave the chocolate to cool slightly before pouring it into a piping back (or you can use a zip lock bag)
  14. Snip the end of the piping bag (or the corner of the zip lock bag) and pipe a diagonal line across your gingerbread man.
  15. Place the white chocolate chips along this line. I used white candy melts because my cookies were quite large (and it’s all I had in the house #QuarantineLife).
  16. (Optional) pipe two eyes and a nose on your wookie with the chocolate.

So, there you go! Absolutely delicious wookie cookies! Not bad for a non-nerd, aye? I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you recreate these, please share the pictures with me! I would love to see your quarantine baking!

Happy Star Wars Day!


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At Home Activities For Toddlers

With all the chaos of the Corona Virus, a lot of people are isolated at home with little ones. While this seems stressful, this is the perfect opportunity to have some fun! I thought I would create a post with some ideas of what to do with your little ones during this time.

Also, sorry for the silence recently! I spent the weekend in Wales for my best friend’s wedding and had an absolutely amazing time!

The following activities are really simple and you probably have everything you need to do all of these. No need to venture out. While all of these activities are simple, children should be supervised at all times.

1. Paper Chutes

These are super easy to make. You could even use the toilet paper tubes that you’ve bulk bought in panic. I used craft card because I didn’t.
All you need to do is tape the paper tubes to a free wall (I used the back of a door) and show your little one how to drop balls into them. If you have any ball-pit balls, these would be perfect. We don’t, so we used play fruit! Get creative! You could use balled up socks, tennis balls or even pompoms!

For older children, you could colour code the tubes and get them to sort different coloured pompoms into them to help them learn their colours.

2. Indoor Croquet

For this you will need: craft card, tape and scissors.
Cut strips of card long enough so small balls can pass through them when you bend them. Fold the ends over and tape to the floor. Little ones can have fun pushing the balls through the arches and older children can play a game with points or use things to hit the balls through.

3. Feet Painting

This is my personal favourite (although probably the messiest). We have a huge roll of paper bought from IKEA but you can use craft paper taped together or old wrapping paper. Dip your little ones’ feet in paint and let them walk across the paper. Older kids could try and spell their name with their feet or make pictures! Fair warning, you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do!

4. Kitchen Messy Play

My little girl is still too small to help me in the kitchen or do baking together but we love to do kitchen messy play to introduce her to it. Olivia has a play kitchen so we gathered some of the play pots and pans, some rice, pasta and flour, measuring spoons and small toys to use.

I keep this big Tupperware  box of messy play in the cupboard so we can get it out to use any time. We scoop flour into different pots using spoons and mix dry pasta and rice in bowls.

5. Water Play

This is an obvious one but this is my daughter’s favourite! Water play can be messy but you can use this to your advantage! Sometimes, I like to make a washing up bowl of warm soapy water and get Olivia to help me clean her plastic toys. She thinks it is a lot of fun and it gets them clean! Otherwise, the usual things are fun in water: her plastic tea set, measuring spoons, play pots and pans, etc.

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Make it extra soapy and play with the bubbles!

6. Other Ideas

Just because you’re in isolation, doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house. Play in the garden and get muddy, plant flowers, go to the park, have a picnic lunch in your garden or paint the fences with water (you’ll be amazed how entertained kids are by this). Remember to pull together in these times. Help a neighbour, look out for those who can’t get out, text that Mother that is home alone with all the kids. Show some support.

Top tip! Everyday, put on some music and dance with your kids. It’ll cure boredom, lift spirits and give a little laughter which is something that is priceless in times like this.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Make the best of the rain for the storm will pass.


Thanks for reading!
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Save Time and Money

Hello Readers,

I don’t know about you but I found this last winter very taxing on the bank account. Especially being a Mum, we are scrimping and making savings wherever we can. One huge saving we have made is on our energy bills. Saving even just a bit of money on gas and electric has made such a difference to our bank accounts and I don’t have to tell you how much that means when you have kids!

I had a very exciting email sent to me this week from the people at Look After My Bills, asking if I would like to join their Affiliate Programme. This name may ring a bell to you. You may have seen them on Dragon’s Den (BBC) in 2018 where they won over all 5 Dragons with their collective energy switching service website that they set up in University together. Since then, they have fully immersed themselves into helping people save money on their energy bills.

How? A really simple and easy website. Unlike other price comparison websites, Look After My Bills do all the tedious work for you. Instead of having to use the site regularly every year to look for a better deal, Look After My Bills do it for you and automatically sign you up to the energy deal that will save you the most money based on your circumstances.LAMB

Too good to be true? Not at all. Using the link below, you can get this service for free. No joke. All you need to do is fill out some information about your energy, what you use, what kind of tariff you’re currently on, etc. It takes about 2 minutes (the only form you’ll ever have to fill in) and they will help to find you a different energy deal that will save you money on your gas and electricity bills.

After you have completed your 2 minute sign up, LAMB (Look After My Bills) do all the work to find you the best deals. They will then let you know when they have found you a deal and will switch you over to the new supplier. You don’t have to do anything! And once that deal is up? They’ll switch you again to make sure you always get the best price. You don’t even need to contact your old supplier to switch payments. They do it all for you. You will be contacted when they are looking for a new deal for you and when they have found that deal for you (with all the details). Don’t worry, you can always cancel the Look After My Bills service whenever you want! If you don’t like the supplier they switch you to, then you will have a 14 day cooling off period with them to cancel the switch. You’re always in control!

Click here for this free service guaranteed to save you at least £50!


Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate links.

Fluffy Bunny Pancakes

Tomorrow is Pancake Day! It’s the perfect excuse to have a fun dinner or a sweet treat.

Since this is the first Pancake Day Olivia can take part in, I was trying to think of ways to make it fun. I always love pictures of people making animal pancakes for their kids. There are no rules. You can make teddy bears, butterflies and everyone remembers the pancake art trend. Olivia is still too young to appreciate full blown pancake art but I wanted to practice a simple design that I can make her on Sunday mornings or a grey day to cheer her up and I thought one of the most simple (and cute) designs would be a bunny!

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Although I had a lot of fun making these, I can’t wait until she’s a tad older and can decorate her bunny how she likes. Whipped cream tail? Chocolate whiskers? Strawberry teeth? Banana eyes and blueberry nose? If you do make these, please share your designs with me! I would love to see how you (or your children) decorate them.

Not only is this adorable, but they actually taste so good. I had some left over batter, after making these, and decided to have some for breakfast (as it was just there, and honestly, they’re so delicious!). I topped mine with strawberries and honey (how grown up am I?) but I kind of wanted to cover it in Nutella, whipped cream and sprinkles. Not gonna lie.

The recipe is perfect and you don’t need to run to the shops to get anything ‘special’. Chances are you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard. So, without further adieu…


Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Lightly whisk the milk and egg together in a seperate bowl, then add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the flour and whisk with a fork until completely combined.
  4. Leave batter to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the pancakes sticking (you’ll need to add oil as you go).
  6. Add a ladle of batter to the heated pan. For the bunny you will need 1 large (body), 1 medium (head), two small (feet) and two ear-shaped pancakes. You’ll want to make several of each so you can practice and pick the best ones.
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  7. Once the top of the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
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  8. Arrange into a bunny shape and decorate!!!
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And that’s it! It’s literally that simple! These are perfect for a spur of the moment pancake craving or a spontaneous weekend breakfast.

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a very yummy Pancake Day!

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DIY Valentine Treats

Looking for something yummy this Valentine’s? Then look no further! I have everything you need for a romantic night in, a gift to share and those who hate V-day. These are also great if you’re having a ‘Palentines’ or ‘Galentines’ get together. If you make any of the following, please tag me in your creations on social media as I’d love to see how you recreate these.

Chocolate Strawberry Hearts

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Everyone loves chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine’s day. Why not make some for your valentine with a twist?

What you will need:

  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate
  • Pink Candy Melts
  • Toothpicks

Method

  1. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and cut in half.
  2. Arrange two halves into a heart shape (flat side down, points together). You may need to trim the edges to be more rounded.
  3. Push a toothpick through the two pieces of strawberry to secure them. Place onto greaseproof paper.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and drizzle over the strawberries until evenly covered.
  5. Allow the chocolate to set and remove the toothpick.
  6. Melt Candy Melts in a heatproof bowl and drizzle over the strawberries in a zig zag pattern. Allow to set.
  7. Serve immediately or refigerate until ready to serve.

Giant Valentine Cookie

This is the perfect gift! I make this everytime we decide to have a stay-at-home valentine’s. It’s so good to share in front of the TV. If you’re not very artistic and not sure how to decorate it, NO WORRIES! Melt some chocolate over it when it comes out the oven, add ice cream on top and it makes the perfect dessert.

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What you will need:

  • A batch of your favourite cookie dough
  • Royal Icing coloured red and white
  • Sprinkles

Method

  1. Create a batch of your favourite cookie dough. (I used a packet as it was quicker).
  2. Arrange cookie dough into a heart shaped pattern on a lined baking tray.
  3. Bake accordingly and allow to fully cool.
  4. Create royal icing (recipe below). Divide icing into two bowls and dye one of the bowls of icing red.
  5. Decorate the cookie as you would like. I think this looks particularly good with a traditional valentine message like ‘Be Mine’, ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ or ‘I love you’. Add sprinkles or other edible decorations.

 

Anti-valentine Biscuits

Not everyone likes Valentine’s day so if you’re one of those people (or you’re having a ‘Palentines’, this would also be fun) this is for you.

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To make the biscuits

You will need:

  • 100g sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 300g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan/Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (take care not to overmix).
  3. Slowly add the flour to the mixture until fully combined.
  4. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together into a ball.
  5. Gently roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut your shapes out (I used a large heart cookie cutter). Place the biscuits onto the baking tray and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

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To Decorate

You will need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 3 tsp water
  • red food colouring

Method

  1. Whisk egg whites until white and fluffy with soft peaks.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar 1tbsp at a time and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix until the icing forms a soft peak on the whisk. Not stiff enough to stand straight but just loose enough for the point of the peak to slowly fold over.
  4. Seperate the mixture into two bowls. Dye one bowl of icing red and put half of the red icing into a piping bag with a small round tip.
  5. Carefully pipe a boarder around the heart biscuits and leave to set.
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  6. Add 1tsp of water at a time to the remaining red icing until it is slightly runnier. 
  7. Carefuly pipe the runnier icing onto the biscuits and use a toothpick to ensure the icing evenly flood the biscuit to the boarder.
  8. Once set, put white icing into another piping bag with a small round nozzle and pipe words in the centre of them. You can pipe any words. You could even make these like traditional candy hearts by using different colours and ‘lovey dovey’ expressions.

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I really loved making all of these and I can honestly say they are all delicious! Thank you for reading and please check out some of my other posts. I recently did a post you might like called ‘Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids’, although to be honest anyone could do them!

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Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids

Simple and fun crafts to do with your little ones.

These are all really easy and simple, fun crafts to do. All of the following activites have no more than 6 steps and you probably already have everything you need to do them in your home. 

I love doing holiday crafts and as my daughter gets older, I look forward to being able to do more crafts with her. I have very fond memories of sitting at my dining table with my Mum doing different crafts throughout my childhood and I hope to give my daughter the same memories. I am also hoping that doing themed crafts will get Olivia excited about holidays just like me. 

Here are some of the crafts we did this week and some I hope you can have fun with your kids too.

Valentine Card

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This is one of the easiest cards to make with your baby or toddler and it looks so good. It’s perfect to keep as a momento and is super fast to make during painting time.

What you will need:

  • Blank greetings card
  • Craft card
  • Tape
  • Finger paint

Method

  1. Cut out a heart shape out of craft paper.
  2. Using tape, attach the cut out shape to the center of a blank greeting card. This can be done by folding the tape against itself to create a piece of double sided tape.
  3. Let your baby/toddler fingerpaint over the shape and on the card. You can use paint brushes, sponge stamps, paint rollers or simply their hands.
  4. Before the paint drys, carefully remove the shape and tape from the greeting card and leave to dry.

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LOVE Canvas Art

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I really loved making this. Not only is it a perfect gift for Valentine’s but it’s also a great decor piece for your home. Is there anything better than having your baby’s hand and footprints to look at years later when they’ve all grown up?

What you will need:

  • Blank canvas
  • Finger paint
  • Acrylic paint/sharpie

Method

  1. Mark out on your canvas where you would like the handprint and footprints to go.
  2. Paint your baby’s hand and gently press it onto the canvas.
  3. Paint your baby’s feet and gently press them onto the canvas in a V shape.
  4. Draw out the L and E and, once you’re happy with them,  go over it with black paint or a sharpie (I used a black felt tip and a fine liner to go around the edges of the letters).

Hanging Paper Hearts

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These are so simple! This is probably something to do with slightly older children but they sure do brighten up the place. You can hang them on banisters, door handles or even a small decorative tree or branch. I have hung them on my ugly serving hatch as we’re having it patched up at the moment before we remove it and redo the whole wall! For now it will hang these paper hearts.

What you will need:

  • Coloured craft card (I used pink and red)
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • String

Method

  1. Cut coloured paper of various lengths and widths. I started with red strips of 2cmx21cm to create the chain of hearts.
  2. Fold strips equally in half.
  3. With the fold at the bottom, bend the ends together to make a heart shape and staple together. If you want to make a chain, tuck the fold of the next heart in between the edges of the first.
  4. If you are making a nest of hearts, join all edges of hearts together, bend and staple all together with one end of a piece of string in between.

You could even use the chain method to make a wreath or a long paper chain to wrap around your banister or hang on your mantle. 

Woollen Heart Garland

I love how this turned out! Again, this is probably something to do with older children (or by yourself like I did) but it looks so cute. I did different sized hearts along the garland just because I thought it was pretty but you could do the same sizes, different coloured hearts or even different shapes like stars!

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What you will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Stapler/tape
  • Red wool

Method

  1. Cut out several heart shapes from the card board (or double up craft card).
  2. Staple the end of the red wool to the heart.
  3. Randomly wrap the red wool around the cardboard shape until no cardboard is shown.
  4. Secure the end of the wool by tying it off or using a stapler.
  5. Repeat the above until all shapes are covered.
  6. Measure out desired length of wool and attach the hearts in equal lengths.
I hope that you try some of these crafts. If you do, please take a picture and tag me in it so I can see your creations! 
I will shortly be uploading a Valentine Treats post so keep your eye out for that!

 

I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.

The Best Gingerbread Biscuits

I think my most favourite part of this festive season is the baking. One of the best things to bake, that will most definitely get you in the Christmas spirit (and make your house smell amazing), is gingerbread. I recently made a batch and I forgot how much I love to bake and decorate biscuits. I got fully immersed, to the point where I didn’t realise hours went by. This is only because I was doing really intricate decoration and I’m a perfectionist. The average person will do this in way less time. Especially when each batch only takes 10 minutes in the oven!

These biscuits are perfect to make with kids. You can make the dough ahead of time. Just allow 10 minutes after taking it out of the fridge for it to de-chill and simply roll it out onto a floured surface. You’ll want to roll it out to about 4 mm thickness. If you wish for your biscuits to be crunchier and have a snap, roll them slightly thinner. Similarly, if you wish for them to be more chewy, roll them slightly thicker.

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When it comes to decorating, I always favour a simple plain white royal icing. Royal icing is harder than water icing so your design is more likely to last longer. I prefer not to colour it as I think the white looks so elegant against the dark brown gingerbread. If you’re decorating with children, I recommend lots of different colours and perhaps using a simple water icing. I get a lot of enjoyment from piping so I spent a lot of time preparing my designs and getting them perfect.

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Below you will find the gingerbread biscuit recipe I use and also the royal icing recipe.

Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 180g Butter (soft)
  • 125g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 125g Black Treacle

Method

  1. Sift flour, bicarbonate soda and spices together into a large bowl.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and treacle. Mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture gradually as you mix until it is all combined and forms a loose dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 and wrap individually in cling film.
  6. Chill overnight – 2 days.
  7. When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 170°C (fan).
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to de-chill for 10 minutes.
  9. Roll out dough onto a floured surface 4 mm thick.
  10. Cut biscuit shapes out and place on a lined baking tray.
  11. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray then transfer onto a cooling wrack.

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Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients

  • 325g Icing Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Method

  1. Sift icing sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer or hand held mixer with lemon juice until frothy.
  3. Slowly add icing sugar until all combined.
  4. Whisk until it forms soft peaks.
  5. Pour into a prepared icing bag if you wish to pipe your designs. Otherwise, you can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.

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Then, start having fun! You can get the family involved or use it as some therapeutic me time (like I did). You can add sprinkles, edible glitter or sweets. Go wherever the Christmas spirit takes you! I would love to see your creations so please share them!

Merry Baking!

I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.

Minecraft Cake Tutorial

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This weekend, my younger brother turned 12 and he requested a Minecraft themed party. I volunteered to make him a Minecraft cake and he was so excited. It only occurred to me later on that I was going to have to figure out HOW to do it.
So, if like me, you want to make a child’s birthday or you’re just wondering how to do it, I’m here to help!
My brother told me he wanted a chocolate cake but you can make any flavour cake you’d like. I used a 10 inch (25cm) square cake pan.

 

1. Make the Cake

Ingredients
For the cake:

  • 280g (10oz) butter, room temperature
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan, Gas 4) and thoroughly grease a square 10 inch (25cm) cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, and add 1/5 of flour mixture after each egg.
  5. Pour in vanilla extract and mix until combined and pour into cake tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer, inserted in the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  7. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire rack.

2. Assemble the Cake


For the filling:

  • 200g Cadbury dairy milk (or your favourite chocolate), melted

Method

  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, level the chocolate cake by cutting the top until flat then divide the cake length ways through the middle. Put the shaved off chocolate cake to one side to use later.
  2. Pour over 3/4 of the melted chocolate on the bottom half and sandwich the other half on top.
  3. Cut out a section of the cake. You can use my template below or create your own (but remember to make the shape out of squares, like Minecraft!).
  4. Layer the cut out piece on top of the cake using the remaining melted chocolate to fix it to the cake.
  5. Place cake onto a cake board (you can also use some melted chocolate to fix the cake to the board).

Template

16.5cm

3. The ‘Dirt’

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 225g butter
  • 175g melted chocolate, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. I used the microwave, heating it at 30 second intervals and stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate.
  2. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar in a mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate and mix until thick and creamy.

For the ‘dirt’:

  • 15 chocolate digestive biscuits
  • left over chocolate cake

Method

This will be used to pat on the side of the cake to give the soil look of the grass square in Minecraft.

  1.  Put chocolate digestives into a zip lock bag and close it up. With a rolling pin or a mallet, beat the biscuits into crumbs.
  2. Crumble the left over chocolate cake shavings into the bag and mix until it looks like soil.
  3. Pipe the chocolate buttercream on the sides of the chocolate cake using a piping bag and a round nozzle. Then, pat the ‘dirt’ mixture onto the sides.

4. The ‘Grass’

For the vanilla buttercream (the grass):

  • 110g butter
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml (3tbsp) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • green food colouring (preferably gel)

Method

This will be dyed green and will be the grass on top of the ‘dirt’ squares.

  1.  Mix together, butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence in a mixer until combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add green food colouring (I use gel food colouring as it gives a stronger colour and doesn’t add extra liquid to the mixture).
  3. Mix in the food colouring until the colour is even throughout.
  4. Put buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip.
  5. Pipe small spikes all over the top surfaces of the cake in neat rows to look like grass.

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Finishing Touches

I piped more of the green buttercream onto the cake board to give the effect of layered grass. It also allowed me to secure fondant figures from Minecraft to the cake board. These figures were bought online but if you have time and the skill, you could make them yourself ahead of time. I added the element of sand to the cake board by crumbling plain digestive biscuits and securing it using edible glue (you could also use water icing). Similarly, I used edible glue to secure blue fondant to the cake board to add water to the scene.

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I was really proud of this cake, mostly because my brother was super happy with it and was so excited to see it. This is a really simple design for Minecraft. If you have the imagination, you can create different scenes using this basic technique.

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I own all the images in this post.