Well, a lot has changed since I went on Maternity leave! Firstly the arrival of my second daughter, Seraphina. Six months of (semi) maternity leave has gone in a flash and I did not think when I packed the kitchen up 8 months ago that I’d be returning to video consultations and wedding plans up in the air. I hope you are all coping well with life as it is now.
With a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old, keeping myself occupied hasn’t been too much of a problem! Sourcing flour has been more difficult, but we have muddled through, as have you all, I imagine.
As lovely as it is to escape to my kitchen to work on ideas, it is proving tricky with my two little ones around. We have decided the best way forward for now is to bring the cake making into our house and get everyone involved. I am sure lots of you with young (and even older) children have pulled out the recipe books and knuckled down to some good old home baking to fill hours and hungry tummies.
Cooking and baking with children is an activity you can both enjoy, and introduces them to the satisfaction of creating something delicious from just a few ingredients. It can also (depending on your project and the age of your children) foster maths and science skills, cooperation and teamwork, whilst teaching them a life skill that they will enjoy forever.
I’ve found it’s best with younger children not to attempt anything too ambitious, to make sure you have your ingredients all set up and ready to go before you get your child involved, plus everyone covered in aprons before the fun starts!
We made an apple cake this week which went down brilliantly well, and even included one of our five a day. I have included the recipe below for you to try, and would love to see photos of the finished product, should you get a chance to take any before the family tuck in.
Although we are living in challenging times at the moment, I’m very happy to be back at work and doing what I love. I look forward to posting lots more interesting reads and recipe ideas on my blog and social media in the coming months; so keep a look out!
Apple Tray Bake
- 450g cooking apples
- 1/2 juice of a lemon
- 225g butter, room temperature
- 280g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 350g self raising flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- icing sugar (optional)
Heat your oven to 180 degrees (fan). Line your baking tin (approx 27cm x 20cm) with baking paper. Peel, core and finely slice your apples then squeeze over the juice of your lemon. Set aside.
Beat together your softened butter and light brown sugar, add your eggs and mix well. You could can do this by hand or with a machine. Finally add your flour and baking powder and mix together by hand. Spread half of your mixture into your tin then arrange half of your apples over the top. Repeat with the rest of your mixture and apples.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until it has browned on the top and springs back to your touch. Leave to cool. We then made some simple icing by mixing icing sugar and water together and drizzled this over the top. Cut into portions and enjoy!