Rainbow Fruit Ice Lollies

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!!! With the weather starting to heat up for the summer, you can never go too wrong with an ice lolly. I recently made a batch with K, on one of our ‘project time’ afternoon activities.

Since watching ‘The Rainbow’ episode of Pepper Pig (Season 3 Episode 2 for those of you having produced avid Pepper Pig fans), K is obsessed with Rainbows so it was a piece of cake to get her involved in this activity.

Rainbow Fruit Ice Lollies

In terms of the difficulty scale, as long you own a food processor or blender of some sorts, fruit ice lollies are one of the easiest things to make and great fun for your little one. You also don’t have to be worried about dealing with a sugar-high, duracell-charged little terrior as with the natural sweetness of the fresh fruits, there is no need for sugar!

You can use any fruits or any combination of fruits, and here are just a few ideas to get you going…

  1. Blueberry and Apple
    • Peel, dressed and steam one apple with a box of blueberries. Blend mixture and lolly-fy. As blueberries can sometimes be a little sour, the apple adds a bit of natural sweetness.
  2. Strawberry and Raspberry
    • Just a handful of each fruit makes a great combination for the red colour. No need to pre-cook. Simply destalk, wash thoroughly, blend to a liquid and lolly-fy.
  3. Kiwi and Lime
    • Blend about 3-4 ripe kiwis with the juice of 1/2 a lime and lolly-fy.
  4. Classic Orange
    • Super simple. Just lolly-fy some freshly squeezed orange juice and drink up the rest.
  5. Pina Colada 
    • Blend together about half a pineapple mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut cream and lolly-fy for a frozen version of this classic mocktail.

Leave the mixtures overnight to freeze properly. As for the ice lolly makers, I am sure you can get them anywhere and everywhere. Mine are a set of 6 from Ikea.

 

Free From Farmhouse
Gym Bunny Mummy
The Twinkle Diaries

Classic Chocolate Orange Biscuits

‘K you have been an angel and you can have a treat for being so good. What would you like?’
‘Mama, I wanna make biscuits..’
Can’t make this stuff up – love it!! Operation biscuit is a GO!

Chocolate Orange Classic Biscuits

I based these biscuits very heavily on BBC Good Food’s Basic biscuit dough recipe and added my own flavouring. The basic biscuit dough here gives quite a sticky, gloopy dough so if you want to do any specific shapes, then it is essential to chill the mixture.

I have added some notes on chilling the mixture and how to melt chocolate below so have a little read if you are not already familiar with the techniques.

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 250g butter (soft) or margarine
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 300g plain flour
BASIC BISCUIT DOUGH
  1. Mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy
  2. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla extract and orange zest
  3. *There are some great videos on youtube on how to separate the yolk using an empty plastic bottle
  4. Sift in the flour and mix together to form a wet dough
CHILL
  1. Press out the mixture on a sheet of baking parchment
  2. Place another piece of baking parchment on top and roll out the mixture until it ends up in an even, flat layer
  3. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours
BAKE
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the top layer of baking parchment
  3. Carefully and quickly cut out your desired shapes and place on baking tray
  4. *Do this whilst the dough is cold or it will be difficult and you will need to refrigerate again
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges start to brown or go golden
  6. Remove (they will be soft) and place on a cooling rack to firm up
DECORATE WITH CHOCOLATE
  1. Melting chocolate can go horribly wrong if you don't do it properly or have the patience to wait it out
  2. I used Galaxy chocolate (simply because I love it)
  3. Place chunks of chocolate into a decorating bag (i used the Wilton disposable decorating bags)
  4. Boil some water in a pan and turn the gas off
  5. Place a bowl over the water but most importantly, don't allow the bowl to touch the water
  6. Place the icing bag in the bowl and cover with a lid
  7. Once melted, cut the edge and decorate the biscuits as you wish

 

Eggless Carrot Cake

A super duper interpretation of a carrot cake. It’s eggless and it tastes great!

Carrot cakes often have walnuts but personally, I’m not a fan so have replaced this with pistachios which didn’t work out too bad.

Now the icing, I happen to love the Betty Crocker products and was introduced to it with her chocolate fudge icing, which is also divine. I’m not sure if this was originally intended for carrot cake but I found it works well and tastes deliciously naughty. It is a little shortcut yes, but with two young kids, we all need a little bit of cheat!

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-15 people
Ingredients
  • 140g dairy free margarine (I use Nuttelex)
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 225g all purpose flour
  • 1 cup soya yogurt (use plain yogurt if you are not vegan)
  • ½ tsp soda bicarbonate
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachio
  • Zest of 1 orange
Icing
  • Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting
  1. Make two 9" cakes, each with the above quantities and using the below recipe
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  3. Mix the vegan margarine and sugar until you have a fluffy, buttery mix
  4. Stir in the yogurt, grated carrots, pistachios, raisins and orange zest
  5. Now, sift into the mixture all the remaining, floury ingredients and mix well to form a sticky cake batter
  6. Bake for 25 minutes and check to see if the cake is cooked. Do this by placing a knife in the middle of your cake mould and seeing if any batter is stuck to the knife when removed. If so, bake for 5-10 minutes longer
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the moulds
Preparation
  1. Remove the cakes from the moulds by placing a plate on top and flipping upside down. The bottom of the cake will now be the top.
  2. On both cakes, spread a generous layer of the Betty Crocker frosting and stack one on top of the other to create a double layered cake
  3. If you are feeling arty, decorate with chopped pistachio, marzipan carrots or get your kids to decorate with orange writing icing.

 

Eggless Banoffee Pancake

Eggless Banoffee PancakeI L-O-V-E banoffee pie. To me it is a little taste of heaven and a naughty indulgence. Saying this, in all honesty, I am not too keen on serving something so sweet to my two and a half year old! So, for pancake day this year, I thought I would try a less sweet and more fruit-focused version of my favourite dessert in pancake form! I used digestives for the biscuit base, freshly whipped cream (without the sugar), freshly cut bananas and just a drizzle of caramel syrup. K enjoyed eating it, I felt better serving it and I actually prefer it. A banoffee flavoured pancake with a hint of sweetness and a lot of freshness! Happy Pancake Day!

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6 pancakes
Ingredients
For the pancake
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbspn coconut oil (or an alternative cooking oil)
  • pinch of ground cinnamon

For the rest
  • 3 bananas
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • ½ tspn vanilla essence
  • 5 Biscuits (I used digestives)
  • Caramel Syrup (I used Hersheys)
  • Bit of Butter
For the pancakes
  1. Put all the ingredients together into a large bowl and whisk thoroughly until you have a smooth, lump-free batter.
  2. Place a large non-stick frying pan or crepe pan on a medium flame and wait for one to two minutes for the pan to heat up.
  3. For each pancake, spoon a ladle of pancake mixture onto the frying pan and swirl the pan around to distribute and thin out the pancake to an even, round layer.
  4. Once the bottom side is cooked, flip over and cook the other side.
  5. Remove from the pan and place on a plate.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Depending on your size of ladle, you should be able to make approximately 6 pancakes.
Preparing the Banoffee filling:
  1. For the cream, add a few drops of vanilla essence to the cream and whisk thoroughly until your cream is thick and whipped.
  2. Crush the biscuits and slice the bananas.
Preparing each pancake:
  1. Spread a little butter on one side of the pancake and place back on the frying pan, buttered side down. This adds crispiness to the outer layer.
  2. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the crushed biscuit down the middle of the pancake and place the banana slices on top.
  3. Then once the filling is warm and the bottom of the pancake has crisped, fold each side of the pancake in towards the centre.
  4. Drizzle some caramel syrup over the top and serve with whipped cream.

 

Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread Biscuits with Raspberry Glaze

Gluten Free Valentines ShortbreadK and I have decided to make a little treat for Papa for Valentines Day! Requirements? We need something gluten free and vegan. I actually made these a while ago, when experimenting with gluten free flour, but had used orange zest instead of lemon and they had turned out pretty good. This time, I thought i’d try with lemons and in the name of Valentines Day, I wanted to go for something pinky, red – hence the raspberry glaze.

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 20
Ingredients
For the shortbread
  • 100g vegan margarine (I use Nuttelex)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 175g gluten-free flour
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

For the glaze
  • 80g raspberries
  • 50g icing sugar
For the shortbread
  1. Preheat oven to 190degrees C / gas mark 5
  2. Beat the margarine, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.
  3. Then sift in the flour, baking powder and bring it all together to form a dough.
  4. As gluten free dough can be difficult to handle, split it into quarters.
  5. Take each quarter and roll it out to about 1cm thickness and cut out your desired shape, using a knife or biscuit cutter of your choice.
  6. Place the shapes on a non-stick baking tray
  7. Bring together any remaining dough and repeat the roll and cut process so you have minimum wastage.
  8. Repeat with the remaining 3 portions of dough and finally, bring all remaining scraps together, reroll and repeat.
  9. Chill the uncooked biscuits in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.
  10. Remove from the baking tray and allow to cool.
For the glaze
  1. Wash the raspberries and cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes until the juices start to ooze out.
  2. Mash with a fork and run the mixture through a sieve 1-2 times until you have a smooth liquid.
  3. Slowly mix together the icing sugar with 1 tablespoon of the raspberry liquid to make your glaze mixture.
  4. Spread approximately ½ teaspoon of the glaze on the surface of each biscuit.