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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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National Baking Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-10-2012

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National Baking Week is upon us once more and all over the country people are getting baking to raise money for the wonderful Great Ormond Street Hospital. When it comes to baking the ingredients you use are crucial, but having the perfect equipment can help transform a baking disaster into something to be truly proud of.

This weekend was Little Man’s 2nd Birthday. Unfortunately he’s smothered in a cold and has a rather impressive cough, but on Sunday we managed to have a lovely afternoon party with all his grandparents and rather a lot of cakes and biscuits which I’d spent most of Saturday creating. Two great pieces of equipment helped me on my way – as well as Little Man of course – and I’d like to tell you more about them.

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
When I make biscuits more often than not I use recipes from Miranda Gore Browne’s book and she suggests using a small ice cream scoop to ensure all your biscuits are the same size. It is also a super fast way of churning out lots of biscuits which I highly recommend. For Little Man’s birthday however I was making Gingerbread Teddies. Now I’m not hugely fussy when it comes to the appearance of biscuits for Little Man – as long as he gets to eat them he doesn’t mind what they look like – but with it being his birthday I wanted to make a bit of an effort. I used Miranda’s recipe to make Gingerbread Men but when it came to rolling it out – after about an hours chilling in the fridge – I used the new Joseph Joseph rolling pin.

I am a big fan of Joseph Joseph products and have always wanted to try out this rolling pin. It comes with four sets of discs which you fit to either end of the pin. The sets are different sizes which means your biscuit dough or pastry or homemade pasta dough is rolled out to a certain thickness, and no more. You can basically roll away whilst perhaps watching a toddler run around your feet, or keeping an eye on the timer for the cakes you are also baking – both of which I was doing – and the dough will only go to the thickness you want. You will end up with perfectly rolled even dough, which is precisely what I got. I used the 6mm discs for the gingerbread dough and ended up with 18 identical little bears. Obviously my son wasn’t particularly interested in this, but I was rather proud to be honest!
You get 10mm, 8mm, 6mm and 4mm discs with the pin so its ideal for biscuits, or pastry, making your own lasagne or tagliatelle. The pin also has width measurements in the wood so you can make sure anything you’re rolling out if the perfect size too.
This rolling pin is a must have addition to any bakers kitchen where precision and consistency is key! You can buy them online direct from the Joseph Joseph online store.

Lekue Kids Muffin Set
Baking with my Little Man is very important to me. He really enjoys himself, I get to do something I love, and its a great skill for him to learn. Admittedly at the moment he’s mainly interested in scattering flour around the kitchen, but I’m sure this will pass. For his birthday baking he didn’t join in but usually I get him involved. He has his own mixing bowl and apron set, as well as a small wooden spoon and rolling pin. Lekue sent us one of their Kids Muffin Set’s to test out, and this is now a great addition to his baking equipment.

The set includes a spatula, six silicone muffin cases, a set of recipes and a Decopen. I own lots of silicone bakeware – it is so easy to use and clean – so Little Man is used to seeing these in the kitchen. The Decopen was an interesting a new addition to our baking. When used in baking the Decopen and its four included nozzles allows you to add decoration to your baked goods. In the case of muffins its great for drizzling icing or melted chocolate on the top of cooled cakes to give them that personal touch. It could also be used to create chocolate shapes to stick into the top of  icing or buttercream. The Decopen is easy to fill, use and clean which is very important in any kitchen. Its a good size for little ones to hold as well. Little Man hasn’t used it yet – I admit to being a little nervous! – but I had a go and it was great fun. I’m sure Little Man will love using it when I let him try it out.
The Lekue Kids Muffin Set is available from the Lekue online store.

 

Book Review: “Biscuit” by Miranda Gore Browne

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Launch | Posted on 20-04-2012

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Sussex based Miranda Gore Browne will be instantly recognisable after making her way into the last three of the first series of “The Great British Bake Off.” Coming a fantastic third overall Miranda was mostly remembered for her exquisitely hand decorated biscuits that looked far too beautiful to eat, and for keeping Mel and Sue well fed as they repeatedly stole her ingredients before she’d even used them! Miranda has been busy doing baking demonstrations and working with Squires Kitchen, The National Trust, and West Dean College. Now she is back with her first book, the aptly entitled “Biscuit”.

 

“Biscuit” contains over 100 recipes for biscuits – who knew there were so many? – and has handy hints and tips for decorating them and presenting them as gifts. Classics make an appearance such as the Bourbon and Jammy Dodger, and there are also exciting new recipes straight from Miranda’s own kitchen. My personal favourites include “Fruity Little Teds” which are destined to be a big hit with Little Man, “Jam Roly Poly Biscuits” which look just like slices of the sponge based dessert we all know and love, and “Pesto & Pine Nut Pieces” which are mouthwatering and delicious – and this comes from someone who hates pesto!

On Wednesday of this week I attended a demonstration which Miranda was doing in the epic Waterstones on Piccadilly.  Watching her in action as she whipped up with ease a large batch of “Double Chocolate Chunk Biscuits” and a batch of “Pesto & Pine Nut Pieces” was hugely inspiring and needless to say had the entire room salivating as the smells wafted from the oven. As plates were passed around I nervously tried the pesto based biscuit and was instantly won over – it was delicious. I have since been out to the shops this morning to buy some ingredients and hopefully I’ll get a batch baked this weekend. I will also be doing the “Fruity Little Teds” for Little Man. Top tips were also dished out and I think everyone went away planning a trip out to buy a small ice cream scoop for creating perfectly identical biscuits, and I imagine they all have at least one log of biscuit dough stashed in their freezer already. I know I will do soon!

For me “Biscuit” is a must have book for all parents and all biscuit fans. There are recipes for all occasions and some even claim to be vaguely healthy! You can buy “Biscuit” now from all good booksellers – and I highly recommend that you do! You can also find Miranda on Twitter @MirandaBakes.