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Challenge Accepted

Mummy Bear has given up Facebook for lent, and is trying to develop new ways in which to procrastinate and NOT write an essay on the role of the professional practitioner in implementing the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Therefore we have decided to take up the Comic Relief Bake Off Challenge, and bake every recipe in the Great Comic Relief Bake Off book before Red Nose Day. Which gives us 25 days to bake 14 recipes. SIMPLES. Except at some point – next week- everyone goes back to school, which really only gives us 10 days. As Gimli would say: “Certain chance of death. Small Chance of success. What are we waiting for?”


First up: Sticky Brownies.

I’m not going to share the recipe, because you NEED to buy the book, it’s all for charity. But, I will say we adapted the recipe a TEENY bit, in that we had no vanilla essence, so we used orange extract. And it said to add either chocolate chunks OR nuts. We added white chocolate chunks AND chopped hazelnuts. Because Baby Bear isn’t really one for following rules. And because Granny Bear had provided us with plenty of both.

So, one down, 13 to go. I fear a food coma coming on.

Mummy Bear x


Pooping rainbows

Daddy Bear is very anti facebook and deems it’s only purpose is as an institution for procrastination and self indulgence. Well fair enough you may think, but this is coming from the guy who has had, at one point, 9gag as his default home page. 9gag, which was invented solely for the purpose of procrastination.

So when he saw that I was making rainbow cookies, his response was a little like this:

And then proceeded to tell me that actually, they weren’t rainbow cookies, but Unicorn Poop. Apparently, according to 9gag Unicorns poop rainbows. Who knew? He then proceeded to show me some completely pointless Nyan Cat. No, I didn’t get it. But then, he doesn’t understand why I was secretly praying that JK Rowling’s new book was actually ‘Harry Potter: The Epilogue’ in disguise. I digress, back to pooping unicorns:

I made the cookies following some super assembly instructions for Jen’s Just Desserts, (check out her page for really cute and fresh ideas for baking, but beware, you’ll blink and it will be midnight!)  and used my own recipe for the sugar cookie dough.


225g unsalted butter

225 g caster sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

480g plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Food colouring in Wilton Sky Blue, Sugarflair Mint Green, Home2Bke Yellow, Home2Bake Red

Multi coloured sprinkles

Cream butter sugar and salt for 2 minutes using an electric beater, then add in the egg, egg yolk and extract and beat again until combined. Add in the flour and baking powder and mix again, using your hands to prevent a flour cloud, until an evenly mixed dough forms.

Split the dough into 4 equal parts, and then colour each part using a different gel colour. You can use any colours you like, I just used the ones listed above because they are what I had to hand, with the highest contrast.

Wrap each ball of coloured dough in cling film, and then refrigerate for at least and hour. Once chilled and firm, remove from the fridge, and unwrap the cling film. Pull off a marble sized lump of each colour and roll them into small balls, then push the 4 balls into each other so they resemble a hacky sack.

Use the palm of your hand against the board to roll the ball into a sausage shape, and then wind the sausage shape into my current favourite spiral pattern. Gently roll the edge of the spiral in sugar sprinkles or non pareils, and then pop onto a baking tray. My Cookies didn’t stick to the tray, so there’s no need to worry about lining your baking tray (woohoo!).

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 C of until they are firm to touch on top. Remove from oven, leave for a minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Daddy Bear and Big Bear both think that these are awesome, clearly for different reasons. Or maybe Daddy Bear just never grew up. Baby Bear is also a fan, although I haven’t met a biscuit yet that he won’t eat, so that’s not really a fair assessment on the taste!

Mummy Bear x

Biting off more than I can chew?

Hands up, I confess, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and a lot of a control freak. (Don’t tell Daddy Bear I admitted it!) Especially when it comes to baking and blogging about baking. It would take a lot of wine or hideous computer error for me to post true baking disasters. But I am also one not to resist a challenge, and when a fellow baker challenged me to attempt – for the first time ever – a swiss roll, I could not resist it. However the catch was however it turned out looking, I had to post a photograph on Facebook. I may have bitten off more than I could chew. (Or bake).

The result:


The control freak in me went into over drive – note the mug hiding the end of the roll, and the fact that I cringe about the looseness every time I look at the photograph. But a deal is a deal!

The recipe I followed is the one shared by my fellow baker, and having never made a swiss roll before I followed it almost to the letter.

Traditional swiss roll

Vegetable oil for greasing

3 large eggs (ideally at room temperature)

125g golden caster sugar

125g plain flour

1 tablespoon warm water

Half a jar of raspberry or strawberry jam, about 200g

Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / Gas 6. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin you are using (I used a large roasting tin as I hand no swiss roll tin) approx 30x25cm. Grease the bottom of the tin, then put in the paper and grease that too, and dust with caster sugar and a little flour.
Beat the eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk for about ten minutes. The mixture will almost triple in volume and become paler in colour, it will be thick enough so that when you lift the whisk out of the mixture it will leave a visible trail on the surface (you will notice this more prominently if you leave the mixture to stand for a minute or so). Sift in the flour in three parts, very gently folding it in until the flour is blended in completely, it is important to go slowly and not to be too vigorous or you will lose some of the air in the sponge. Fold in a tablespoon of warm water.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly to the edges. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden and just firm to the touch. Put the jam in a bowl and stir it so it is spreadable (heat it up a little in the microwave if necessary).
Lay out a clean damp tea towel on your work surface – this is to stop the paper slipping when you roll the cake. Place a large piece of greaseproof paper that’s at least 5cm bigger than the Swiss roll on top of the towel. Dust the paper with caster sugar.
Loosen the sponge with a butter knife and then turn it out quickly onto the dusted paper (topside down). You may need to support the sponge with your hand as your turn it out. Peel the paper off the sponge. Trim the edges with a knife so you have a tidy rectangle.
Using a spoon, spread the jam evenly onto the sponge, leaving about 2cm clear around the edges as the jam will spread when rolling. Make a little incision at the edge of the sponge (not all the way through) about  1 cm in from the edge. This just helps to get the roll tighter to start with. You tend to roll the shorter side inwards.
Use the paper to help you start rolling, and roll it as tightly and as quickly as you can. Leave the roll with the seam side down to cool then dust with a little icing sugar and serve, cut then ends off to hide any raggedness, and serve!
It was absolutely delicious, very sweet and very light, but it also disappeared inside the Little Bears’ tummies within 20 minutes of me making it, so entirely sure it was worth the hard work. Although it may have taught me to be a little less concerned about achieving perfection first time around!
Mummy Bear x

Hello world!

Posted on

So I’ve started a baking blog. Not to be cool unique and interesting, because lets face it there are many many baking blogs out there, but because I am in my mid twenties now, and I’m trying desperately to be a little more grown up. And my mother-in-law thinks I should, and she’s right about most things. (I could insert some witty joke about mother-in-laws here, but I won’t, because mine is fab. Yes, I know, I’m very lucky.) Some of you may have popped over from my Facebook page *waves hello* I do love Facebook, but sometimes it’s a bit like a fridge, you know there is nothing good in there, but you keep checking it anyway. And I’m pretty sure my hubby will appreciate having his wife back, or at least his computer free again.

There was an about me section I was meant to fill in at the start of the blogging process, and these things always stump me. It’s fine if you’re well travelled, well educated, have won an Olympic medal or at least are quirky enough to get by on just your personality and have some amusing anecdote about why you started baking in the first place. I don’t, but those of you who don’t know me, feel free to imagine that I look like a Barbie doll, have just won gold in the 10000m at the London Games, spent my gap year in Chinese Teipai helping orphans – which is how I learnt to cook, have a degree in astrophysics from Cambridge and have two amazing but slightly destructive young boys. Well, the last part is true.

I’m not entirely sure where to start with the whole making posts thing. Imagine you have a to do list, and instead of doing the jobs on the list, you think of other things to write on the list which you have already done, just so that you can cross them off? Well that’s where I am right now, but I’m sure I’ll get over it. At some point. When there aren’t endless hours of men in skin tight running kit parading across BBC1.

Mummy Bear


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