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Why do foxes glow?

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In which I bombard you with photos and beat a hasty retreat to answer REALLY important questions from Big Bear about why foxes glow when they’re pregnant*. And to stop Baby Bear from dialling 999…. again. 

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I claim they are homage to Wimbledon and strawberries. Really I just got over excited with the Cath Kidston sale. 

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They’re Earl Grey flavour. Because there’s no time for the Great British tea and cake tradition when you’re trying to fish out coins that have been lovingly inserted into air vents. So it has to be tea flavoured cake instead. It’s just as good, although cake flavoured tea might be quicker. Just a thought. 

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Pretty sure the Bears are the ONLY people who don’t understand the Pimms fascination. They aren’t particularly British summer-esque, but at least they taste pretty awesome: Malibu and Coke flavoured Bear-y cakes. Having said that, Daddy Bear doesn’t like Malibu. Herein lies the reason why Mummy Bear’s diet always fails. Cola flavoured sponge topped with a malibu and lime buttercream frosting, amazingly cute straws, and the most humongous tantrum from Baby Bear when I wouldn’t let him lick the frosting bowl. 

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Actually, this is more Wimbledon-ish isn’t it? I did start a diet. And then I made this. And it had no soggy bottom and was absolutely delicious. But did have an entire tub on marscapone in it. So basically the diet had been pointless. 

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And that moment when you realise LAST weekend was Father’s day, and the computer won’t print your amazon voucher? Gluten Free Cherry Bakewell flavour Bear-y cakes. Almond sponge, filled with cherry jam and topped with lemon glace icing. Or, how to get out of a tight spot using lots of sugar. 

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Except I haven’t showered yet. So maybe the recipes will come later. Much later.

Mummy Bear x 

*Fantastic Mr Fox; confusing asd kids since 2009. 

Mr Fox: By the way, you look unbelievably beautiful tonight. You’re practically glowing. Maybe                                                                                                             it’s the lighting. 

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A Little Ray of Sunshine

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A Little Ray of Sunshine

Or rather, a rainbow. Sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

The nozzle is a 1M. Paint a stripe of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet gel colouring inside the piping bag, to each point of the star nozzle. Fill with white buttercream, pipe in a swirl, et voila, RAINBOWS!

Mummy Bear x

Toddler trouble.

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The Bears and I have been absent for a while. There is a very good reason for this, and it comes in the shape of a not-so-small two year old. I tried baking with him.

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It ended in a state of sugar induced hyperactivity, a broken measuring jug and very very little sleep. Oh yes, and a cake which looked like I had assembled it, run over it with the car, and then tried to fix it up again.

Image(It’s a Maple Syrup and Pecan layer cake with marscapone frosting, from Delia’s gorgeous new book. It did taste fantastic, but not fantastic enough to warrant only two hours sleep.)

And then I tried baking without him. This time the cakes were at least edible looking. And tasted exactly as they should:

 Image(These are Turkish Delight Bear-y Cakes: Chocolate cake, topped with a rose flavoured buttercream and dark chocolate sprinkles. Recipe may follow. Should the Toddler ever sleep.)

However, my living room wall no longer looked like it should:

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Neither did Daddy Bear’s computer screen. Or the sofa. And so, we stopped baking.

That completes my absence letter.

We hope to be back soon!

Mummy Bear x

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet

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Well, ok, it’s not really tropical here, but at least it’s not the Arctic conditions of last week. To celebrate we’ve made individual Caribbean-upside-down-cakes. (Also because Daddy Bear loves upside-down-cake and he is back at work this week whilst Mummy Bear and the Little Bears are still at home. They certainly soften the blow!)

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Individual portions are excellent for the Bears House. Then nobody can complain about who got the bigger piece of pineapple. Or, when Daddy Bear decides to reheat it and forgets it’s in the oven, he only ruins his own one, not everyone’s.

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These get the official name of Caribbean-upside-down-cakes because Mummy Bear is still desperately trying to finish off the bottle of Coconut Rum without actually having to drink it. Basically they’re just a boozy version of normal upside down cake. But it definitely sounds better doesn’t it?!

Ingredients:

2 large eggs (about 50g each without shells)

100g Self Raising Flour

100g Stork

50g Caster Sugar

50g Light Brown Soft Sugar

4 tbsp Golden Syrup

4 pineapple rings

4 whole glace cherries

1 tbsp Coconut Rum

Preheat the oven to 150 C.

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat gently. Add the Stork, the sifted flour and both of the sugars. Whisk gently until combined with a hand whisk. Add in the rum and whisk again.

Lightly grease four ramekin dishes, then spoon a tablespoon of golden syrup into the bottom of each one. Place a pineapple ring on top of the syrup in each ramekin, and then a glace cherry in the hole in the middle of the ring. Split all of the batter equally between the four ramekin dishes, spreading it gently over the top of the fruit so not to displace too much of the syrup.

Pop the four ramekins in the oven for around 35 ish minutes (until the centre of the cake springs back when touched). Leave to cool in the ramekins for 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges, and then turn out onto a plate – perfect pudding cake!

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Let’s hope that spring is FINALLY on its way. Or at least that it has definitely finished snowing for the next six months.

Mummy Bear x

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons…..

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….. one ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns!

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The monumental effort that is hot cross buns. Here is a warning, do not start baking these if you have plans to go anywhere in the next 24 hours. I didn’t realise they need three separate proving sessions of an hour each time.

So surprise surprise I adapted the recipe a little bit… in that my buns had the first two proving sessions, then Daddy Bear shaped them into what he thought were ball shapes -I’m not sure how you get to 27 and don’t understand that balls are spherical- and left them for a couple of hours (not the 60 minutes suggested).

Later, I came home and delivered a lesson on the concept of a sphere, re-shaped them and left them to prove over night… they actually turned out really well. Although I’m pretty sure Paul Hollywood would be shaking his head in disgust at my lack of consideration for the ‘science of baking’.

Also whilst we’re at it Mr Hollywood, I didn’t put any chopped apple in. Or mixed peel. Oh and I glazed them with melted marmalade. What a rebel.

Mummy Bear x

Easter Eggcitement

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Easter Eggcitement

Pinterest has not let me down for once – Big Bear and Baby Bear (and even Daddy Bear) have loved having Bunny-Butt pancakes for breakfast this morning.

P.S the most awesome pancake recipe ever is here.

Mummy Bear x

Grand Finale

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There’s nothing like leaving everything till the last minute is there? In my almost-late-twenties I should definitely have grown out of the philosophy of Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow. But I haven’t.

So here we are: Bakes #10, #11, #12 and #13 in the Comic Relief Bake Off Challenge, freshly baked just in time for Red Nose Day!

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Bake #10 – Love Heart Biscuits. These are quite similar to some lemoncurd filled shortbread stars we baked a couple of months ago and never got around to blogging about, but yes, they were delicious, like GIANT jammy dodgers!

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Talking of GIANT, these are Bake #11 – Giant Cookies. It said to fill them with 100g of chocolate, or nuts of dried fruit or sweets. However, it seems the book missed out an ingredient, as ours were filled with fudge chunks, and they were amazing. So if you’re going to try baking them, consider that as an extra option. Also, as a side note, if you come to bake them and realise you have no plain flour, do not worry. Self raising worked fine with this batch!

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Bake #12 were Simple scones, and I’d put them off for ages because I’ve read loads about scones being really tricky. Where as actually, if you follow the instructions exactly, (I know, such a novel concept for me) they rise beautifully, and are quite easy.

Howeeeeeeever….. I might suggest maybe glazing the tops with beaten egg to make them look a bit more shiny and delicious. But once they’ve been filled with jam and cream, I doubt anyone will care. Such a pity, we’ve got to eat these for our breakfast now. It’s a hard life for Bears.

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The LAST BAKE! Bake #13 – Honeycomb Crunchies. I saved the most exciting for last. If you’ve never made honeycomb, try it. Or, at least watch someone else making it. It is genuinely awesome. However, do NOT try to test if it is the right consistency with your naked finger. Fail.  Also, it may seem like there isn’t enough chocolate for biscuit/honeycomb, but don’t alter anything because once it is set it is fine!

So all that it left for me to say now is go and buy the recipe book, and support Comic Relief this year. Even if you only make one recipe from it (which should be either the brownies, love heart biscuits or the marmalade cake) it’s £2.50 well spent and all for a good cause.

Now, we’re off to gorge ourselves on biscuits, cookies and scones.

Mummy Bear

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