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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

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

Back on Track

Back on Track

We’ve had a productive 24 hours at the Bear House. Baby bear seems to have finally cracked the potty training malarkey. Big Bear has finally done his literacy homework. Mummy Bear has finally taken the various broken parts of her engagement ring to the jewellers to be fixed. And we now have a random wedding cake sat in the kitchen.

All in all that counts as a successful day in the Bear House. Although often successful days are just about any day where everyone gets more than four hours sleep, and nobody needs their head stitching back together.

But now it’s time to get back to the Challenge. Granny Bear has even leant her mixer to me so we are good to go.

Here are Stem Ginger Shortbread Biscuits, made EXACTLY to the Comic Relief Bake Off recipe (except these are square, not round because I want them to fit in a box). and surprisingly nice.

They didn’t sound the most appetizing recipe in the book, but it turns out the ginger really isn’t that strong, and the stem ginger gives it a really fresh taste.

Also I wanted to choose one that didn’t have the word ‘sticky’ in the title. You’d be surprised, 4 of the titles have the word ‘sticky’ in them.

EDIT: I’m lying, the brownies are ‘squidgy’ not ‘sticky’

Mummy Bear x

Love is in the air. Or rather, the acrid smell of burnt sugar is.

Daddy Bear and I don’t ‘do’ Valentines day. His argument is that he doesn’t need to have an overly commercialised day to remind him to buy flowers and tell me that he loves me. Which would be fine, if I got flowers on other days.

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But having discovered the amazing idea from ‘Stockpiling Moms’ of melting candy canes to make hearts, I decided I was going to bake him some bear-y cakes this year. However, (and I am ridiculously embarrassed to admit this) STUPIDLY I never considered the 250 degrees could mean Fahrenheit, and set my oven to 220 Celsius for ten minutes. This is what my candy canes looked like after 120 seconds:

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FAIL. Much anger ensued, and after peeling the candy canes off the baking tray, they looked like this.

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I did feel much better having beaten the life out of them with a pestle. Nevertheless, I was determined to make SOME sort of bear-y cake for Daddy Bear, if only to stop him from laughing at the hideous baking disaster that was the candy canes. This is what he ended up with:

Image They are vanilla bear-y cakes, topped with the crushed candy canes and then a white chocolate and peppermint two tone butter cream (in a vain attempt to still have some recognisable form of candy cane on the cake!).

The butter cream was definitely the BEST part of cake.

180g unsalted butter,

100g melted white chocolate,

300g of icing sugar

1 tsp pepper mint essence.

Beat in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Paint a stripe of red gel food colouring down the inside of a disposable piping bag with a large round nozzle in, and then fill up with buttercream. Pipe in swirls on top of your cake.

So there you are Daddy Bear, this is from me to you, on nearly valentines day, from the bottom of my arse. I would say heart, but my arse is much bigger.

Mummy Bear x

When she got there, the cupboard was bare…

And I mean really bare, not Nigel Slater style bare with ‘leftovers’ of whole mackerel, five lemons and a crown of duck. I mean properly bare – some dried blueberry chunks, a packet of popping candy, and the elderflower flavouring. And no milk. (Because Baby Bear had just tipped all EIGHT pints of the stuff over the carpet. )

What I actually wanted to bake was some choc chip muffins to take to soft play with Big Bear and Baby Bear, but I didn’t have a 200g bar of Dairy Milk I could claim as leftover. (Seriously, the phrase ‘leftover chocolate’ is practically oxymoronic. Take note Mr Slater.) And I didn’t have more than 1 egg. Or any milk. Or Cocoa powder.

It was time to get inventing. Here cometh the age of the Blueberry and Elderflower cookie. (We resisted the popping candy.)

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They’re light and fruity, so you don’t feel too guilty eating them, and Nanny and Grandad Bear passed up no complaints. Although soft play is a very captive audience. And they aren’t quite the chocolate muffin I was hoping for.

Ingredients:

115g butter

200g caster sugar

1 egg

200g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

150g dried blueberry chunks

3 drops elderflower flavouring

Pre heat oven to 175C.

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until combined. Add egg and beat again. Sift in flour, bicarb of soda, and baking powder, then mix with spoon until combined.

Sprinkle in blueberry chunks and drop in the elderflower flavouring and mix with hand until evenly distributed.

Dived into 16 equal pieces, roll each into a ball and then flatten slightly onto baking tray, leaving 2 inches between each cookie to allow for spreading.

Bake in centre of oven for approximately 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto wire rack.

Seriously yummy with a cup of tea, and made out of genuine left overs. Nigel Slater eat your heart out.

Mummy Bear x

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