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Monday, June 9, 2008

Baking with Kids

I love to involve my little one in my baking. Ok I'll be honest, that's becos I do not have a helper and this is the only way I can get thru a baking session! Having said that there are many good reasons why you should cook with your kids.


  1. Cooking is a life skill and teaching them early will help instill skills to last them a lifetime. This is important when they are on their own and won't have to rely on fast food and junk food.
    In my case, I hope this value added skills will help me have a better daughter-in-law.

  2. Kids love to do things themselves and being able to cook their own meals will help to build his self confidence. Trust me, it's a great deal to them as they accomplish a task!

  3. Kids love to eat what they cook. This is the easiest way to get them to eat more and eat healthy.

  4. Cooking together teach them teamwork. E.g. he knows he needs to ask for help to take stuff out of the hot oven.

More importantly, it create family time and bonding. I am sure these are fond memories that will stay with them. It may take a longer time to get thru the session with a kid but the moments with your children will be priceless. Before you go have a cooking session with your child, just bear in mind to have LOTS of patience. Remember never to lose your cool when there's spilled
stuff all over the place - I know it is easier said than done :-)












I chose this Vegan Chocolate Cake to bake with my 3-year-old. Well, it has to be simple cos a child of that age hasn't got much attention span to start with. With that in mind, you just need to pick a brainless recipe that does not need more instruction than his little fingers can count. *GRIN*

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RECIPE

1.5 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda)
1 tsp salt
0.5 cup cocoa powder
1 cup of coffee (or water/milk/buttermilk, I used coffee for a more flavoursome cake)
0.5 cup vegetable oil (I like grape seed oil... a healthier choice)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional, I added for the aroma)
White chocolate chips (optional)

Method:


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.

  2. Mix all of the ingredients (except choc chips) well with a electric mixer or a wooden spoon until it is smooth. The batter must be free of lump.

  3. Stir in choc chips if you are using.

  4. Fill the muffin case to 80% full.

  5. Bake at the middle rack for 25min or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Yield 15 cupcake or 8" round cake.

Results:





  1. It rises to a beautiful dome without spilling to the sides. In future I will fill it all the way.

  2. Anyway, if your cake also turn out to have a high dome with cracks in the middle (see my 1st pix) - then probably the oven is too hot. I am an engineer and always like to explain things with science so please bear with me... The surface of the cake cooked very quickly, while the inside remained uncooked and unrisen. Next, the inside of the cake rose as it cooked and pushed up the already-cooked surface of the cake, causing the cake to dome and crack. To remedise this, just lower the temperature by 10C and bake for additional 5 min. And/or, add a small (oven-proof) bowl of water in the oven - the steam will moisten the surface of the cake so that it is not likely to crack as the centre of the cake rises. Having said this, do note that every oven is different; 180C maybe too hot for me, but could be jolly well be the right setting for you. So you need to test out the recipe and make your personal notes for future reference.
  3. The first time I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup but I think 1 cup sugar taste better. If you still find it not sweet enough, you can add the chocolate frosting (which I did)
  4. It is moist and soft like the usual cake. In all fairness, you can't compare to the usual cake made with eggs but this is a great alternative when you run out of eggs. In fact this recipe originated from the depression era when eggs were short in supply.
  5. I find the sourish raspberry balances the richness & sweetness of chocolate very well. But you are free to experiment with any fruit that you desire. Go ahead, this is where you can get adventurous!


Chocolate Frosting
2 oz baking chocolate (unsweetened, semi-sweet etc)

whipping cream

icing sugar

  • Melt the chocolate in microwave or over a pot of hot water.
  • Mix with whipping cream & icing sugar until smooth.
  • Add 1 tbsp a time (1 tbsp cream + 1 tbsp sugar) until you get the consistency and sweetness that you want.

2 comments:

gina said...

can I make a suggestion? Omit Baking soda, cut down sugar. You have added 1 cup of sugar which works out to be 250g. That's a lot to put in a cupcake. I guess that is because of the amount of cocoa/coffee you have. A little goes a long way. Use Cocoa powder(55%), and use about 30g or so. Mix it with 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder, mixed with a little hot water just to melt it. You will still get a nice rich coffee or chocolatey flavour cupcake..but at least you can have it less sweet! :)

Cookie said...

Gina, thanks for dropping by!

Yep, the coffee and cocoa demands the hi sugar content. For the coffee, I used the expresso leftovers from starbuck so lagi bitter!

I just wonder, do I replace baking soda with baking powder or omit totally? If omit, there's no leavening... will the cake end up flat and dense?

I look forward to your sharing.