Mmmm … Doughnuts!
Last weekend was the Holy Grail for any parent with a young child; Amelie spent the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s, leaving us with a child free weekend! (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) We had the opportunity to do anything we wanted with the added bonus of not having to wake up at 5.30am!
So what to do with our weekend … well as it happens, I was already booked in for a ‘Doughnut Masterclass’ at Bread Ahead bakery in Borough Market, London (a wedding anniversary present). I love doughnuts and baking so it was a great combination!
The class at Bread Ahead was excellent. If you ever get the chance, you must try one of their doughnuts – definitely the best I have ever tasted and I’ve eaten a lot! I used to work not far from Borough Market and love it. It’s always worth a visit, whether to buy food to eat there and then, or to buy ingredients to take home.
After a relaxing weekend, it was time to put the doughnut lessons into action! Amelie and I love baking despite Amelie making it a good test of my patience and cleaning skills – her ability to spill things on the floor and get things in her hair never ceases to amaze me. We bake as often as possible. Not only is baking fun, it gives Amelie an opportunity to learn some basic maths skills (weighing and measuring), helps her coordination (rolling dough and whisking) and to explore some science. I also think it’s good for her to know where food comes from, although I don’t think she has realised that Peppa Pig would make a tasty bacon sandwich yet!
When I told Amelie we were going to make doughnuts her eyes lit up, and the joy wasn’t dampened when I explained it was going to be a two day process. Amelie made the dough in the mixer (and as normal spilled a lot of the ingredients on the floor in the process) and it then needed to prove in order to double in size. The wait immediately put my patience to the test, as Amelie insisted on checking the dough every 10 minutes and was disappointed that doughnuts hadn’t magically appeared! The next morning Amelie went straight downstairs to the kitchen and we were rolling the dough into balls at 7am. Then there was a (very long) four hour wait for the dough to prove (again!), but at least we could make the filling to distract Amelie. Finally, it was time … I deep-fried the doughnuts and Amelie got a chance to pipe in the filling. I was stunned – she was an expert with the piping bag and most amazing of all she made no mess; definitely a first when baking!! Admittedly I’m biased, but they were without doubt the second best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten!
We’ll certainly continue our baking, despite the stress of constantly telling Amelie: “don’t lick the butter!”, “take your fingers out of there!”, “stop flicking flour everywhere!”, “no you can’t put all the sprinkles on one cake!”, “no you can’t have four cakes, only one!” … and family members have already placed their orders, so we’ll be making lots more doughnuts soon! (If you have any suggestions for fillings, let me know!)
Best thing we ate this week
The doughnuts obviously, but Amelie’s most fun cake bake is Grandma’s “can’t go wrong cake”:
- Weigh your eggs (with the shells on!)
- Then use the same weight each of flour, caster sugar, butter
- Put everything into a bowl and mix together until you have gooey, cakey goodness
- Pour into cake cases or a big tin
- Bake at 170°C fan for approximately 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown
- Then decorate with whatever you want – icing, sprinkles, melted chocolate etc.
- You can also experiment and put other things into the cake mixture e.g. vanilla extract, lemon zest, choc chips etc.
Something to do this week
Visit a local market – a perfect opportunity for kids to learn about different foods and explore a variety of smells and colours.
The Farmers’ Market in Walton-on-Thames is held on the first Saturday of each month at the Heart. Amelie has always enjoyed a quick visit to look at the cheeses, smell the lavender, and look at the different foods cooking in large pans.
If you fancy a trip to London, Borough Market is excellent; we’ll be taking Amelie soon.
Treat yourself or a loved one to a baking lesson. From my experience, I would recommend Bread Ahead in Borough Market (just make sure you try one of their doughnuts) – you can do a lesson and combine it with a potter around the market!
Best tantrum this week
After bath time one evening Amelie point blank refused to put on any pyjamas (I still have no idea why!). After about 15 minutes of tears, stamping feet (by Amelie!) and offering every combination of pyjamas she has, Amelie decided she “couldn’t remember” what pyjamas she wanted to wear. It was finally resolved by letting Pepper the cat decide what she would wear – if only all disagreements could be resolved like this, my life would be a lot easier at times!
Amelie’s quote of the week
A: Daddy, what’s gravity?
… I then went into what I thought was a great explanation of gravity, which involved dropping things on the floor, pouring water from a cup, and of course the (brief) story of Isaac Newton coming up with the theory of gravity when an apple fell from the tree he was sitting under. Then this happened:
Me: So, who discovered gravity then Amelie?
A: Olly Murs!
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