How to create kid-happy foodie favourites
With the kids stuck at home, now is the perfect time to start planning a few one-off tasty snacks and treats. After all, your weekly shop is a luxury right now. We’ve come up with a tasty selection of rich flavours that will keep the kids coming back for more: from one-pan lamb with crispy chips to adorable chick cupcakes, you and your little ones will be spoiled for choice.
One-pan lamb with chips
Enrich the taste of roast lamb with herbs and garlic, or if you prefer, push a few slices of anchovies or nuggets of feta into the slits. And kids will love nothing more than a little pile of crispy, fluffy McCain oven chips on the side.
- McCain oven chips
- 1 leg of lamb, roughly 2kg
- 2 garlic bulbs
- 15 sprigs rosemary
- 15 sprigs thyme
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 180g broccoli
- Using a small, sharp knife, cut 30 2cm slits all over the lamb. Cut the garlic bulbs in half, so the cloves fall away at the top but stay together at the bottom.
- Peel and cut the tops that have fallen away and save the other halves for later.
- Using your fingers, push the slices into each incision.
- Afterwards, pull off tiny sprigs of rosemary and thyme, being sure to keep the stalks on, and pop them into the slits. You can do this a day ahead, then cover the lamb and refrigerate. Take out of the fridge one hour prior to roasting.
- Heat oven to 210°C.
- Lay the lamb onto a large roasting tin and rub with the oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for roughly an hour and a half, shaking the tin intermittently, until the lamb is dark brown. The lamb will be pink in the centre but cooked. For rare, cook for 10 minutes less, and for well-done, an additional 15 minutes.
- About 20 minutes before the lamb is cooked, place the McCain oven chips into the oven and cook as per packet instructions.
- About 10 minutes before the lamb and oven chips are done, place the broccoli into a pan of boiling water and cook until soft.
- Remove the lamb from the tin and leave to rest for a while. Take the chips out of the oven and turn off the broccoli.
- Serve the lamb with the McCain oven chips and broccoli. Enjoy!
Little chick cupcakes
These sweet little cupcakes are a whole lot easier to make than you might think. The eyes, beak and feet are all created with pre-made chocolate designs. And little ones will love to help with the decorating (or just eating the decorations!).
For the cupcakes
- 200g granulated sugar
- 170g plain flour, not self-raising
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 80g full-fat sour cream
- 55g vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 230ml milk, at room temperature
For the frosting
- 6 tbsp water
- 300g granulated sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp vegetable shortening
- 70g white chocolate buttons
- 6 jazz drops
For the cakes
- Mix together the dry ingredients for the cupcakes.
- Gradually whisk the butter in until the mixture has a fine, powdery texture.
- In another bowl, beat together the sour cream, eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat into the dry ingredients until well mixed.
- Pour in the milk, beating until no lumps remain.
- Decant the batter into a lined cupcake pan, filling the liners about two-thirds of the way full.
- Bake at 170°C until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
For the frosting
- Using a small saucepan, mix together the water and sugar for the frosting.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and cook until totally translucent.
- Meanwhile, beat your egg whites using a mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Tip the hot syrup down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites. Carry on beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
- Start adding 2.5cm slices of the butter until all has been added.
- Beat the frosting on high until it turns thick (it may appear curdled initially, but just continue beating).
- Reduce the speed of your mixer so it’s on low, combine the vanilla extract and yellow food colouring, and carry on beating until the frosting is totally smooth.
- In a small bowl, melt your white chocolate buttons with a quarter teaspoon of cooking fat in the microwave using 10-second increments.
- Tip the melted chocolate buttons into a piping bag, snip a little opening in the tip and pipe your feet and beaks onto parchment paper.
- To make the cupcakes, pop your yellow frosting into a piping bag with a large round tip.
- Pipe a sizeable dollop onto each cupcake, and then go back and pipe a smaller dollop on top of it.
- Press two jazz drops into the front of the smaller dollop of frosting, add a chocolate button beak and two of the jazz drops for the feet.
Carrot patch cake
Get the little ones involved in creating our delicious carrot cake. Made with cream cheese, this rich and indulgent family favourite is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
- 175ml vegetable oil, and extra for the tin
- 75g natural yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g self-raising flour
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ fresh nutmeg, finely grated
- 3 carrots, grated
- 100g sultanas or raisins
- 100g pistachios, finely chopped (or slivered if you can get them)
For the icing
- 100g slightly salted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 100g full-fat cream cheese
- 100g fondant icing or marzipan
- orange food colouring
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. In a jug, beat the oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla together.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a decent sprinkling of salt.
- Squash any chunks of sugar through your fingers, shaking the bowl a couple of times to bring the lumps to the surface.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, as well as the carrots, raisins and half the pistachios.
- Stir together thoroughly, then tip into the tin. Bake until a skewer slotted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If any wet mixture remains on the skewer, pop back into the oven for an additional few minutes, then recheck.
- Place to one side in the tin and leave to cool.
For the icing
- Whisk the butter and sugar together until smooth. Pour in half the cream cheese and whisk again, then tip in the remaining cheese (adding it gradually to stop the icing from splitting).
- Take the cake out of the tin and spread the icing thickly on top. Sprinkle with a few of the leftover pistachios.
- To change the colour of the fondant or marzipan to orange, knead in a drop of food colouring. Roll into tiny carrot shapes, then make grooves using a skewer and poke a couple of the pistachios in to look like fronds.
- Garnish the cake with the carrots, then serve.
These easy-to-make recipes – from carrot patch cake to one-pan lamb – will make your family very happy indeed! So, go on, whip up a little magic with your budding junior chefs this spring.
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