Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mini Cakes

Recipe Number Two Hundred & Three:  Page 244.

This is the last bake from the 'Baking for Children' section. These mini cakes follow Mary's fabulous all-in-one method. Such a simple recipe is perfect for little children who like to be helpful in the kitchen. The plain sponges are baked in tiny petits fours cases then topped with glacé icing and sweeties. I was amazed to find that I already possessed a small packet of dolly mixture sweets. They would be perfect for the decoration. I can't understand how they escaped my many forages for naughty treats РI must be losing my touch!

It was wonderful to wake to a blue sky and plenty of sunshine. It made such a change to head to the park without the need of coats! Everything started off pleasantly enough; we enjoyed walking through the park, stopping to inspect the daisies every once in awhile. On arrival at the swings it was clear that a bird had eaten something it shouldn't. Both swings were in a foul state! I keep a towel in Isaac's pushchair for such events, so I laid it over the less affected swing. Isaac took great exception to this and turned on the waterworks! This theme continued throughout the rest of our outing. By the time we'd returned home I was feeling rather fraught to say the least! I had planned to make the cakes with Isaac before his afternoon nap but thought better of it! Hopefully he would wake up in a better mood. Oh the joy of toddlers!

A sleep did Isaac the world of good. I was greeted with a big smile when I collected him from his cot. It was as if the drama of the morning had never occurred! I very much hoped that making the little cakes together would end the day on a happy note. Fingers crossed!

I gathered up the Baking Bible and laid it out on the kitchen worktop. I turned on the oven and placed the petits fours cases onto two baking trays. Isaac had been eyeing up the colourful paper cases for weeks. Sensing that there could be trouble ahead, I quickly gave him a case in each colour so that he wouldn't steal them from the tray. This made his day perhaps, even his whole week – simple pleasures!! He observed intently as I weighed each ingredient into the mixing bowl. The butter was the first to go into the bowl. Isaac was desperate to hold the butter, so I put a little onto his fingers. Quick as a flash he was asking me to wipe it off! There was just the one egg to crack into the bowl. This was a great shame as it's Isaac's favourite part. He jumped up and down with excitement shouting “EGG” at the top of his lungs! I asked my little helper where the flour is kept. He went straight to the shelf and tapped his little fingers on the plastic container full of self-raising flour. He is learning fast!

After tipping in the flour I quickly measured in half a teaspoon of baking powder. Caster sugar was the last ingredient to be included. Isaac was keen to help me weigh the sugar and, as a result, quite a bit ended up scattered over the worktop and floor. Apparently this was very funny! Now all the ingredients were in the bowl I set about collecting the electric hand whisk. The mixture required a very brief whisk before it was thoroughly blended and smooth. As the paper cases were so tiny, I thought it best for me to spoon in the mixture. Isaac did help to hold the spoon, though, from time to time. He kept shrieking in excitement “All by myself”; he was very proud of himself! Of course it didn't take long before he started to eat the raw mixture. I think this was the highlight of the baking session.

I placed the filled cases into the oven. As they were so small I'd imagined that they would be cooked within about ten minutes, when in fact it would take between fifteen and twenty minutes. However, the time soon passed for Isaac as he sat on the kitchen floor with his bowl and spoon. He alternated between scraping out the remaining mixture and banging the bowl with the spoon. Apparently this sounded just like church bells! The cakes rose well in the oven and were a lovely golden brown. It was torture waiting for them to cool. Thankfully, due to their petiteness, it didn't take too long and we were soon able to make up the icing.

I sifted the dreaded icing sugar into a small bowl. Isaac was most perplexed by the inevitable dust cloud. I had to laugh when he exclaimed “Messy!” Never was a truer word spoken! To the sifted icing sugar I added a hint of water, just enough to create a spreadable consistency. Again, I held Isaac's hand and we guided the icing over the top of each cake. Before the icing had a chance to set we added the dolly mixture, sampling a few as we went. This was, of course, purely for quality control purposes!!!

We all enjoyed eating these tasty mouthfuls. We made quite a few but they didn't last long. As they are so small it helps to eliminate the guilt!! We had a great deal of fun making them and it certainly provided a happy ending to our day. The cakes were light and sweet; perfect for children's lunch boxes or parties. They are also perfect for harassed mothers!!

Isaac enjoyed licking the spoon. The few without icing are the suspect ones!!
Recipe Variation: Mini Chocolate Cakes

I was really looking forward to making these tiny chocolate cakes. They are only small so surely you can eat as many as you like without feeling guilty?! It would appear that Isaac was as keen to get cracking as I was. The word cake was enough to make him run into the kitchen at top speed!

The variation to this recipe was very simple and straight forward. I just needed to omit a little flour and replace with sifted cocoa powder. Isaac and I sat on the floor and mixed all the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon. It was a bit of a struggle to stop Isaac from diving into the bowl of mixture head first. He was simply dying to have a taste! Once the mixture was safely in the tiny cases the licking of the spoon and bowl could finally commence. Sadly I couldn't join in due to the raw eggs. In a few months I'll be able to elbow Isaac out of the way! With the cakes in the oven we were able to watch them cook through the oven door. Perhaps not the most thrilling past-time but we quite enjoyed watching the little cakes rise up and turn golden brown.

When the cakes were cooked through I took them from the oven and placed onto a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile I made up the messy icing. I followed exactly the same procedure as before. I was surprised and a little miffed not to be using a chocolate icing! This time we added smarties for decoration. A few for the cakes and a handful for me.

I was delighted with these cute little cakes. They were moist, light and delicious. I loved how simple and easy they were to make and Isaac was able to get involved too. Yet another recipe to add to my make again list!

Fun litle cakes - great for parties.


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  2. I'm absolutely loving browsing your blog, especially seeing the pictures of how they have turned out. I ove these little cakes, they remind me of childhood bake sales.