The Pain Of Advent Calendars 

  
This year for me has been the same as ever.  The 30th November come around and panic sets in as I’ve forgotten the advent calendars once again!

For weeks before I have walked passed them with the children asking for them and me refusing as its to early.  This is due to the fact that I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate and will eat the contents before the kids get a look in.

After trawling the supermarkets I always end up with grabbing whatever is left and always upsetting one of them for not being able to get the one they had requested.

The largest of all dramas though is saved for 1st December itself.  The older ones just relish the fact they are allowed to have chocolate before school and happily find the first door to open.  It is a completely different story for the youngest two!

Number five who is not yet two had a beautiful beaming smile as I opened up his Peppa Pig calendar.  He sat and happily ate his chocolate until he realised it had been put back onto the shelf; at which point wenthen had the screeches of “more chocolate” for the next thirty minutes.  Number four was a little sneakier about the whole situation and chose to scour the worktops whist I wasn’t looking and sneak the calendar into his bedroom and eat the entire contents!

  
Roll on day two where number five will undoubtedly cause the same comotion and number four will fall straight into meltdown mode as he realises he has no calendar.  I think I will take the advent books option next year.

Red Velvet Flower Shaped Cupcakes

  
It was my my daughter’s school fete this weekend and we unfortunately couldn’t attend as she had her performing arts school production; so it was a lovely surprise to find that I had won a raffle prize on the school run this morning.

Upon opening it was a lovely flower shaped silicone cupcake mould from The Pampered Chef.

  

Of course the children were champing at the bit to give it a go so we decided on some red velvet cupcakes with the frosting piped inside so we didn’t ruin the ornate shape of them.

If you fancy giving them a go with or without the mould here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcakes

  • 185g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Caster Sugar 
  • 200g Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4tsp Red Food Colouring
  • 15g Coccoa Powder

Frosting

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 125g Full Fat Soft Cheese
  • 175g Icing Sugar

  

    1. Preheat the oven to 180c
    2. Cream together the butter and sugar
    3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture.
    4. Sieve the flour and coccoa powder into the mixture along with the food colouring.
    5. Mix well and then spread evenly between the cake moulds/cases.
    6. Place into the preheated oven for around 15mins.
    7. Place them onto a wire cooling rack whilst you prepare the frosting.
    8. Cream the better until really soft and then gradually add the cream cheese and icing sugar.
    9. Place into a piping bag and leave to stand until the cakes are completly cooled.
    10. Once ready put the spout about a third of the way into the cake and squeeze until a little comes back out.
    11. They will then be ready to serve.

             

      

    Chocolate Bowl Recipe Fail

      
    As many of you know number four has multiple allergies and because of this I always try to find different things to make for him to make up for all the yummy things he misses out on.

    Ice cream is always a no no when we are out and he only has the option of ice lollies.

    This summer I have made it my mission to create some different ice cream recipes for him.

    Ice cream cones always contain wheat, so as he is a chocolate lover I thought I could make a chocolate bowl covered with sprinkles to put his favourite mango sorbet in.

       
     

    I greased a small bowl and spread melted chocolate over the inside and covered in sprinkles.  Whilst the kids were licking out the bowl I put it into the fridge to set.

       
       

    I removed the bowl from the fridge with every hope that I was going to be able to easily remove the chocolate shell from the bowl.

    How wrong could I be!  It was welded in with no hope of moving!  I still served the sorbet and fruit and number four was occupied for ages trying to gouge the chocolate out of the bowl.  

    So my image of this delicate chocolate bowl covered with sprinkles was shattered; but the fact it took so long to remove the chocolate gave me a bit of peace and quiet to tidy up!!

    Allergy Free Chocolate Plops

      

    With Fathers Day celebrations happening this weekend I knew there would be lots of treats flying around that number four would not be able to join in with; so whilst the older children made chocolate muffins for their Dad we set to making some super easy chocolate plops.

    All that is need is a large bar of dairy free chocolate and some cake decoration sprinkles.  There are lots available so you can be as creative as you like with your decoration.

    Firstly get a chopping board that will be able to lay flat in your fridge and cover with a layer a cling film.

    Then melt your chocolate in a bowl I’ve some boiling water, take a teaspoon and put a 5cm drop of chocolate onto your covered board.  Then add your sprinkles to each plop.

         
     

    One all the chocolate has been used up place them into the fridge to set.  This takes about 10mins depending on the thickness of the plops.

    Whilst they were hardening number four enjoyed licking the bowl!!

       
       

    When they were ready we easily removed them from the board and placed them in a box to be taken out as and when we wanted.

      

      

      

    Chocolate Chip Muffins And Sweetie Jars For Daddy

      
    The way to a mans heart, especially my husband’s is through his stomach. So what better Father’s Day present than lots of yummy food!

    First up we made some scrummy white chocolate chip muffins.  Here’s how:

    • 140g Self Raising Flour
    • 140g Melted Dark Chocolate
    • 75g Cocoa Powder
    • 3tsp Baking Powder
    • 1 Egg
    • 200ml Milk
    • 150g Broken White Chocolate
    • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 100ml Sunflower Oil

    Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6.

      
    Mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

    In a separate bowl mix together the oil, milk, egg and melted chocolate.

       
     

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together the the white chocolate chunks.  Do not over mix the mixture.

    Place into 12 muffin cases and bake for 12 mins.

       
     

    Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

      
    Once they were cooled I placed them into an air proof tin all ready for tomorrow.

    Next up was a very simple pressie.  All I did was get a couple of glass jars with screw top lids.  I filled them with hubby’s favourite sweets whist number three made some gift labels with handprints.

      
    I threaded some ribbon through the gift tags and tied them round the top of the jars.

      

    The children love making gifts for people and I find that people always find a homemade gift far more thoughtful.

    Along with their cards I am sure that is going to be one happy Daddy upon receiving the wonderful gifts.