Delight little ones with this easy to make ice cream recipe

ice cream

You can easily make ice cream at home, with fresh ingredients. A fun activity for those hot but rainy summer days. And you’ll be astonished to know that there is some science in making ice cream. Homemade ice cream is best eaten straight away but will keep in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

What you’ll ned to make ice cream:

  • 150 ml double cream
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • 3 Tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence
  • 100 g rasberries
  • Spoon or fork
  • Sieve (optional)
  • Small containers with lids
  • Timer

ice cream ingredients

Pour the double cream into the bowl and whisk it for about 5 minutes. You can ask your child to whisk it by using a hand held whisk or an electric one. Even from a young age little ones like to help and it helps them develop hand eye coordination.

When the cream has become nice and thick, either sieve in the icing sugar or just add it with a tablespoon. Mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vanilla essence, mix some more, then add and squish in the raspberries. The mixture should be soft and pink.

Pour the mixture in several small containers, put the lids on and set a timer for 45 minutes. When the time is up, take the containers out and using a spoon or a fork, stir the ice-cream up thoroughly. Put it back and then do the same again 45 minutes later, and again 45 minutes after that. So that’s 2 stirring intervals of 45 minutes. After the ice cream has been in the freezer for about 2 hours total (so an additional 30 minutes after the final stir), it should be ready to eat.

You can also try other fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas or chocolate chips.

Here’s a quick video showing this recipe in action:

The Science in making ice cream

You can also add to the experience with school age children by explaining the science behind ice cream. Whipping ads air to the cream which is then trapped by the fat molecules and this makes the cream into a thick foam. When you freeze it, the water content in the ice cream will form crystals.  The smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the ice cream so you need to stop the ice crystals growing by freezing it quickly and breaking them up at regular intervals.

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Making rainbow cookies the easy way

Rainbow cookies

I had seen this rainbow cookie recipe on Etsy and instantly fell in love with it – it looked fun, beautiful and seemed very easy to make. At least this is what the recipe lead to me to believe….

I thought it was also a great idea for a bit of indoor fun and cooking with children. So I read the recipe several times, tried to convert US units of measurements into UK units and off I went to buy my supplies; buying the food colouring, the butter, the flour and all the ingredients listed and set about making my a batch of rainbow cookies.

Only… it wasn’t quite so easy. The dough seemed to break and not really hold together melted constantly regardless of how much flour I kept adding in (maybe too much butter). But I carried on, much to my son’s bemusement until the dough looked less rainbow and more…. well, like this disaster :

Cookies expectation vs reality

So I had an idea. I thought there’s no point trying to make the dough again when clearly I wasn’t very good at it and remembered I could purchase some ready-made for a fraction of the price and save myself some aggravation. Off we went to our local supermarket, where all of a sudden there was a multitude of choice: there was ready made cookie dough with chocolate chips but there was also some not-so-ready made cookie mix.

I wasn’t very convinced that the cookie dough with the chocolate chips was quite right for the recipe, besides – how would I colour it? Still I purchased some gel food colour and off I went very determined to achieve perfect rainbow cookies!

Dr Oetker food colouring

Except Round 2 was another  disaster. My son had a great deal of fun getting messy and trying to colour the chocolate chip dough – which, it turned out, was very difficult to roll into a half decent shape. So, we ended up with a giant rainbow chocolate chip cookie that looked like this:

Giant rainbow cookie

I explained to my son that we cooked this big cookie for my Big Friendly Giant, and, as a result we played giants (meaning chasing up and down the stairs and tickling, all evening).

But I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to give it one last go with the cookie dough mix. One last try. I used a sieve to remove all the “polka dots” – essentially small sugar coated chocolate buttons, which my son  – who was assisting me in the kitchen –  took great delight in eating as quickly as he could.

I had two packs, in retrospect three would have probably been a bit better to have enough to play around with the dough, but two was good enough. I followed the steps on the pack (adding 50 grams of melted butter per pack and stirring to form a dough). I was still unsure, as the dough was a bit crumbly still. I separated the dough into 6 different bowls and added the food colouring. Miracle produced – the food colouring actually helped the dough bind together and shape nicely.

From this point onwards, I followed the Etsy recipe which meant rolling the dough with a violet baton in the middle which was then rolled into the blue bit, the green, yellow, orange and finally red wrapped it all up. Top Tip: next time I’ll use more dough for the orange and red bits as I was really struggling to make them hold the rest of the dough nicely.

I froze the dough a little – for up to 30 minutes so as to be able to cut it nicely – and it worked! I was so happy to see this finally coming together and my son was, of course, very excited to eat the rainbow cookies. Our cookies don’t look perfectly rounded, but we were more than happy with them (in fact we were ecstatic we finally succeeded).

cookies straight from the freezer

rainbow cookie dough

We put them in the oven at around 160 degrees (fan assisted) for 10-15 mins and the result was really good :

baked cookies

And they were also really really yummy.

Definitely a recommended recipe, very simple – especially if you learn from my mistakes – and a lot of fun to both make and eat!

Are you going to try to make those cookies? We’d love to hear if you have more tips and hints to make beautiful rainbow cookies.

Perfect Food for a Rainy Day: Little Toads in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

Did You Know… that Toad In The Hole was originally made with any old meat that was lying around and that the earliest known recipe (from 1747!) called it Pigeon in a Hole?! Don’t worry – we’re not going to be using any birds in this one!

A slight twist on a classic, this recipe is a favourite in our house and is a perfect, traditional meal to help warm up on a chilly wet day. The added advantage is that it’s a great dish to make with the help of your little ones. Little hands have lots of fun whether it’s helping to mix the batter or cutting the sausages, it’s a great way to help make preparing meals together fun and getting them more involved in mealtimes and cooking.

Thanks to the ‘little’ element to the ‘toads’, this recipe is great for babies and toddlers as well as adults. Best served with either mashed potato, some green veg and a bit of gravy.

Ingredients (for 4 adult servings):

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • Either 6 sausages or 12 chipolatas (the herbier the better)*
  • 150 g plain flour (we mix plain flour with some self-raising flour to help the batter lift up nicely)**
  • 4 eggs (we will use 2 eggs and 2 egg whites)
  • 200 ml whole milk
*Vegetarian sausages can also be used for a meat-free meal.
**For an extra little kick you can add some mustard powder to the flour.

Cooking:

Add the 2 eggs and 2 egg whites to the milk and whisk together.

Add the flower to a mixing bowl (with either some rosemary or a tablespoon of mustard powder for added flavour).

Gradually whisk in the milk and egg mixture and whisk until you have a smooth batter – you’re looking for the consistency of double cream, ideally. This  is a great time to get some little hands to help with the mixing as the large mixing bowl should mean minimal spillage 😉

Once the batter is smooth you’ll need to leave it in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Relax a little…..

Heat the oven to 220℃ (or 200℃ fan assisted).

Pour the oil into a baking dish. Snip each of the sausages into three pieces, add them to the dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

As the 10 minutes near a close, take the batter from the fridge and give it a good whisk to wake it up.

Remove the sausages from the oven and, while the oil is still spitting hot, pour the batter into the tin and return quickly to the oven.

Bake for another 20 minutes (try to avoid opening the oven during this time) or until the batter is golden brown.

Check out the video below for more and let us know yours turn out:

little toads in the hole
little toads in the hole