What Am I?

Did you guess last week’s puzzle? No-one did! It was, of course, the plastic lid from a Fruit Shoot drink. I know – so easy!

So, What Am I this week? 

What Am I?



Great British Bake Off – A Few Thoughts

This isn’t a deep, awe-inspiring post, so if you’re looking for inspiration over your cornflakes, then I apologise. It’s just some thoughts that have been running around my head about the Great British Bake Off and I need to give them life. I’ve avoided comment on Dianagate and the ice cream debacle. But some things cannot be left unsaid.

gbbo

Like …Princess cakes. Why? Complicated, stressful and not particularly appetising looking by the end of it. This seems to be a bit of a theme with technical challenges – the Charlotte Royal and floating islands from last series being great examples. And as for Paul’s mini pear pies …. if you have time in your life to parcel poached pears in puff pastry then please get in touch – I will happily supply you with a list of worthy causes for whom you could do some voluntary work.

floatingisland

 I would still love to see a properly gluten free episode too. The “free from” episode last series was a bit of a cop out really. Let’s see the contestants (and the judges) master something that would usually contain gluten – brilliant cakes, wonderful breads, pastries (gluten free pastry is another thing that often resides in the “life’s too short” category for me).

princesscake

So there you are … I told you it wasn’t earth-shattering stuff ;-)

This Parenting Lark Link Up

This Parenting Lark linkyHow’s your week been? We’re getting back in the swing of things after the summer break – our groups have all started back up, and we’ve joined some new ones, so there’s plenty going on.

This month, we seem to be “welcoming” the terrible twos, courtesy of 21 month old PK. Getting his own way is top of his list of priorities, and his methods of trying to achieve this include hitting, shouting (“Noooooooooooooo”, “Want it”), high pitched squealing and throwing himself on the floor. 

Oh, how we’ve missed this phase. It doesn’t seem that long since Plum left this phase and PK is following firmly in her footsteps. It doesn’t really concern me at the moment – when we got to this stage with Plum it was dreadful; Bean sailed through without many visits from the Tantrum Troll, and so we were taken by surprise when the Troll visited almost hourly with Plum.

We’re not there with PK at the moment and his tantrums are easily ignored so far. Let’s hope it stays that way!

On the other hand, his speech continues to come on in leaps and bounds and he’s making us giggle every day with his new found phrases. He’s also developed an almost pathological liking for Plum’s Iggle Piggle toy this week, for no apparent reason. The resulting power struggles are “interesting” to watch!

Over to you – link up your parenting posts – serious, funny, or anything in between! Grab the badge if you would like to and place it on your post, and please try and read some of the other posts linked up.

Happy Parenting!



Home Education – Number Bonds

We’re slowing getting back into our stride with home education after a break over the summer. We hadn’t intended to take much of a break over the summer, but that’s just things turned out.

This week, Bean has been somewhat reluctant to do anything resembling work. On the other hand, Plum has been chomping at the bit to get going and her subject of choice has been maths.

We’ve focussed on number bonds this week. I wondered if it might be a bit ambitious for a three (almost four) year old, but she was getting on OK with it. I’m glad we bought the counting blocks (now known as Buddy Blocks) a couple of months ago. They have really helped her visualise what numbers look like and make the number bonds make sense. I was really impressed by how quickly she grasped it. We used the blocks in conjunction with Khan Academy, answering the questions on number bonds by using the blocks to visualise the questions.

She’s three though, so realistically, I expect her to forget some or all of it as easily as she picked it up. I thought some visual reminders that she could see around the place would help retain some of her new found knowledge and so I decided to see what resources I could find. I headed to the website I used for resources for Bean’s World Cup project and found just what I wanted. Number bond matching games (I downloaded the butterflies, since she loves them) and number bond posters for the wall – using Lego men.

Twinkl Number Bonds

I also found some great sheets that I intend to laminate and fix to the top of the table that Plum and PK sit at – the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours.

And then I found some maths sheets for Bean to reinforce some areas that he struggles to remember. It’s not that he finds the method difficult, just that he doesn’t seem to remember how to solve certain problems, no matter how many times we do them. I found some games that address those exact areas, so I thought that would be a fun way to reinforce the maths we do with Khan Academy.

I’m really enjoying exploring numbers with Plum – she’s so excited about learning new things! 

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Chocolate Fondant

I’m catching up with my Great British Bake Off gluten free challenge. If you haven’t been following, I’m trying to produce a gluten free dish to fit into the theme for each episode. Sometimes, I even have a go at the technical challenge. I’m up to dessert week and that means I get to eat make chocolate fondant. The contestants had to make a “saucy pudding”, a tiramisu cake and the infamous Baked Alaska. I was going to have a go at the tiramisu cake, but then I was reminded of the “molten chocolate” puddings that Kate made and decided to have a go at those.

And I’m pleased to say that they came out really well. I made some minimal changes to Kate’s recipe, but not too many.

Salted caramel chocolate fondant

 

 salted caramel chocolate fondant with vanilla cream

 

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Chocolate Fondant
Yields 4
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Prep Time
3 hr 30 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
3 hr 42 min
Prep Time
3 hr 30 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
3 hr 42 min
For the Salted Caramel
  1. 1tblsp golden syrup
  2. 65g caster sugar
  3. 80ml double cream
  4. 1/2 tsp rock salt
For the fondant
  1. 55g unsalted butter
  2. 100g organic (70-85% cocoa solids) dark chocolate
  3. 30g gluten free plain flour
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 30g caster sugar
  6. 35g dark muscovado sugar
  7. pinch salt
  8. Cocoa powder
First, make the salted caramel
  1. Gently heat the golden syrup, caster sugar and 4 tblsp of water in a pan until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in the cream and salt.
  4. Pour into an ice cream tray and place in freezer for at least two hours.
For the fondant
  1. Lightly grease four pudding moulds and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the melted butter. Allow to melt.
  4. Leave to cool slightly and then stir in the sieved flour.
  5. Put the eggs in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and beat with an electric beater. Gradually add the sugars and keep beating until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  6. Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the chocolate mixture. Be careful not to knock too much air from the mixture.
  7. Fill the moulds evenly and then place in the fridge for an hour
  8. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  9. Remove the moulds from the fridge and the caramel from the freezer.
  10. Scoop out a "cube" of caramel (it won't actually have frozen) for each pudding and push it into the fondant mixture, making sure the mixture seals the caramel in.
  11. Place all the moulds onto a baking tray and then bake in the oven for 12 minutes (the sides should be cooked, but the centre should be wobbly).
  12. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then run a table knife around the inside of the mould.
  13. Turn the fondant out onto a plate and serve with cream or ice cream.
Notes
  1. For best results, make caramel a day in advance - it will be easier to work with after this extra time in the freezer
  2. These fondants are delicious served with home made vanilla cream - beat double cream with vanilla seeds and icing sugar.
Adapted from Kate Henry's Chocolate and salted caramel molten puddings
Adapted from Kate Henry's Chocolate and salted caramel molten puddings
Barefoot Mahala http://www.barefootblog.co.uk/

 

What Am I?

Last week’s What Am I? was an easy one, judging by the number of correct answers. It was a rice cake. Deborah from Mom2Michael was the first to guess correctly. Congratulations!

Props and a link to the first correct answer of this week’s puzzle, shout out on Twitter for all those with correct answers.

What Am I?

What Am I?