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Tag Archives: kids
  • Posted on July 21, 2016

    Summer Holiday Baking

    Now that the summer holidays are finally here, we’re sure you’re looking for fun things to keep your kids occupied and our book My First Cupcake Decorating Book is packed with loads of ideas. Flicking through, we reached this particular recipe and were immediately transported to school holiday baking of our youth and we knew we had to share it! If butterfly cakes don’t take your fancy, how about these super fun Ice Cream cupcakes or Cheeky Monkey cupcakes which we shared with our MAKE youtube channel earlier this year?

    Butterfly Cakes

    A butterfly surprise! A slice of cake forms the butterfly wings and they hide a layer of gorgeous buttercream frosting.

    You will need:

    Vanilla cupcakes

    ¾ cup (175 g) unsalted butter, softened

    1 cup (175 g) superfine (caster) sugar

    3 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1¾ cup (175 g) all-purpose (plain) flour

    3 teaspoons baking powder

    3 tablespoons milk

    Buttercream frosting

    1 stick (125 g) butter, softened

    1 tablespoon milk

    3 cups (375 g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    sprinkles

    12-hole muffin pan, lined with paper cupcake cases

    Makes 12

    Ask an adult to turn the oven on to 350ºF (180ºC) Gas 4. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake cases.

    Put the soft butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the butter is soft, creamy, and pale (if an adult is helping, you could use an electric beater).

    Break the eggs into a small bowl. Beat the eggs with a fork until the yolks have broken up and the mixture is bit frothy.

    Add a little egg to the creamed butter mixture and beat with the wooden spoon until the egg is all blended in.

    Then add a little more egg and beat again. Add a small sprinkle of flour if the mixture looks as though it is starting to separate (becoming bitty rather than smooth). Keep adding the egg until it is all used up and scrape any mixture down from the sides with a spatula.

    Add the vanilla extract and stir it into the mixture.

    Sift the flour and baking powder together into a separate bowl.

    Add the flour to the mixture in two halves. Fold the first half gently into the mixture with a big metal spoon. Don’t beat or over-stir it—gentle folding traps air into the mixture and will make the cakes lovely and light. When this is mixed in, add the second half and do the same.

    Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the paper cases in the muffin pan. Put the same amount into each one, so they are about two-thirds full.

    Ask an adult to help you put the cakes in the oven and bake them for 15–20 minutes until they are risen and golden and the cakes are springy to touch.

    Ask an adult to help you take the pan out of the oven and let it cool a little. Then lift out the cakes and put them on a wire rack to cool down. While the cakes are cooling, make your buttercream frosting.

    Put the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the milk.

    Measure the confectioner’s (icing) sugar into another bowl. Place a strainer (sieve) over the butter bowl and sift a little of the sugar into the bowl.

    Remove the sieve and beat the mixture together. Then sift in a little more sugar and beat again. Keep going until all the sugar has been mixed in and the frosting is light, fluffy, and smooth.

    Add the vanilla extract and stir it in evenly. If you would like to color your frosting, add a little food coloring paste or a couple of drops of liquid food coloring to the mix and stir it in well to get an even color.

    When the cakes are cool, slice a small disc off the top of each (just the top point—don’t cut right to the edge of the cake). Cut this disc in half and put the halves to one side.

    Cover the circle you have left on the cake with a blob of buttercream frosting.

    Push the two halves of cake into the frosting to form the wings of a butterfly. Decorate with sprinkles.

    Eat!

    My First Cupcake Decorating Book is available here. Don’t miss a video by subscribing to MAKE on Youtube here!

    Save


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, cupcakes, summer holidays, school holidays, kids, recipe for the weekend, my first series, sweet, cake, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on June 15, 2016

    Memory Jars for Fathers' Day

    Giving a homemade gift makes the experience extra special (not to mention a homemade card – try this one!) and with Fathers’ Day just around the corner, we’ve got a lovely project for children (of all ages!) to make for their dads. In Hester Van Overbeek’s latest book Crafting With Mason Jars she suggests this sweet way of displaying your favourite holiday snaps and memories, and we think it would be a lovely gift for Dad this weekend. Perhaps you have a little trinket that means something special to both of you? Or a memento of a trip you took together? Alternatively, find a lovely picture of you and your father, and fill the base of the jar with something that reminds you of him, such as the coffee beans Hester suggests. A super simple idea with endless possibilities!

    Memories In A Jar

    Instead of displaying your favorite snaps in photo frames, pop them in a jar! Did you go on a beach vacation? Take some sand, shells, or driftwood back home with you and place these in the bottom of the jar.

    Did you go on a city escape? Why not fill the base of the jar with coffee beans from your favorite espresso bar and pick up some small trinkets or save tickets to decorate the jar with.

    Crafting With Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek is available here.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, handmade, gift, kids, quick, 2016, mason jars

  • Posted on June 5, 2016

    Into the woods for World Environment Day

    When access to screens and technology is so easy for adults and children alike, it’s important to encourage engagement with the world around us, and never more so than on World Environment Day. That’s where Fiona Bird’s brilliant (if we do say so ourselves…) new book comes in; Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside is jam-packed with ideas for fun activities and creative ideas for helping children discover the great outdoors. It’s very easy too – in this section, Fiona suggests some ways to enjoy time spent amongst trees and woodland. So, in honour of World Environment Day, switch off that screen, head outdoors, and have some fun outside!

    Into the Woods

    Woods are among the finest natural places to play or find a secret thinking spot. On sunny days, the light flickers and dances through the trees and the leaf canopy is there to protect you if it rains. Sometimes you may not even notice that it’s raining. You can explore or play hide-and-seek or tree tag. If you look up, you can spy on squirrels scampering through the trees, while if you look down you can see carpets of winter snowdrops or spring bluebells and white wood sorrel. If you’re hungry, you can search for tiny snacks that change with the season—summer brings bilberries and woodland strawberries, while with careful I.D. in the fall (autumn), you can go on a mushroom foray. You might also like to build a woodland den, create a miniature house or garden, go on a woodland bug hunt, or simply play a game of conkers.

    What Is A Tree?

    Stand beneath a tree and look up. You’ll see an amazing spreading crown of branches and leaves that provides shade for the roots. The branches support the leaves and give the tree its distinctive shape. Tree trunks have evolved to allow trees to tower high above smaller plants so that their leaves can harness energy from the sun to make food, a process known as photosynthesis. The underground root system is big because it has to support the tree and also collect water and nutrients from the soil. Root and trunk sizes vary between tree species. As a tree grows, so does its trunk, and this causes the bark to expand. This expansion cracks the bark and helps us to identify different species, as well as young and old trees.

    Go on a Leaf Hunt

    When exploring the woods, see how many different leaves you can spot. Here are some tips for identifying the leaves you’ve found:

    Touch a leaf and feel its texture—is it glossy, rough, smooth, hairy, or downy?

    In season, the flowers and fruits (or nuts, which are fruits in a hard case) will also help you to name the tree.

    Have a go at BioBlitzing; perhaps you could count the number of tree species in a given area. Blitzing sounds a little destructive—which naturalists aren’t. Remember to only leave behind your own footprints.

    A pocket tree guide or phone app will help confirm a tree’s I.D.

    Finding needles in the woods

    Telling pines, firs, and spruces apart is all about I.D., which takes practice. Here are some helpful needle facts:

    Pine trees have bundles of needles in twos to fives. The size may vary, but if a tree has a pack of needles (more than one needle), then it is a pine tree. Spruce and fir needles don’t grow in bundles.

    Check out the needle—if it has sides, rather than being round or flat, then it’s a spruce. A fir needle is flat and won’t roll.

    Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside by Fiona Bird is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with school holidays, cico kidz, kids, nature, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on April 20, 2016

    Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

    Author Fiona Bird was on BBC Radio 4 Midweek today talking to Libby Purves about her latest book Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside, life on South Uist and seaweed, and it was a fascinating chat; you can catch up here. Fiona is hugely knowledgeable about seaweed and the many things you can use it for (she even dropped off some seaweed shortbread at the office!) so we thought we’d share some of the seaweed-y wisdom to be found in this amazing book, along with a super easy craft project. Over to Fiona…

    Seaweed and its amazing uses

    Macroalgae is a really useful weed. You can pop seaweed in the bath, cook with it, or use it in craftwork. Plan a visit to a herbarium, where you will be able to see beautifully preserved plants and seaweeds—our ocean flowers—and find out the best ways to preserve a seaweed’s shape and color.

    Collecting, Drying, And Storing

    If you are not planning to use your seaweed fresh from the seashore, then it can easily be dried and stored for using in recipes or other projects later on.

    Collecting Seaweed

    There are a few rules to bear in mind when collecting seaweed from the seashore for use at home:

    Don’t pick storm-cast seaweed for cooking; only use seaweed that is growing.

    Do use a pair of scissors to cut seaweeds from their holdfasts at low tide on a clean beach. (Remember to take scissors with you when you visit the beach.)

    Don’t cook with floating seaweed or seaweed that grows at the top of the shore near drains. Sea lettuce and sea grass like growing here—instead, pick these seaweeds from rock pools at low tide.

    Do wash the seaweed in the sea so that any hidden “visitors” can find a new home locally. You should also rinse the seaweed in cold water when you get home.

    Do use a separate bag for each type collected, as this will make it easier to sort out your seaweeds when you get home.

    Drying Seaweed When you get home, wash the seaweed thoroughly. Rinse it in   cold water and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. A salad spinner is helpful here—spin the seaweed around, just as you would if preparing salad leaves.

    Next dry the seaweed. Lay the pieces of seaweed on a tray lined with newspaper or some paper towel—making sure that they aren’t touching—and leave to dry on a sunny windowsill. You could also pop the tray in a warm airing cupboard. On a sunny day, you can dry larger seaweeds such as sugar kelp by pegging them on a washing line. You can also dry seaweed on trays in a low oven or even in a food dehydrator if you have one. Some people dry seaweed in a hot oven, but you must be eagle-eyed if you do this and make sure that the seaweed does not burn.

    Storing Seaweed When you have dried the seaweed, cut it into manageable lengths or grind it in a food-blender. It is easier to grind a little at a time, pop it in an airtight container, and then repeat the process until you have used up all of the seaweed. Shake the containers when you remember and use the dried seaweed as a flavoring, just as you would herbs or spices.

    No-sew Seaweed Bath Sacks

    These easy-to-make bags make a lovely seaside vacation memory or gift. Younger children can practice knots as they tie the sacks. Soak the bath sack in your bath water for 5 minutes before you use it, unless, of course, you want to spend a long time in the bath. As the seaweed rehydrates, it releases a gel that has skin-softening properties.

    WHAT TO USE

    4 Dried seaweed, cut or broken by hand into short lengths

    4 Jelly bag, pop sock, or a leg of pantyhose (tights), cut below the knee

    4 Ribbon, for tying (optional)

    WHAT TO DO

    Stuff the dried seaweed into the jelly bag, pop sock, or section of pantyhose and then tie a knot (and a ribbon, if using) tightly at the top to make a sack. You can use colored or patterned pop socks or pantyhose if you wish to make your bath sacks look really pretty.

    Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside by Fiona Bird is available here.


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Craft Projects, Featured, Interviews, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, school holidays, kids, photos, nature, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on March 1, 2016

    Flowers that last forever

    We’re all about the homemade gift here at CICO Books Towers, and with Mothers’ Day just around the corner (for those of you in the UK at least), we thought it was time we shared some ideas. These lovely tissue paper flowers are taken from our new book Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue which is part of a new series aimed at introducing even the littlest children to crafty fun! With just some lovely brightly coloured tissue paper, and pipe cleaners, you can make a bunch of flowers for Mum that will last forever!

    Tissue-paper flowers

    Delicate and pretty, these delightful tissue-paper blooms make lovely gifts when bunched up into a colorful bouquet. Look out for multicolored packs of tissue paper in art stores, or collect leftover pieces from presents and packaging to have on hand when you need to say it with flowers.

    What you will need

    Sheets of tissue paper in different colors

    Scissors

    Ruler

    Pipe cleaners

    Twigs

    1. Layer tissue paper: measure and cut 10 pieces of different colored tissue paper, 9½ x 12in (24 x 30cm). Lay them on top of each other.

    2. First crease: fold all the layers of paper over together by about 1.in (3cm) and make a crease.

    3. Make a concertina: continue to fold the tissue paper until the whole thing resembles a concertina.

    4. Shape the strip: cut both ends of the strip into either a curved petal shape or snip it into thin strips using scissors.

    5. Wrap the layers: take a long pipe cleaner, fold it in half, and twist it around the middle of the paper strips.

    6. Make petals: carefully pull each layer of paper out to form the petals.

    7. Attach to twig: twist the pipe cleaner onto the end of a twig. Add a leaf shape if you like.

    Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue is available here. We have also published Let’s Get Crafty with Fabric & Felt, available here.

       

    For more Mothers’ Day gift inspiration, check out our Spring Flower Pot, Felt Tulips and Origami gift box video tutorials.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, Book Launch, crafts for kids, kids, paper crafts, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on December 5, 2015

    Christmas Stocking Cards

    The festive spirit has well and truly kicked in at RPS and CICO Book Towers and we’ve got a new Jen and Polly MAKE… video tutorial to prove it! This weekend is the perfect time to start making cards with the kids and we just love this one! Click the image to take you to the video, and the instructions are below. Happy making!

    Christmas Stocking Cards

    Give a Christmas stocking with a difference. These cards will add festive cheer to any mantelpiece. Using a traditional Christmas color scheme of red and white, they make the perfect card for a child but will be equally loved by adults, too. Use store-bought giftwrap papers or decorate plain red and white card with adhesive stickers. The addition of ribbon and braid finishes the cards off beautifully.

    Materials

    Stocking template (download here)

    Pencil

    Scissors

    Thin red and white card

    Red and white circular stickers

    Red and white patterned giftwrap

    Glue stick

    Red crepe paper

    Sewing needle and red thread

    Fast-drying, high-tack craft glue

    Selection of buttons, braids and ribbons

    Rotary hole punch

    Print the stocking template (download here). Using the template, draw and cut out stocking shapes from the white and red card.

    For the spotted stockings, stick circular stickers randomly all over one side of the card stocking. Alternatively, draw around the template onto patterned paper and cut out. Glue this onto a plain card stocking with glue stick.

    Decorate the tops of the stockings with lengths of ribbon and braid, adding a ribbon bow or buttons if desired.

    Using the hole punch, make a hole in the top corner of the stocking. Cut a 6-in. (15-cm) length of thin red ribbon and thread it through the hole. Tie a neat knot in the ribbon and trim the ends to even them.

    Give the card to your friend!

    Alternatively, for the ruffle stockings, cut a 12 x 1-in. (30.5 x 2.5-cm) strip of crepe paper. Stitch along one long edge, securing the thread with a knot at the start. Pleat the paper as you go by gathering it until it measures 4⅜ in. (11 cm). Finish with a few stitches or a knot.

    Cut out a cuff from either red or white card (the opposite color to the main stocking). Apply craft glue along the bottom of the cuff and glue the crepe paper ruffle along this, if using.

    Glue the cuff onto the stocking.

    This project is adapted from Hand-Crafted Cards which is available here. For more festive inspiration, check out our new Christmas Pinterest board!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK and was tagged with christmas, homemade, handmade, school holidays, kids, video, 2015

  • Posted on December 4, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    It’s National Cookie Day AND we’re getting excited about Christmas so we’ve got a Christmassy cookie recipe for you, taken from Liz Franklin’s The Cookie Jar. This recipe tastes great and looks worthy of the Showstopper challenge on Great British Bake Off! Happy Baking!

    Christmas Tree Stack

    A lovely stack of crisp, buttery cookies, made to look like an elegant Christmas tree is a very special thing to make for Christmas. You can buy individual star cookie cutters in descending sizes, or search out the kits that are especially made for the purpose. These usually include about 10 cookie cutters from very large for the base, to very tiny ones for the top.

    120 g/1 stick butter

    120 g/⅔ cup caster/granulated sugar

    180 g/1⅓ cups plain/all-purpose flour

    1 egg, separated

    500 g/16 oz. white ready-to-roll fondant icing (or use green coloured if preferred)

    50 g/¼ cup apricot jam/jelly, strained

    50 g/1/2 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar

    Caster/superfine sugar, for dusting

    Star-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Put the butter, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl. Rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, and then add the egg yolk. Bring everything together to form a smooth dough.

    On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 4 mm/1/8 in. thick. Cut out star shapes in descending sizes. Bring the trimmed dough together and roll out again to cut as many cookies out of the dough as possible. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheets, with the larger cookies on one sheet and the smaller cookies on another.

    Bake the larger cookies in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, and the smaller for 4–8 minutes, until golden and firm.

    Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes or so, before transferring to a wire rack until completely cold.

    Roll out the fondant icing and cut into stars using the cookie cutters, so that you have fondant stars that correspond in size to the cookies.

    Brush the cold cookies with apricot jam/jelly (heat it up a little in a saucepan set over a low heat if the jam/jelly is too thick to brush) and place the matching fondant star on top. Push gently to secure, taking care not to break the cookies. Stack the cookies on top of each other, starting with the largest cookie at the base. Mix the icing/confectioners’ sugar with enough water to create a thick icing and decorate the finished tree with sweets and silver balls, using the icing to secure them.

    The Cookie Jar by Liz Franklin is available here.

    If you’re looking for more Christmas food inspiration, check out our new Christmas Pinterest board now!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, homemade, baking, kids, recipe for the weekend, sweet, 2015

  • Posted on October 28, 2015

    Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

    Here at the RPS and CICO Books towers there are two things that we really love – baking and making – so  you can imagine our excitement for Halloween; the holiday where we can bake a whole range of cute, creepy or even gross looking delights and make all sorts of scary stuff, from outfits to decorations for a party! So today we've got a cookie recipe to excite both our crafty and confectionary sides... these lovely spiced pumpkin cookies are just one of many tasty treats to be found in The Cookie Jar by Liz Franklin. Whether it's a party for kids or grown ups, these are perfect for your Halloween table spread and we think they'll go down a real treat. Or do we mean trick...

    Spiced pumpkin cookies

    100 g/6 ½ tablespoons butter, softened

    60 g/ ¼ cup thick honey

    150 g/ ¾ cup soft brown sugar

    1 egg

    250 g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon mixed spice/apple pie spice

    1 teaspoon ground ginger

    ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

    To decorate

    250 g/8 oz. ready-to-roll fondant icing

    orange food colouring gel

    1 egg white, beaten

    orange and green writing gels

    a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment 

    MAKES ABOUT 20

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Put the butter, honey, sugar and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Add the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and mix until you have a smooth, stiff dough. Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

    On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle with a thickness of about 3 mm/1/8 in. Cut out cookies using the cookie cutter. Bring the trimmed dough together and roll out again to cut as many cookies out of the dough as possible. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little space for spreading between each one.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, until golden and firm. Leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In the meantime, work a little orange food colouring gel into the fondant icing until the colour resembles pumpkin orange. Cut the icing out using the cookie cutter to cover the cookies.

    Brush the cookies with the beaten egg white and stick an orange icing pumpkin onto each cookie pumpkin, then use the writing gels to add the detail.

    Leave to set, store between layers of baking parchment in an airtight container or cookie jar and eat within 3 days.

    The Cookie Jar

    For more simple baked biscuits and tasty treats, check out The Cookie Jar by Liz Franklin, available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, gift, school holidays, kids, halloween, sweet, pumpkin, 2015, The Pantry

  • Posted on October 26, 2015

    Half term at the Zoo!

    Happy Half Term! What are your plans? Maybe you’re going to visit the zoo, or a farm? However you’re spending the time off from school, our book Make Your Own Zoo by Tracey Radford has some lovely ideas for super fun crafting with your household recycling. Like these penguins for example! How cute are they? And so easy to make…you’ll have the whole South Pole in no time! If you'd like to meet some of the other creatures who live at the zoo, check out our video now!

    A Party of Penguins

    The penguins are great singers, they love to entertain. They’ll perform in any weather and like singing in the rain!

    You will need

    Egg carton - The penguins are made from the long pointy cones that help protect the eggs in the carton

    1 x 2 in. (3 x 5 cm) cereal-box

    Cardboard

    Small scissors

    General-purpose scissors

    Glue

    Yellow, white, and black paint

    Paintbrush

    Ruler

    Pencil

    Fine black felt-tip pen

    1 Roughly cut out a whole cone from the egg carton so it’s easier to work with. Measure 1½ in. (4 cm) from the top and mark each side. Join the marks with a pencil line and then cut up from the bottom of the cone and along the line. Spending a little time measuring will stop you ending up with a wobbly penguin! Make your penguin bigger or smaller if you want.

    2 Paint one side of the cone with a thick coat of white paint. Paint the cereal-box cardboard yellow. Leave to dry.

    3 Use the pencil to draw an outline on the white side of the cone for the penguin’s chest and face. Then paint the rest of the cone black. When it’s dry, dot on some eyes with a fine black felt-tip pen.

    4 Cut a thin strip of yellow cardboard for the beak, snip one end into a “V” shape, and cut off about 6 in. (1 cm).

    5 To position the beak, make a horizontal slot under the eyes with the small scissors (keep the scissors flat and closed, press down, and twist slightly until the point pokes through). Make sure it’s wide enough for the beak. Put a dab of glue behind the slot and push the beak in.

    6 Cut two small, thin triangles from the yellow cardboard for feet and round off the ends a little. Glue the pointy ends underneath the cone and leave to dry before bending into place.

    TIP You can simply skip steps 4 and 5 and draw or paint on a beak instead.

    Make Your Own Zoo by Tracey Radford is available here.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, make, school holidays, cico kidz, crafts for kids, kids, recycling, half term holidays, video, half term, quick, 2015

  • Posted on October 23, 2015

    An apple a day...

    Happy Friday! It’s been a long week but you’ve made it! The clocks go back this weekend, and we’re looking forward to long winter evenings, cosying up with blankets and comfort food. Inspired by Apple Day earlier this week, we’re celebrating all things autumnal and cosy with today’s recipe, taken from Hot Chocolate by Hannah Miles.

    Toffee Apple Hot Chocolate

    Eating toffee apples at Halloween and on Bonfire Night is such a treat – biting into the crisp caramel shell and then finding the juicy apple underneath. This hot chocolate is flavoured with caramelized sugar, and you should take the caramel as dark as you are (without burning it) to get the maximum caramel flavour in the milk. Apfelkorn liquer is a tasty German apple spirit which is very warming. It is available online and from good drinks retailers.

    1 dessert apple

    Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    100 g caster sugar

    500 ml milk

    40 g white chocolate, chopped

    4 tablespoons Apfelkorn liqueur (optional)

    Spray cream or whipped cream, for topping

    Dulce de Leche sauce, to drizzle

    Silicone mat or baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper

    Serves 2

    Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) Gas 1.

    Leaving the skin on, cut the apple into thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline. Toss the slices in lemon juice to prevent them browning, then dust in a little ground cinnamon. Lay the slices out flat on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 1–1 1/2 hours, until dried but still slightly soft. (This will make more dried apple than you need for decoration but they will keep well and make a great healthy snack if stored in an airtight container.)

    Place the sugar in a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until melted. Do not stir, but swirl it to ensure that the sugar does not burn. Once the sugar has melted, carefully dip some of the baked apple slices into the caramel – only dipping them in half way. (Use tongs and take extreme care as the sugar is very hot and can burn you.) Place the apple slices on a silicone mat or baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and leave to dry.

    Add the milk to the remaining caramelized sugar in the pan. Do not worry if the sugar solidifies, as it will melt on heating. Simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add the apfelkorn (do not return to the heat as it may curdle the milk). Pour the hot chocolate into two cups, top with a little whipped cream and drizzle with dulce de leche. Place an apple slice on top of each cup. Serve immediately.

    Hot Chocolate by Hannah Miles is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with drinks, Hannah Miles, chocolate, kids, halloween, recipe for the weekend, sweet, 2015, apple

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