One of my favourite things to do is visit our local park. There is nothing better than a vast expanse of nature for little man to run around in with wild abandon.
Baking with little man is one of my favourite things to do. It is magic, messy and madness all at the same time.
My sister eats a gluten free diet, fed up with watching her bring out her packet of gluten free brownies every time the rest of us eat a dessert, I decided to bake my own gluten free cake.
I did have my doubts especially as the recipe called for 250g of mashed potato but I decided to go with it. You can find the recipe I used here
This was a day that little man decided he only wanted to wear trousers hence the apron and the guns out!
We tend to use an electric mixer as it is quicker and strangely mesmerising for a toddler.
Butter and sugar added first. I allow a very ‘hands-on’ approach for this. Then, it’s time to take a deep breath and go for the eggs. This recipe call for 4 eggs. We had a pack of 6 which was lucky as one ended up on the table and one on the floor!
Notice in the photo above little man’s hair has added flour. This is one of the messy moments I have come to expect along with the egg cracking!
The mixer provides a good distraction while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
The recipe itself is very straight forward to follow, even with a toddler. He did argue with me for a while about putting mashed potato into the mixture “You don’t put mashed potato into cakes mummy!”
Orange and Lemon rind and juice added to flavour the cake. The mixture ends up being very mousse like even after the mashed potato is added.
I did have concerns at this point that the mixture was far too wet and would not resemble a cake once baked!
I was pleasantly surprised once the cooking time was over. I did find when I checked it looked really soggy in the oven right up until the 45 minutes was done and then it suddenly seemed to come together right at the end.
The end result which was enjoyed by everyone including those of us who are used to more traditional cake with added gluten! The mashed potato does help to bind the cake and give it more of a firm structure so it avoids the sometimes crumbly nature of other gluten free cakes.
I would definitely make it again, it had a really good flavour to it enhanced by adding lemon juice to the icing sugar for the icing.
Despite flour everywhere and a couple of cracked eggs to clear up I won’t be put off baking with little man. It is great to see the joy on his face as we create. He also asks lots of questions about the ingredients and processes and is learning how to bake which is a great skill for him to have as he grows up!
Now that the weather has decided cheer up and we are beginning to see more of that delightful yellow stuff called sunshine, we are once again utilising the garden.
The great thing about patio doors leading straight form the kitchen to the garden is that we can make a cup of coffee and keep a close watch on the little man at the same time. It is also self contained, so no worries about having to run after him if he decided he is going to continue honing his sprinting skills!
First on our list of activities was helping Daddy clean the windows, water of course being an instant win with any toddler.
Then, it was time for bubbles another holy grail in the toddler world.
I loved the complete exhilaration on little man’s face as he dived into this activity with complete abandon.
There was something quite wonderful about the sunshine, cool breeze and bubbles floating in the air.
The garden is going to become one of our most frequented places whenever there is sunshine now.
Messy play is exactly as it says. There is no such thing as clean messy play but it can be contained messy play and it is one of the reasons we bought a tuff tray.
However, you have to be prepared to go off plan and embrace the sensory experience of this…
This was a lot of fun with shrieks of joy and sheer excitement throughout.
Baking is one of my favourite things to do with little man. It isn’t for the faint hearted baking with a toddler but it is a massive amount of fun.
It completely engages and fascinates him every time and that simple fact makes all of the mess worth it…