Fun & yum
Chocolicious banana cake Candy popcorn Carrot, cashew and coconut balls Cinnamon and coconut sugar muesli bars
If you’re under 15 read on — grown-ups, this is not for you. This is a kids-only kitchen project that involves sugar, food colouring and tasty things to eat. You’ve completed this year’s first term, it’s time for a treat and something you’ve made yourself comes with lots more rewards. Offer to make Mum and Dad something for dinner at the same time and they’re sure to allow a sugary treat — just be sure to share them around.
Candy glazed popcorn
Popping corn at home is brilliant fun — I’m not talking in a paper bag in the microwave, but in a pot, in oil. This method heats the oil to the correct temperature, then by waiting 30 seconds brings all the kernels to a nearpopping temperature so when it goes back on the heat, they all pop at the same time producing an incredibly good sound. Adding your own colours to glaze the popcorn is fun and will help you understand how to handle food colour with respect.
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp rice bran oil
½ cup popcorn
1½ cups sugar
6 Tbsp water
3 tsp butter
¼ tsp each yellow, blue, green food colouring
1 Place a large pot on a medium high heat. Add oil and 3 popcorn kernels only — then cover.
2 When the kernels pop, add the rest of them. Cover and remove from heat.
3 Now count out loud to 30.
4 Return the pot to the heat. Once popping starts, gently shake. Keep the lid slightly open to let the steam escape (this makes your popcorn perfectly dry and crispy).
5 Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat, carefully remove the lid, and tip popcorn into a large bowl.
6 Divide popcorn into 3 piles, then line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
7 To glaze, place ½ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp water and 1 tsp butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir for 2 minutes.
8 Remove from the heat. Working quickly, add ¼ tsp of the first colour and a pinch of salt, stir in one pile of popcorn, mix quickly to glaze then pour out on to first lined baking tray.
9 Spread out so it doesn’t clump, allow to cool and let dry for 1 hour. Do not eat at this stage. Repeat glazing process twice more with remaining sugar, water, butter and food colouring. Now you can eat! Candy glazed popcorn lasts a long time kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Crazy carrot, cashew and coconut balls
After all the fun sugary stuff, it might be nice to make something sensible, a little healthy and a bit of a treat for Mum, Aunty, Grandpa, Grandma or your little sister or brother. They are awesome for the lunchbox too.
125g carrots, peeled and chopped
½ cup cashew nuts
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut + ½ cup for rolling
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup raisins
90g medjool dates, pitted and soaked if they’re dry 2 tsp maple syrup
1 Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until mix is completely combined and binding together.
2 Use clean hands (YES, you need to wash them again) to shape. Squeeze the mix tight then gently roll into balls. Coat in coconut then keep in the fridge to set. Will keep in an airtight container for 5 days..
Chocolicious banana cake
There are two really good things about this recipe — you use up the bananas from the fruit bowl that you no longer want to eat because they are too ripe and you get to eat chocolate cake with a buttercream icing that is to die for.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp lemon juice
¾ cup milk
100g butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup chocolate buttons
1 Heat oven to 170C. Lightly grease a 23cm cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
2 Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir lemon juice into milk.
3 Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas then stir in milk and fold in dry ingredients and chocolate buttons.
4 Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 1 ¼ hours or until a thin knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for before unmoulding. Yes — you do have to wait or it might break apart!
5 Finish with chocolate buttercream (see right) and decorate with candied popcorn, grated chocolate or anything you think might be cool and artistic.
2 cups icing sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk
Blend icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor until completely combined. Add butter and vanilla, blend then add milk to form a smooth creamy icing.
Find more of Geoff’s recipes at geoffscott.nz and bite.co.nz