Fun & yum

Cho­co­l­i­cious ba­nana cake Candy pop­corn Car­rot, cashew and co­conut balls Cin­na­mon and co­conut sugar muesli bars

The New Zealand Herald - Bite - - Front Page -

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.

Makes 20

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.

Choco­late but­ter­cream

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 ge­off­s­ and

Pho­tog­ra­phy & styling by Tam West

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