The festive season is the perfect time to get children excited about food
This year’s winners of the Best School Food Project, sponsored by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, was Parkside School and White Lion Café in Norwich. Transition co-ordinator Helen Holderness, who looks after the project, says that giving the children, who have special educational needs, the chance to learn more about food and to work in the café, has an enormously positive impact on their development, both in the classroom and out of it.
“By the time our pupils leave, we aim to encourage them to be as independent as possible at a level appropriate to the individual. We are very fortunate to have the White Lion Café in the centre of Norwich. Our pupils’ many successes in this real-life work environment raise confidence and self-esteem, develop their ability to work as a team and provide them with the skills that may help them find employment,” she says.
Here is a recipe we shall be trying out in the café. Why not give our Christmas pudding cakes a try with your children to give to guests on Christmas Day?
CHRISTMAS PUDDING CAKES
Preheat the oven to 180C. Weigh two eggs and use this weight to measure the same amount each of self-raising flour, caster sugar and margarine. Remove 60g from the total amount of flour and replace with 60g of cocoa powder and add two teaspoons of ground mixed spice.
Cream the sugar and margarine until pale and fluffy and add one egg at a time. Once mixed, add the flour, cocoa and mixed spice mixture and very gently combine with a spoon. Fill dome-shaped silicone moulds with a spoonful of the mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes, then leave to cool before turning them upside down to make “Christmas puddings”.
While cooling, make a thick icing and dollop it on the top of each, letting it run down the sides. Buy or make some decorative green icing and cut out holly leave shapes. Decorate the top of each pudding with two holly leaves and half a glace cherry.
Helen Holderness with pupils Jaiden Howard, Hannah Boon and Alex Adams