Now before I start properly, yes I do realise that this is another chocolate recipe, but (a) it's Christmas, and if you can't indulge at Christmas then when can you? And (b) chocolatey treats are few and far between when you are on an allergy restricted diet!
A lot of children dont like the richness of traditional Christmas Cake and pudding so this is a fun alternative for them. You can make this by using ordinary self raising flour, margarine and milk without altering any quantities if you don't need to cater for allergies.
2 0z cocoa
In a pan mix:
4oz dairy free margarine
4 oz sugar
4 desert spoons golden syrup
and heat gently until melted.
In a jug measure:
1/4 pint soya or rice or oat milk
and beat in 2 eggs.
~Now add the egg/milk mix to the melted margarine mix and then add all of this to the flour mix.
~Whisk with a balloon whisk until the flour is all mixed in.
~Pour into your greased and lined tin.
~Bake for around 20 mins at 180c.
Make butter icing made by beating together:
4 oz dairy free margarine
10oz icing sugar
2 oz cocoa powder.
I've made a chocolate log to have as one of our puddings on Christmas Day every year since I was in 2nd or 3rd year at high school. We learned how to make one in home economics that year and then I made another for Christmas Day. After that it just became the tradition that I would make a chocolate log each Christmas. It wouldn't seem like Christmas dinner without one now!
This recipe isn't the one I used way back as a 14 year old (I'm not even going to try and work out how long ago that was!) but is the recipe we use to make one of Calum's favourite cakes - Jam Roly Poly - adapted to make it chocolatey. The step by step photos in this post were taken whilst making the jam version so just imagine that they are chocolate coloured!
If you want to make this with 'normal' ingredients it will work fine, just use plain flour rather than self raising. The reason I use self raising in my gluten free version is simply because I prefer the texture it gives over the gluten free plain flour. The plain flour gives a much drier texture, making this too hard to roll.
With wheat flour though you won't have to worry about this, and making it with self raising flour will make too fat a cake, again trickier to roll.
You will need:
4oz Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1oz cocoa powder
Some extra sugar for sprinkling
Dairy free chocolate buttercream for filling (or cream if you aren't dairy free)
~Using the whisk attachment on your free standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together well until they look really light and creamy.
I first posted this recipe two years ago but there is no harm in repeating it again as it is, I think, a lovely wee tradition. We also use this recipe, minus the stained glass part, to make up simple Christmas biscuits. We don't bother with any fancy decorating on them, just a sprinkling of icing sugar, as you will see from the photo at the bottom of the post.
The recipe I use is adapted from a Nigella Christmas biscuit recipe.
To make wheat & dairy free Christmas biscuits you will need:
It appears to be December already.
I mean, the calendars and Advent Calendars are all telling me that it is, but what I want to know is, what happened to November?! I mean, where did it go to so fast? Did anyone else find it flying by or was it just that we were so busy loving on our new little man?
Anyway, December is indeed here, and boys both big and small are getting excited for all the festive fun that it brings with it.
I've always thought that the run up to the big day of Christmas is just as exciting as the day itself and am so pleased to see the boys thinking the same way. As I was baking some mince pies the other night James told me that Christmas was his favourite time of year, not because of the presents, but because of all the traditions we have. And not fancy traditions either but simple ones. Like mince pies, making decorations, our Jesse tree devotions, getting together with friends and family, and some more Christmas baking!
So, since I think Christmas baking is such a comforting, homely tradition I thought I would celebrate the first week of Advent by sharing some of our favourite recipes each day this week.
Today's recipe is a super easy one to start with. Even someone who never bakes could rustle this one up no problem. I have now delegated this one to James (13) and he has been making at least two batches of it a week since the beginning of November. The reason for him having to make so much is that it is just so simply delicious! Once you have one slice, well, you can't just have one slice! I should also say that I had never heard of Peppermint Bark until I saw this recipe on PaisleyJade's blog a few years ago so it is really her to thank. Or for your waistline to blame!
You will need:
400g milk chocolate
400g white chocolate
1-2tsp peppermint essence/flavouring
2 candy canes, crushed.
~ Melt the milk chocolate, spread evenly in a tray bake tin then leave to set.
~ Melt the white chocolate and then add the peppermint essence. How much you need really depends on the brand, some are more minty than others so it's probably best to add 1 tsp then check the taste before deciding if you need to add more or not.
~Spread the white chocolate over the milk chocolate and then sprinkle with the crushed candy canes.
~ Once it is all set cut into squares. If you cut smallish squares you can tell yourself that you can eat more slices since they are only small.
Now wasn't that easy?!
You could also make this up with Dairy free versions of the chocolate but we haven't been able to get hold of Dairy free white chocolate for a while now.
Oh, and before I finish up. Little Fraser is 6 weeks old today. He has been smiling for a wee while now but whenever I tried to capture it with the camera he would stop! I finally did today though, so here he is...
Just had to share that too :)
We are kind of getting into a routine here now.
Fraser is 5 weeks old today and growing so fast!
Each year the boys who are old enough usually take part in the Remembrance Sunday parade with their Boys' Brigade company.
This year our loyalties were tied as James was to take part in a different parade now that he has also joined the Army Cadets.
Originally we had thought that we would all go to watch James' parade, as it is the main one in the town, but the Boys' Brigade leader offered to give Calum and David a lift home from their parade as she was keen for as many as possible to attend their one, leaving us free to watch James in his first Army parade.
I didn't get a great photo of them all before we left, as we were rushing out of the door when I remembered to take one. Once we got home they were out of their uniforms before I had the chance to get another one!
There hasn't been much to blog about in the last week, other than lots of photos of sweet little Fraser!
My days (and nights) consist mostly of feeding, feeding and a bit more feeding! Fraser still feeds every two hours or less but he seems to be thriving on it. The health visitor was amazed when she weighed him last week and discovered he had put on a pound in less than a week. I guess my superpower just now is making milk!
Out of all the photos taken in the last week, these are three of my favourites.
I finally got round to getting a photo of all five boys together, and it didn't take too many shots to get a good one either.
No, I haven't been crafting away with a newborn in the house!
I started working on this wee toy a week past Friday, as I approached the end of my 39th week of pregnancy. I had seen a similar toy on Pinterest, but with a froggy head, and had thought about making that at first. When I went to buy the wool I couldn't find any greens that were soft enough but I did find this lovely soft self patterning tweedy wool. I bought that instead and decided to try for a bear head instead of a frog.
Once the ears were on James suggested that maybe it didn't need eyes, nose and mouth sewn on. This was on the Saturday evening. I decided to leave the facial features until Monday as something else needed done at the time.
I didn't expect that the little man would be making his appearance on the Monday! Still, I'm glad that I got it mostly finished before he arrived. The features can be added later, if at all!
And here's one more photo of the man himself, being photobombed by his next oldest brother!
Thanks for all the messages of congratulations. He has settled in quite nicely and I'm taking things nice and easy still. Being a typical boy he likes to spend most of his time feeding. The longest he has gone between feeds so far is about 2 1/2 hours so I am still pretty tired, but these early days are so precious and so fast that I don't mind all those chances to snuggle him one bit. I try and remind myself that at 4am anyway, especially when I have only been asleep since 2.30am!
Oh, and the Henry VIII comment, for those who asked, was one I shared on the housefulofboys Facebook page when I shared the link to the post. The midwife at the hospital said to me that if I had been Henry VIII's wife my head would have been quite safe!