Mum, You Need to do Your Own Baking!


Children can be very direct. My daughters especially seem to have an ability to cut straight to the heart of the matter. I remember once trying to help L with her Maths homework (I’ve given up on that one now, by the way – Year 7 Maths is way too hard for me!). Here’s how it went …

Me: If it costs £2.40 for 4 pens, how much does it cost for 1 pen?
L: It usually tells you how much it is for one. This is a rubbish shop.

So when they try to tell you that Maths is an essential life skill, you know what? They’re lying.


M has the same habit. She’s been working very hard at school and filling her evenings with six hours of ballet every week. Unsurprisingly, she reached yesterday morning and wanted to just ‘chill out’ for a bit. I took pity on her, boiled her an egg and allowed her to eat it in the living room so she could watch TV. Here’s how that one went …

Me: Try not to spill your egg.
M: But Mum, I was going to try to spill it coz I really like spilling egg on the sofa.

Okay, okay. Give me break. And she’s only 8 years old … we still have the teenage years to navigate.


Yesterday afternoon had its own ‘get real, Mum’ moment too. M was writing up a post for her own blog about a cake she invented last weekend …

M: I really like this. Can I write about it on A Merrier World too?
M: Mum, you need to do your own baking.

As I said – straight to the heart of the matter. But her cake is so lovely, I begged, pleaded, threatened and eventually bribed her until she agreed to let me show it to you over here …


Flumpies (by Madmu)

6 oz butter
3 large eggs
6 oz castor sugar
6 oz self raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

raspberry jam
marshmallow flumps

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Grease and line an 8 inch round cake pan (and also line 6 to 8 cupcake holders with cases. This recipe makes 2 x 7″ round cakes, so there’s a bit left over for cupcakes if you just make one 8″ round Flumpie cake).

Make sure that the butter is very soft – beat it for a bit first in the mixer.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add all the other ingredients.

Beat on medium speed for a minute until everything is smooth and mixed together.

Fill the cake pan no more than 2/3 full and divide the rest of the batter between the cupcake cases.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Spread raspberry jam on top of the cake.

Cut up some marshmallow flumps and make a star with them on top of the cake.

My Broken Kitchen

My 8-year-old daughter has been food blogging for four days. On her second day of blogging, she apologised to her readers … “I am not cooking because of my kitchen – it is broken!”

I’m sorry. I have been blogging for six years and despite writing only sporadic posts over the last several months, I have not had even the slightest bit of decent courtesy to explain that I haven’t been cooking because my kitchen is broken.

But it’s true. My kitchen is broken.

In times well past, there was once a family kitchen complete with unidentifiable fridge and very raidable cupboards.


But then something terrible happened. We ran out of wine.

Oh. Sorry – no. Getting sidetracked. It was something much, much more terrible than even that.

We lost the plot.

We couldn’t find it anywhere.


We were totally devastated.


It was so bad, we soon realised there was only one thing that could possibly save us now.

Chocolate cake.

But the baking gods were against us …


… and our kitchen was still falling down …


… and there was nowhere to put a cake pan.


But sometimes you just have to laugh in the face of impossibility (and ceiling dust and plaster dust and all the other sorts of dust that hang in the air and make you cough lots), especially when there’s a birthday …


… and especially when your 8-year-old daughter is determined …


… to bake some Spludge.


Go visit Madmu for the recipe.

You’ll make her day if you leave her a comment there. She’s one excited little baker-blogger!

Diet of Worms

I wonder how many History students will end up on this page …

Unfortunately, I can tell you zip all about the events of 1521 at the Imperial Diet of Worms in the Holy Roman Empire. My A-level History teacher was obviously wasting her time in trying to educate me on that one.

No, these are the right sorts of worms – the sort that interest T.


As far as I know, he has never actually eaten a worm, although that isn’t saying much. As far as I know, he has never eaten any peas, cheese, pasta or mashed potato … and he will not ever never eat a tomato. Not even if you call it a moonsquirter.

Nevertheless, it was T’s idea to bake a worm cake.


That’s why I can’t offer any fluffy chicks or cute bunnies on this Easter weekend.

Only worms.


Worm Cake

Take a basic chocolate Easter egg nest recipe, press it all into the base of a circular pan and decorate with jelly worms (or snakes that do a good impression of worms).

I’m a Star!

This blog post (and the modest title!) comes to you from M, my 7-year old daughter …

I’m a Star!

Today I woke up in need to bake some cookies. I found a cook book full of treats and surprises and finally found a recipe that sounded very nice.

So I went to the work top and got all the ingredients out so I would be ready, but one of the ingredients wasn’t there. I searched the shops in need of this special ingredient but I couldn’t find it. I know, I thought. I’ll go back home and get into the spacecraft and whizz into space and ask the aliens for some stardust.

In I got, buckled myself in and typed which planet I wanted to go to. I typed in Mars. And……..

Zoom, off I went. I got the stardust and went back down to Earth again.

Right, I thought to myself. I’ve got all the ingredients I need so now it’s time to get baking.


First I weighed the butter (5 oz) and then put the butter away in the big mixing bowl . Then I got out the stardust (golden caster sugar) and weighed it (5 oz) and put that in the big mixing bowl. I mixed it till light and fluffy. Then I went to get one egg and cracked it into the mixing bowl, then I got the lemon juice (two tablespoons) and tipped that in the big mixing bowl too. Then I mixed it all up.


After a while I got the flour (12 oz) and mixed that all up as well. Then I put it in the star chiller (fridge) for 10 to 15 minutes until it was firm.

After 10 minutes I got it out of the star chiller and placed it between 2 pieces of Clingfilm and slowly rolled it out. Then I got my star cutter and cutted some stars and put them on some trays ready to go into the star cosy (oven).


I put them in the star cosy for 7 minutes. When I took them out I left them to cool on a wire rack.

Now I had to make the icing for them. To make the icing, I got some icing sugar and some lemon juice and mixed them together and then got some twinkle sprinkles (sprinkles) and placed them on the cookies. Then ahhh, all the stars went zooming off to space ready for the night.


Chocolate Fudge Cake

T wanted to bake.


He wanted to bake a cake.


He wanted to bake a chocolate cake.


He wanted to bake a chocolate fudge cake.


T likes his cake …


… (and his diggers).


Chocolate Fudge Cake (adapted from Leiths Baking Bible)

4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz light muscovado sugar
1 oz molasses
4 eggs
6 oz self-raising flour
2 oz cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch salt
6 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing
8 oz plain chocolate
8 oz creme fraiche
1 tbsp caster sugar

Chocolate drops to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line two 8″ round sandwich tins with baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugars.

Lightly beat the eggs, then beat in gradually to the creamed mixture.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Fold into the creamed mixture alternately with the creme fraiche.

Stir in the vanilla.

Divide the batter between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake tops are springy.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 mins before turning out and cooling completely.

Make the icing – melt the chocolate in a bowl, either over a pan of hot water or in the microwave. Stir in the creme fraiche and sugar. Use liberally to sandwich and ice the cake.

Decorate with the chocolate drops.