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Recipes to try at home

Macaroni Cheese
(Serves 4)
250g Macaroni
50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml milk
250g grated cheddar
50g grated paresan

  1. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes; drain well and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan slightly larger than that used for the macaroni. Add the flour and stir to form a roux, cooking for a few minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Cook for 10-15 minutes to a thickened and smooth sauce.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to hot.
  5. Remove the sauce from the hob, add 175g of the cheese and stir until the cheese is well combined and melted.
  6. Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably-sized ovenproof dish.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining cheddar and the parmesan and place the dish under the hot grill. Cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve straightaway. 

Cheesy Egg MuffinsImage result for cheesy egg muffins
6 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
Cheese as required
Optional: Spring onions, chopped tomatoes, green chillies; fresh coriander or whatever takes your fancy

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Grease your muffin tin.
2. Add filling of your choice along with cheese, and pour the beaten egg mixture onto it (no more than halfway full).
3. Place muffin pan on the centre rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are light brown, puffy and the eggs are set.
4. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan. Loosen gently with a knife if they seem to be sticking.

Drop Scones

125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Up to 100ml milk
25g butter, melted
Sunflower oil or butter, for greasing

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre, pour in the egg and a little of the milk, and start beating, gradually incorporating the flour. Beat in the melted butter. Gradually add more milk and incorporate more flour until you have a smooth batter that drops reluctantly off the spoon.

2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Grease with a smear of oil or butter. Drop tablespoonfuls of the scone mixture into the pan, leaving room for them to spread (you'll have to cook them in batches). After just a couple of minutes, when they are set and have bubbles on the surface, flip them over and cook for a minute or so longer until the second side is brown, then set aside in a warm place.

3. Continue with all the batter, adding a little more butter to the pan as necessary. Serve warm with butter and jam, jelly, honey or syrup.

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 3/4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 1/2 cups of water
3 cups of vegetable stock
3 cups chopped carrot (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup sour cream (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Move onion mixture to side of pan; add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to open space in pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute or until butter begins to brown. Add sweet potatoes, 3 1/2 cups water, broth, and carrot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Place half of soup mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining soup mixture. Stir in half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 2 teaspoons sour cream and 3/4 teaspoon parsley.

Cheese Scones

Image result for cheese scones
225g self raising flour
50g softened butter
A pinch of salt
50g grated cheese
120ml milk

1: Set the oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7. Put the flour and salt in the mixing bowl. Add the butter. Rub butter and flour together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
2: Add the grated cheese, then add the milk to the mixture and stir everything together to make a smooth mixture. Knead the mixture until you have formed a stiff dough.
3: Grease a baking tray. Gentry roll out the dough until it is 2cm thick. Cut out shapes with biscuit cutters dipped in flour.
4: Place the scones on a baking tray, brush them with milk and some extra grated cheese on top.
5: Bake them for 12-15 minutes, until firm and risen. Cool on a wire rack.

Soda Bread

Image result for soda breadTo make one loaf:
250g plain flour
250g wholemeal flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400ml buttermilk
Buttermilk can be made by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 250ml milk. Stir well and leave to stand for five minutes.

1: Turn on oven: 180 degrees C.
2: Mix dry ingredients.
3: Pour in buttermilk and bring together.
4: Turn onto worktop and shape into round ball, flatten and put cross on top using a knife.
Bake for 40 minutes.

Homemade tomato soup with slice of baguette (contains celery)Image result for home made tomato soup

1-1¼kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes

1 medium onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stick
2 tbsp olive oil
2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)
a good pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
1.2 litres/ 2 pints hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes
  1. Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don't, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'd get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.
  2. Spoon 2 tbsp olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they're soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
  4. Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)
  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in. 

Image result for dorset apple cakeGRANNY’S DORSET APPLE CAKE (contains gluten, milk)  

 4 oz brown sugar

8 oz self-raising flour

4 oz butter or lard

2 oz currants

12 oz chopped cooking apple (peeled and cored)

Pinch of salt (optional)

A little milk - to mix to a cake consistency

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Add enough milk until it is of dropping consistency.

Pour into tin and bake in hot oven (about 180 deg C) for approx 25-30 minutes.

 While the cake is still hot, sprinkle with Demerara sugar and a few small knobs of butter.

 Serve warm with clotted cream, plain yogurt or whatever takes your fancy!  Delicious cold too.

BREAD ROLLS :Best eaten on the day you make them (contains gluten, milk, eggs)

1 lb strong white bread flour

1.5 tsp salt (we left this out)

2 tsp caster sugar

1.5 tsp easy blend dried yeast

9 fl oz milk

1 oz butter

1 egg (optional as glaze)

Heat oven to 220 deg C or gas mark 7

1.     Sift flour (and salt if using) into large bowl.  Stir in sugar and yeast.  Make a hollow in the middle.

2.    Put butter and milk into pan and gently heat until butter has just melted.

3.    Pour milk mixture into hollow in flour.  Stir until it is all mixed and no longer sticks to side of the bowl.

4.    Sprinkle some flour onto clean, dry work surface and knead dough until it is smooth and stretchy.  (To knead: Push dough away from you with both hands, fold dough in half and turn it around.  Then push it away from you again.  Fold and turn it, then push it away again.)

5.    Dip paper towel in oil and rub inside of bowl.  Put dough into bowl.

6.    Cover bowl with clingfilm.  Leave in warm place for about 45 mins, until the dough has risen to twice its size.

7.    Knead the dough again for about a minute, to burst any large bubbles of air in it.  Then divide dough into 16 pieces.

8.    Roll each piece to make a sausage about 10 in long.  Tie each one into a knot and put on a greased baking sheet.

9.    Turn on oven.  Rub some clingfilm with oil, then cover the rolls.  Put them back in warm place for 20 mins.

10. Optional: When you remove the clingfilm, brush the top of each roll with the beaten egg.

11.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Yummy Golden Syrup Flapjacks (contains gluten)

  • 250g Porridge Oats
  • 125g Butter
  • 125g Brown Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsps Golden Syrup (depends how gooey you want it)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fully mixed, but be careful not to overmix making sure the oats keep their texture.

Lightly grease a baking tin with butter and spoon in all the mixture.
Using the back of a spoon press into the corners so the mixture is flat and score the mixture into 12 squares.
Place in the oven and bake on 180 until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

Potato wedges or chipsImage result for home made wedges

1.    Wash and scrub the potatoes. 

2.  Cut into wedges or chips.

3.  Soak in cold water for 10 minutes.

4.  Toss in olive oil (you could add pepper or other seasoning)

5.  Place on tray and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes at 200°C, turning once or twice.

6.  Serving ideas: grated cheese, tomato ketchup, tomatoes or cucumber.

NOTE: You may want to peel some of the potatoes as some children do not like the skins/jackets and it will make them appear more like chips.

  • Full of Veg Tomoto Sauce (contains celery)

  • olive oil

  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped

  • 1 small leek, chopped and washed

  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped

  • 2 red peppers, chopped

  • 2 courgettes, grated

  • 2 carrots, grated

  • 1 large pinch dried oregano

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 x 400 g tinned plum tomatoes

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, grated

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the ingredients) over a medium heat. Pour in a good lug of oil then add the onions, leek, celery, peppers, courgettes, carrots and herbs. Cook the whole lot slowly for about 20 minutes with the lid on, until all the vegetables are nice and soft but without any colour at all. 

Add the tomatoes, squash, 500ml (17½fl oz) of water and a pinch of salt and pepper to the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the squash is soft. 

Fish out the bay leaves and allow the sauce to cool slightly before blitzing with a hand-held blender until nice and smooth. Have a taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed.