Easy Peasy Chocolate Biscuit Cake

 

Chocolate biscuit cake

Another alternative for a special treat!

Egg-free, nut-free & no cooking needed, this one will go down well with kids & adults alike!

 

Ingredients:

250g (8½ oz) milk or dark chocolate

100g (3½ oz) butter

400g (14 oz) digestive biscuits

1 tbsp golden syrup or honey

5 tbsp pouring cream

900g loaf tin

 

Method:

Melt the chocolate with the butter.

Mix in the golden syrup or honey along with approx. 5 tablespoons of cream until you have achieved a smooth silky sauce.

Allow to cool a little, then break in the digestive biscuits.

Transfer to the loaf tin that has been lined with parchment paper.

Chill for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

To serve, turn out onto a suitable plate.

Leave to set at room temperature for 20 mins before cutting into slices to serve.

Easy peasy!

 

Blissful Banana Bread

Banana bread

For all those hungry little monkeys out there who love their bananas!
Another egg-free recipe for you to try. In our house, our daughter’s job is mashing the bananas (so you might end up with less than you started with!).

Ingredients:
100g (3 ½ oz) softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing
140g (5oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 very ripe bananas
50 ml milk
2lb loaf tin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)/170C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease the loaf tin with some butter. Line the base with baking parchment and grease this too.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar, then slowly mix in the flour and baking powder. Peel, then mash the bananas. Now mix everything together adding in the milk last (depending on the size of your bananas you may not need as much milk if the mixture is wet enough).
  4. Pour your mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the banana bread to cool on a wire rack before removing from the loaf tin.
  5. Wrap tightly in cling film and store in airtight container. You may also freeze for use at a later date (defrost and warm through before serving). Deelicious….!

Yummy Egg-free Chocolate cake

cake

This delicious chocolate cake is the staple for big celebrations in our house! To make it dairy-free as well as egg-free, you can use soya margarine instead of butter.

Ingredients:

85g (3oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
300mls boiling water
300g (10 ½ oz) self-raising flour
100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
20cm round cake tin

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

50g (2oz) butter softened
140g (5oz) icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp boiling water

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 160C / Fan 140C / Gas 3
  2. Grease the cake tin.
  3. Add the butter, golden syrup and vanilla extract to a heatproof jug. Add 300mls boiling water and whisk with a fork to combine.
  4. Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then tip in the butter mixture. Stir until you have a smooth batter, then add to the prepared tin. Bake for 50-55 mins until the cake is well risen and springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the chocolate icing, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water to make a smooth paste. Let it cool. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until creamy. Fold in the cooled cocoa paste and mix together to form a smooth icing.
  6. Once the cake is completely cooled, take a palette knife and smooth the icing over the top and sides of the cake to your desired taste.
  7. This really is a great cake for all those birthday celebrations – you won’t have much left!

Our Top 10 Tips for Itchy Skin

  1. Itchy little monkeys!  Our top tip for caring for a child with itchy skin is to give them the gift of our skin-saving Shruggi™ to protect their skin from the damage caused by scratching.  The Shruggi™ is made from 100% certified organic cotton and silk. It is super soft and comfortable.  It is machine washable, lightweight and comes in bright colours with the Itchy little monkey characters on it, so your child will love wearing it. Combine this with one of the Itchy little monkeys bedtime stories to make bedtime easier and to give the child (and therefore the parent) a good night’s sleep!
  2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!  And do it often.  Thick ointments are much more effective than lotions and creams, they offer the most protection for your child’s skin.  Moisturising after washing and bathing is a must!
  3. Take a bath!  Having a daily bath helps with your child’s itchy skin, but remember not to let them stay in for longer than 5 minutes.  If your child is reluctant to get out after 5 minutes, pull out the plug – they can continue to play but are not immersed in the water!
  4. Tough as nails!  Ensure that your child’s nails are kept short. Short fingernails cause less damage to the skin if your child does scratch. If scratching at night is a problem, remember to put on their cuddly skin-saving Shruggi™ at bedtime for a peaceful night’s sleep.
  5. Be Trigger Happy!  If you can learn what your child’s eczema triggers are you can try to avoid them where possible. Main triggers are heat, dust, grass and pollen, synthetic or woollen fabrics, biological detergents, cigarette smoke, cats and dogs, stress.
  6. Keep cool!  Keep your child’s bedroom and surroundings cool.  Heat and humidity can cause itchy skin to flare up.
  7. Be natural!  Dress your child in light, breathable, natural fabrics, such as cotton. Wools and synthetic fabrics such as polyester, can irritate the skin.  Light layers work great as they can put on or take off a layer to stay comfortable.
  8. Go undercover!  Skin that is covered up seems to be less likely to itch especially if your child’s trigger is environmental or airborne.
  9. Don’t wash your dirty laundry… in biological detergent!  Always wash your child’s clothes in non-biological washing detergent and wash new clothes before they wear them. Do not use fabric conditioner.
  10. The Art of Distraction!  Finding a distraction from your child’s itchiness is easier during the day with games and activities.  At night-time, read them one of the Itchy little monkeys stories to help them relax and go to sleep.

Crumbly Coconut Squares

 

Crumbly coconut squares

These are very popular in our house. Be warned, they are really tasty! They are packed with oats so they provide good slow-release energy for kids and adults alike.

Ingredients:

350g (12oz) butter
2 generous tbsp. golden syrup
175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g (3oz) plain flour
375g (13oz) rolled oats
125g (4.5oz) desiccated coconut
38cm x 25cm (15’ x 10’) Swiss roll tin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the butter, golden syrup, sugar and vanilla extract into a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir, allowing the butter to melt and form a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and add the flour, oats and coconut. Stir to mix and pour into the Swiss roll tin, spreading evenly into each corner and smoothing the surface of the oats with the back of the spoon.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven (too close to the top will cause them to burn) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  4. Once cool, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Egg-free Pancakes

photo

Yummy pancakes for the whole family – who needs eggs?

 

Ingredients:

175g (6 oz) plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

225 mls milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method:

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add in the remaining ingredients – milk, vegetable oil, water and vanilla.

Stir until just moistened.

Spray pan with non-stick spray or lightly wipe with oil. Pour desired amount of batter per pancake.

Pancakes are ready to turn when bottom is turning golden brown.

Flip pancakes with spatula (or if you feel adventurous, go for the free-hander!). Turn only once.

Remove when bottom is golden brown and dry.

Serve warm and sprinkle with your favourite topping!

Mmmm…fluffy & delicious!

Scrummy Festive Shortbread

Scrummy shortbread

Looking for a really quick & easy recipe and to spend some fun time bonding with the kids?
You can’t go wrong with this simple shortbread recipe!

Ingredients:

125g (4oz) butter
55g (2oz) caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g (6oz plain flour)
Baking tray
Cookie cutters

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F) / Gas 5.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½ inch thick.
  4. Cut into shapes and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Barm Brack – An allergy friendly Halloween recipe

 

 

 

barm-brack_photo

 

This sweet fruit loaf is a favourite Irish tradition at Halloween.  You can leave out the whiskey in this egg, dairy and nut-free recipe if you wish, but it adds a richness to the overall flavour.

 

Ingredients:

375g packet fruit mix

50mls whiskey

250mls cold tea

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

125g light brown sugar

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 over ripe banana

900g loaf tin

 

 

Method:

  1. Place the fruit mix in a bowl and pour over the whiskey and cold tea. Allow to soak up the liquid overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease and line a 900g loaf tin.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and mixed spice in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the mashed banana and a little of the liquid the fruit mix is sitting in and mix it through. You may not need all the liquid as you are looking for a wet dough. Stir through the fruit mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
  5. Spoon the wet dough into the lined loaf tin and place in the oven, on the middle shelf, and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the loaf tin and placing on wire rack.
  7. Serve in slices spread with a little butter.

Halloween – Kids with eczema and/or allergies

 

Halloween figurine isolated on white background

Halloween can be one of the most fun times of the year for little ones, but it can also be stressful if you have a child with eczema and/or food allergies. Trick or treating exposes kids to unknown foods, and Halloween parties at school or friends’ houses can be a source of concern if you’re not sure that the goodies will be allergy friendly.

Halloween outfits and an excess of party food can also exacerbate your little ones eczema.

With some planning & preparation, you can have a stress-free Halloween!

 

CostumesWhen it comes to costumes, cotton is best. Avoid purchasing costumes made of plastic and synthetics. If you cannot find a costume made from 100% cotton, make sure to wear 100% cotton light undergarments to prevent itching – long sleeved cotton tops are great.  If you are creative, you could also create your own costumes!

Masks Avoid masks and costumes that cover the face. If the skin becomes overheated, sweating can irritate the skin and cause an eczema flare.

Face paint Face paint is not good for little ones with sensitive skin and is certainly a no-go if your child has eczema on their face.  If they have eczema on their face but not on arms for example, you could paint that area that is not sensitive so they don’t feel they are completely missing out.  A little lipstick can also be enough to enhance a princess costume!

TriggersHeat and sweat are known eczema triggers.

Food Sugar, especially refined sugar can increase skin inflammation, so go easy on the sweets!

Trick or treatingWhen it comes to trick or treating and food allergies and your child is young enough for you to go with them, you can monitor what treats are being handed out before your child is given them.

Purchase allergy friendly treats in advance and swap them for any inappropriate treats after the trick or treating has finished.

Wearing cotton gloves protects them from coming into contact with items they are allergic to.

It is also good to have your child wash their hands thoroughly after trick or treating.

PartiesCoordinate with the organiser of any Halloween parties to inform them about your child’s allergy and consider volunteering at the Halloween party to make sure your child isn’t exposed to any allergen foods.

Medication As always make sure to bring their emergency medication with you.

 

Have a safe, happy and healthy Halloween!

 

 

Egg Free Waffles

waffles

A yummy treat for weekend brekkie or brunch!

 

Ingredients:

280g (10 oz) plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

450 mls milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp melted butter

 

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and sugar.

Add in the remaining ingredients – milk, vegetable oil, water, vanilla and melted butter.

Whisk together until batter is mixed, it will be slightly lumpy.

Spray waffle maker with non-stick spray. Pour on enough batter and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes depending on your waffle maker instructions.

Serve warm and sprinkle with icing sugar (or any other topping you wish).

Mmm…perfect for a weekend treat!

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