Known for her original recipes that use colourful spices and aromatic herbs, Chetna Makan of BBC1’s The Great British Bake Off knows what makes for fun and delicious cakes and bakes. Here Panasonic asks Chetna to share her expert tips for baking with little ones and you can follow one of her recipes below too. And don’t forget that when baking bread, Panasonic’s SD-ZB2512 breadmaker will help you and the children be as adventurous as you like, experimenting with flavour, shape and size. Kids will love adding ingredients to the mix to create a range of breads – from brioche to banana bread – and be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour in no time.
Chetna Makan’s top tips for baking with children
- Choose a recipe with ingredients you know the children love to eat – perhaps bananas, raisins or chocolate - as this will make them keen to bake.
- If the recipe requires chopped fruit or nuts, then prepare it before the children start baking.
- Take all fridge ingredients such as eggs and butter out in advance so it’s at room temperature before you start baking.
- Let the children do the weighing and mixing and only step in when asked for help. This will make them more confident when they make it next time. Step in when using hobs or a hot oven.
- Once ready, encourage the children to taste and judge for themselves, but also appreciate when you do the tasting.
- If the children have loved baking the first time they try, then keep a day free for baking - such as a Sunday - and make it a special event.
- The recipe should be straightforward so that it holds their attention and not something with lots of different steps. Choose a recipe that doesn’t take too long either – perhaps chocolate cookies or cake. A recipe in my book Cardamom Trail (published by Mitchell Beazley) that my kids absolutely love to make and decorate is Clove, Cinnamon and Chocolate Cookies. Follow the recipe here:
Clove, cinnamon and chocolate cookies by Chetna Makan
175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
200g (7oz) dark muscovado sugar
75g (23/4oz) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
250g (9oz) self-raising flour
175g (6oz) chocolate chips
175g (6oz) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with
nonstick baking paper.
2. Cream the butter, sugars and spices together with an electric whisk or in
a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and creamy. Mix
in the whole egg and yolk. Now add the flour, chocolate chips and all but a
handful of the chopped pistachios and mix to bring the dough together.
3. Roughly shape a big tablespoonful of the mixture into a ball and put a few
of the reserved chopped pistachios on top. Place this ball on a lined baking
tray and repeat with the remaining dough, leaving enough space between
them for the cookies to spread during cooking.
4. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until the cookies start to colour but are still chewy in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to seven days.
For more delicious recipes from Panasonic such as Mint Chocolate Shortbread Hearts and Sweet Potato Bread, visit the Panasonic Ideas Kitchen here