half-term foodie fun (tot’s free-from)

half-term foodie fun (tot's free-from)
lovely light and airy home-made honeycomb

Half-term has begun early for us as Aars has an inset today ūüėÄ ¬†so we thought we would share some foodie fun; the treats we enjoy making in the holidays. They are all fun for kids to watch and participate in as they have a bit of a magical element to them.

Cinder toffee, a.k.a honeycomb is surprisingly easy to make and pretty spectacular. Children love watching (from a safe distance as it’s √ľber HOT) the gorgeous sweet stuff foam and grow before their eyes. Due to it’s utter unhealthiness we only make it once or twice a year, and may half term (for the last three years) for some reason has become that time!

We like to drizzle some safe melted free-from chocolate over the top for that fabulous “crunchie” effect.¬†Once it’s cooled if you pop it in a ziplock bag in the freezer it keeps really well so you can ration it out to stop the sugar high reaching epic proportions! It’s a really special holiday treat, great for taking out on a picnic to share where the kids can run wild and free!

Another holiday fave is popcorn.¬†Salty popcorn is super easy and speedy to make, our sweet versions require a little more prep time and consideration. We have a little electric popcorn machine¬†and the kids love watching it popping the corn and spewing it into the waiting bowl, the first “pop” normally makes them jump!

Popcorn is also pretty cool to take out on picnics for everyone to dig into – it’s really light to carry you can pop it in a ziplock bag and the likelihood is no-one else will have brought some along.

We also love snuggling up for a film in the evening with a cosy blanket and a big bowl of sweet chilli or cinnamon popcorn.

I love having half-term holidays at home, when we get the time to make things together that we can’t fit into the school days, and share them with friends and family we don’t normally see day-to-day.

gluten-free vegan meringues
yes! they are egg-free!!

Having finally tried and succeeded with¬†the aqua-faba vegan meringues, we will be playing around with them this half-term too! Maybe we’ll make some ¬†vegan coffee meringues¬†or orange¬†vegan meringues¬†dipped in¬†dark chocolate – the possibilities are endless and we will have the time to play, and plenty of mouths to feed our experiments to!

I hope todays post has inspired you to get in your kitchen this half term with your little ones and have some fun playing and creating special free-from foodie treats.

Have a fabulous, fun-filled and tasty half-term,
Rai x

p.s If you’ve not signed up for our weekly newsletter yet you can do it here! We’ll be¬†sharing our fave free-from biscuit recipes in preparation for National Biscuit Day in the UK on Monday!

honeycomb a.k.a cinder toffee

  • Yield:

    1 baking tray
  • Cooking Method:

    boiling
  • Prep Time:

    5 mins
  • Cook Time:

    10 mins
honeycomb a.k.a cinder toffee

This is GREAT fun to make - like a magical science experiment your children will enjoy watching from a safe distance (as the sugar gets¬†√ľber hot). Then once it's cooled there's the joy and wonder of homemade honeycomb AKA cinder toffee to savour as it melts in sugary sweetness on their tongues. It's a holiday special for us; we freeze the majority of it and enjoy bits and pieces straight from the freezer over the hols.¬†

Ingredients:

  • 1¬Ĺ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 4 Tbs golden syrup

Method:

  1. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with baking paper. Have your whisk out ready to use, and measure out your bicarbonate of soda (pop it in a bowl).

  2. Put your caster sugar and golden syrup into a heavy based pan and mix them up so that they're thoroughly combined.

    honeycomb
    mixed & ready to have the heat turned on

  3. Now you can ¬†turn on the heat, it's really important that you¬†do NOT¬†stir at all!¬†The sugars¬†will heat up to the point where they're¬†a mass of bubbles ‚Äď turn the temperature down at that point so that the bubbles stay at a consistent level and time for 4 minutes.¬†After 4 mins remove the pan from the heat. (It needs to stay a lovely golden colour - if it darkens before the 4 mins are up remove from the heat.)

  4. Immediately whisk in your pre-measured bicarbonate of soda, then pour into your waiting baking tray and leave to cool.

  5. Once cooled break into chunks (Aars started taste-testing at this stage)

  6. We love to drizzle Aars safe chocolate over the top for a kinda crunchie treat! 

Notes:

The honeycomb responds well to being frozen so we pop most of the pieces into a ziplock bag to be enjoyed in bits and pieces on other days. Have fun making yours! 

gluten-free vegan meringues

  • Yield:

    makes 15
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    90 mins
gluten-free vegan meringues

Yes! These bad boys are egg-free and taste just like the meringues my granny used to make - traditional old school meringues with that fabulous texture. I fed them to my extended family who aren't vegan - they couldn't believe they were egg-free! 

Ingredients:

  • ¬ľ C chickpea water (drained from a carton of chickpeas)
  • ¬ľ C granulated sugar (heaped)
  • ¬Ĺ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¬Ĺ tsp cream of tartar

Method:

  1. Drain a carton of chickpeas into a jug*

    gluten-free vegan meringues
    harvesting the chickpea water!

  2. Preheat your oven to 120¬įC, and prep a baking tray with baking paper.

  3. Measure¬†out¬†¬ľ C* of your chickpea water to go into a mixing bowl.

  4. Whisk the chickpea water until it becomes light and airy, and holds like beaten egg-whites. (This takes about 8-10 minutes in my Kenwood chef)

  5. Whisk in the sugar this should help stiffen up your light and frothy mix. Whisk until  it forms lovely peaks.

  6. Quickly whisk in the vanilla and cream of tartar. As soon as they have blended in stop whisking.

  7. Spoon out blobs of your delightful meringue mix onto your waiting baking tray.

  8. Pop into the oven for 90 minutes. It is REALLY important that you DO NOT open the oven door during the baking process. Once the 90 minutes is over, turn off you oven but DON'T open the door - leave your meringues in there to cool down with the oven. Once the oven is cold you can open the door finally and enjoy your wonderful egg-free meringues. 

Notes:

* I let the chickpea water settle for a while and then pour off the top thinner liquid and use the thicker heavier juice at the bottom of the jug for my egg-free meringues - I don't know if it makes a difference but it is my habit as I know they work perfectly this way.

 

sweet chilli popcorn

  • Yield:

    serves 4
  • Cooking Method:

    boiling
  • Prep Time:

    10 mins
  • Cook Time:

    20 mins
sweet chilli popcorn

Aars absolutely adores this popcorn, so it's the most frequently requested popcorn in our house which makes me very happy too, as I love it. It's not too spicy as I make for a child's palette, if you want to ramp up the heat just increase the amount of cayenne pepper you add to the mix. You need to make it at least an hour before you want to eat it. 

Ingredients:

  • 90g of white cat corn kernels
  • 50g muscovado sugar
  • 25ml water
  • 10g¬†sunflower spread
  • pinch¬†ground cayenne pepper (for grown ups who like a chilli kick add more!)
  • pinch¬†smoked paprika
  • ¬Ĺ¬†tsp flaked salt (I use pink Himalayan)

Method:

  1. Pop your popcorn, we have a little popping machine that requires no oil and is safe for children. Lay out a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface ready for the popcorn to cool on post coating.

    sweet-chilli popcorn
    bubbling ready for spices & salt

  2. In a heavy based pan add the sugar and water and heat up until the sugar dissolves. Leave it to simmer on a low heat so the mix can reduce for about 15 mins DO NOT STIR AT ALL whilst it bubbles away! When it reaches a point where the whole pan is bubbling (see my photo for a clue) take off heat and stir in the spread, spices and salt. 

  3. Once they have fully dissolved and combined pour over your waiting popcorn - I do it in sections to ensure every piece is covered. Dump the coated popcorn onto a sheet of baking paper and spread out so it can cool completely.

Notes:

 Enjoy your popcorn, your company and snuggle up for your movie! Rai x

orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues

  • Yield:

    makes 15
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    90 mins
orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues

Yes! These little delights are egg-free and lovely and light with that perfect meringues texture my granny used to make. They are great on their own or kissed together with some dark chocolate icing!

Ingredients:

  • ¬ľ C chickpea water (drained from a carton of chickpeas)
  • ¬ľ C granulated sugar (heaped)
  • ¬ĺ tsp¬†orange blossom extract
  • ¬Ĺ tsp cream of tartar

Method:

  1. Drain a carton of chickpeas into a jug*

    orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues
    ready to bake

  2. Preheat your oven to 120¬įC, and prep a baking tray with baking paper.

  3. Measure¬†out¬†¬ľ C* of your chickpea water to go into a mixing bowl.

  4. Whisk the chickpea water until it becomes light and airy, and holds like beaten egg-whites. (This takes about 8-10 minutes in my Kenwood chef)

  5. Whisk in the sugar this should help stiffen up your light and frothy mix. Whisk until  it forms lovely peaks.

  6. Quickly whisk in the orange blossom extract and cream of tartar. As soon as they have blended in stop whisking.

  7. Spoon out blobs of your delightful meringue mix onto your waiting baking tray.

  8. Pop into the oven for 90 minutes. It is REALLY important that you DO NOT open the oven door during the baking process. Once the 90 minutes is over, turn off the oven but DON'T open the door - leave your meringues in there to cool down with the oven. Once the oven is cold you can open the door finally and enjoy your wonderful egg-free meringues. 

Notes:

* I let the chickpea water settle for a while and then pour off the top thinner liquid and use the thicker heavier juice at the bottom of the jug for my egg-free meringues - I don't know if it makes a difference but it is my habit as I know they work perfectly this way.

 

cinnamon popcorn

  • Yield:

    serves 4
  • Cooking Method:

    boiling
  • Prep Time:

    10 mins
  • Cook Time:

    20 mins
cinnamon popcorn

We love popcorn and we love cinnamon - so what could be better then cinnamon popcorn? We love the conflict of salty and sweet with our favourite spice on a popcorn. You need to make this recipe at least an hour before you want to start your cosy film eve and tuck in to a huge bowl together - as it needs to cool and set otherwise you could all end up get very sticky!  

Ingredients:

  • 90g of white cat corn kernels
  • 50g demerara¬†sugar
  • 25ml water
  • 10g¬†sunflower spread
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ¬†tsp flaked salt (I use pink Himalayan)

Method:

  1. Pop your popcorn, we have a little popping machine that requires no oil and is safe for children. Lay out a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface ready for the popcorn to cool on post coating.

    coating the popcorn bit by bit
    coating the popcorn bit by bit

  2. In a heavy based pan add the sugar and water and heat up until the sugar dissolves. Leave it to simmer on a low heat so the mix can reduce for about 15 mins DO NOT STIR AT ALL whilst it bubbles away! After the 15 minutes are complete take off heat and stir in the spread, cinnamon and salt. 

  3. Once they have fully dissolved and combined pour over your waiting popcorn - I do it in sections in my metal mixing bowl to ensure every piece is covered. Dump the coated popcorn onto a sheet of baking paper and spread out so it can cool completely.

Notes:

 Enjoy your popcorn, your company and your movie! Rai x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *