4 desserts kids can cook without fire

14 May 2015

There’s almost nothing kids like better than taking over the kitchen—preferably without wearing an apron—and experimenting with different ingredients, textures, colours, smells and flavours. And it’s a great idea, even if we can’t help wondering what state the kitchen will be in when they’ve finished. Children find cooking just as relaxing as we do and it’s also an excellent way for them to get used to different foods, find their way around the kitchen, spend time with the family, socialise and, at the end of the day, play. And learn while doing so.

Cooking with our children is a highly stimulating experience—quality time they’ll probably remember above all else when they’re older. As always with children, we’ll fill the kitchen with colour and bring to life recipes they can eat later on, while ensuring their clothes and faces end up in exactly the same state as our kitchen. Who cares? Here are four ideas, four “cooker-less” recipes to get kids “cooking” and which you can eat later on as a family for afternoon tea. If they leave anything for you, that is…

Cake pops.

If you’ve got young children, you’re probably already familiar with this kind of lollipop, as you might well have seen a demonstration or workshop at one event or another. Kids love creating these impressive sugar-coated balls on a stick using all different kinds of ingredients—from bread to chocolate biscuits. There are several different ways of making a cake pop. We suggest crumbling up some digestive biscuits and mixing them with cheese spread (one small spoonful of spread and one biscuit per cake pop). All you have to do is make an even ball, cover it with cooking chocolate melted in the microwave and, if you fancy, sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Spear with a stick and you’re good to go. Enjoy your stylish new cake pops while they last!

Mug cakes.

The latest in cool. Your kids, nieces and nephews or friends’ children will love making these mug cakes as much as they’ll enjoy eating them. Mug cakes are basically sponge cakes with as many extra ingredients as you like but made in a mug and cooked in the microwave, without any need for an oven. There are lots of different recipes, but chocolate is always a hit and kids love being able to make their own creations without any help from grownups (who can just keep a quiet eye on things). And they can then eat their cake straight out of their favourite mug, with Penguins of Madagascar looking on. Mugs cakes really are very easy to make: simply mix all the ingredients together in a mug and microwave for a few minutes. There are a thousand and one recipes with nuts, berries, etc—try them out until you find the one you (or rather they…) like best.

Mousses and custards.

Some people make mousses and custards in the oven, but you don’t have to: there are plenty of recipes that make do without. They might not be as fun to make as cake pops—which can excite even the most nonchalant kids—but 99% of children (and grownups) love them unreservedly. Vanilla or chocolate custard, fruit or lemon mousse… the possibilities are endless and family afternoons very long. Where shall we start?

Milkshakes and smoothies.

This is where things start to get a bit harder: it’s not as easy to get kids excited about mangoes, raspberries, pears and the like as it is with chocolate and biscuits. Smoothies—which have become all the rage thanks to their many wonderful properties—are both a great source of nutrients and an ideal way to get kids to eat fruit without realising it. So, how about turning our kitchen into a multicoloured universe of fruits of all different sizes and textures and getting our children to choose what goes in the blender?

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