A Great Family Bake Off
You have probably noticed the lack of flour and eggs in many of the shops these days. It would seem that a notion for baking has swept the nation in recent weeks during lockdown. Baking is something I enjoy doing from time to time, and have done sporadically with the children. I say sporadically, because every time I try it with them, I go in with great enthusiasm and then come out the other end regretting I ever started due to arguments, control issues (I have a very bossy daughter) and the inevitable broken egg on the kitchen floor courtesy of my youngest who likes to throw things.
Last week I had noticed an abundance of ripening bananas in the kitchen and knew it was time to do something with them before they ended up in the compost. Having 3 children to home educate at the moment I’m always on the look out for fun, engaging learning opportunities… but had shied away from cooking and baking for a while. However, I know how much the children LOVE to cook and bake and I HAD to find a way to use those up those darn bananas so it made sense to have a baking day.
I’m a big fan of the bake off, and an idea came to my mind as I was thinking how I could draw out the most learning from the experience as possible (and cater for my daugher’s need to be in control). Herein was birthed the concept of a Home style ‘Great Family Bake off’.
The Challenge- To devise and create a recipe that included bananas and then bake it using their own instructions.
Task number 1 – Researching and choosing a recipe to adapt.
I got out all the baking cook books and the three of them looked through them until they found a recipe they liked the look of and decided if it would suit a banana adaptation.
Task 2 – Re-write the recipe with illustrations, including the way in which you will use the bananas in the recipe.
My elder two are 8 & 9, so they worked fairly independently and we talked about how to lay out a recipe with an ingredients list and method section. We also spoke about what things like – g, oz, tsp etc meant.
For my 5 year old, we worked on writing a list of ingredients, and sounding out each of the words. He also had a go at writing out 3 basic sentences of instructions on how to make it.
AP (9yrs) decided on cupcakes with a Banana Bee decoration, IP (8yrs) chose a chocolate and walnut recipe, adding in bananas (he decided 3 mashed in would be the right amount), and BP (5yrs) wanted to make a standard banana bread cake.
Task 3 – Follow their written recipes!
Amazingly, with the older two the only thing I did was help them find the right ingredients and reminded them how to use the scales. And they did the rest themselves. They loved being able to re-read their own instructions and have complete ownership over their bakes. It was really great to see their independence blooming and the pride they were taking in doing each step accurately to make sure their ‘bake’ was just right!
We even got a bit of numeracy of time in there too when they were checking how long they had to leave their cakes in and what the time would be when they had to take it out again.
BP did a great job of following his instructions and I helped him to put the right quantities and safely use the oven and utensils etc.
Task 4 – Tasting and Scoring
Amazingly, not only were they all edible… they were all totally delicious!
So we scored them all out of 10 for Taste, how it looked, and how banana-ery it tasted!
They all got great scores and were all winners!!
I would totally recommend doing a little activity like this, because it was so much fun and had LOADS of learning opportunities across the curriculum!! And best part was – we got 3 different cakes to eat at the end!!
By Hannah Polland.