The Big Cook Day – Wild Things Trifle

Cooking Day - the final product
It’s the Easter holidays, hmm what to do? Then a little inspiration flew my way in the form of a tweet from Claire over at Things We Make. Claire sent me a link to Rangecookers – Cooking With Kids competition. Win a cooker cooker?? Yes please!! But more than anything it gave me a bit of direction for a baking day, especially as the weather has been so pants. I asked the boys what they would like to cook, this is The Fireman’s answer everytime…
Cooking day - dino cake
His 3rd birthday cake.  It’s a nice cake, but not very easy for kids to make.  I remembered last year they really enjoyed making strawberry jelly.  I was trying to think of a recipe which didn’t require absolute accuracy and fun to make, making jelly is a bit like this. I upped the ante and struck upon an idea of trifle, from scratch.  Quick google search of trifle for the boys and ooooo yep that’s a goer.
Cooking Day - Wild Things!
I thought we could give it a dino theme by adding some of those Natural Confectionary dino mix sweets, but all the shop had was the Wild Things, quite suitable for my pair.  So here goes the Wild Things Trifle.
Cooking day - The Early Days
I’ve been cooking with my boys since they could hold a spoon, cooking is something I’ve loved doing myself for many years.  Here’s some other recipes we’ve done over the past year.  I’ve picked up that the recipes they enjoy the most are those that use machines! Also recipes they can test along the way and recipes that don’t take too long.  I split the trifle recipe up into sponge baking, jelly making, custard making then cream whisking, followed by toppings. I spread out each activity over the day.
Cooking Day - get ready!
I told the boys after breakfast we were doing our baking day today and they were in charge.  Off went the stampeding troop to the kitchen wailing with excitement and before I could arrive they’d grabbed every utensil they could get there hands on.  We started by making the trifle sponge.  A simple vanilla sponge mix. We try to take it in turns and weighing ingredients.
Cooking Day - cracking
The Farmer was nominated for egg cracking.
Cooking Day - Ear-tectors
Cake mixing is a bit loud, so we require some ear-tectors.
Cooking Day - oven gloves on
The Fireman assured me he was very sensible and could put the cake into the oven.
Cooking Day - washing up
Time for the washing up. Next job was to make jelly. We needed to juice the strawberries.
Cooking Day - Strawberry squishingWe tried to squash the strawberries like before but they were too hard.

Cooking Day - mushing
So we whizzed them up in the food processor, we needed about 600ml of juice and then added about 100g of icing sugar.
Cooking Day - chopping
Then dissolved a sachet of gelatine with 100ml of boiling water and stirred it into the juice and poured it over chopped and apple juice soaked sponge and of course some Wild Things.
Cooking Day - milkshakes
There was even a bit of strawberry puree left over for a strawberry milkshake bonus.
The boys chilled out with some naff film whilst I tidied the kitchen and sorted out for the custard making. Having something ready to go after a film certainly helps with their motivation, often lethargy gets the best of them.
I separated the eggs, thought it was for the best! We used 6 egg yolks whisked with 3tbsp of sugar.
Cooking Day - custard
Heated 250ml of milk and 250ml of cream, added it to the eggs then back in the pan slowly cooking and stirring until thick. At this point the boys got bored, stirring isn’t the most exciting so they disappeared into the lounge with handfuls of bowls, saucepans and utensils to make their own kitchen 🙂
Cooking Day - a new kitchen
I let them both have a go with the hand mixer to whisk the cream, they were actually a little apprehensive about this, but I just carried on like it was normal and they thought it was quite exciting in the end.
Cooking Day - whisking
By this point they were scratching at the back door to be let out for some fresh air. They busily ‘tidied’ more snow. Then a very loud voice came form the back door (which was open) ‘I’m FREEZING cold!’  OK time to warm up with some bashing!
Cooking Day - bashing
Bashing up a load of Maltesers was the best part of their cooking day by far, waving a heavy piece of wood about whilst seemingly being able to destroy something and make banging noises, without being told to stop, just perfect.
Cooking Day - toppings
A few delicate sprinkles and extra Wild Things and also some raspberries, (a token effort at 1 of our 5 a day) it was ready to be devoured for pudding and quite probably for the next four nights too, oh well!

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