High on any kid’s list of favourite pass-times are making a mess and stuffing their greedy little faces with junk. It goes without saying then that baking, an activity that combines both these things, is always a winner. While I do a lot of baking when I have the kitchen to myself, I rarely have the patience or inclination to allow my two little helpers in on the act ‘just for fun’. This recipe is my secret weapon for those times when I can no longer avoid the joy that is baking with children. It’s simple enough for the kids to get involved, quick, has 3 basic ingredients and best of all uses little equipment so you won’t be left with a mountain of washing up.
If you’ve attempted to bake with kids before you’ll already know that they have zero interest in measuring out the ingredients or lining baking trays. All this stuff is boring. They basically want to get their hands covered in goop and eat the end results as soon as possible even if it means first degree burns to the tongue. Just get everything prepped beforehand (it won’t take long in this instance) and I promise things will be 100% less painful.
Thought that might get your attention, I might just use that title for all future posts! While flicking through my shiny new The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking (excellent choice of Christmas pressie Brother-in-law) this little number certainly made me linger long enough to get the taste buds tingling. A quick scan of the ingredients (nothing ridiculous there) and I was on a mission to make this thing of beauty happen.
To give it it’s official title, Martha’s Dark Chocolate & Almond Liqueur Savarin, is like a cross between a cake and a Panettone. A savarin is a light ring-shaped cake made with yeast and soaked in liqueur-flavoured syrup -although the ingredients are sweet the end result is not overly sickly.
The recipe is broken into three elements: dough, brittle and syrup (plus the melted chocolate for decoration which is optional but looks cool and worth doing just to let your kids have a go splattering it onto the cake/walls/floor). I wouldn’t say it takes a great amount of skill to make but there are a few stages so you do need to plan ahead a little and *adopts Mary Berry voice* make sure you read the recipe three times before you do anything. I was making it for an annual family gathering so I do tend to put in a little extra effort to try something new every year (along with the annual Pavlova, without which I would be refused entry!)
I found that the brittle recipe yielded more than I needed so you could probably get away with half the amount but I’m not going to complain about having to ‘tidy up’ leftover brittle. I also didn’t boil the sugar for long enough; too many GBBO contestant’s tears have been shed over a burnt brittle for me to risk such a terrible fate, so I chickened out too soon and was left with anaemic brittle which refused to set. Luckily it wasn’t a total disaster as you can just bung on a low heat and it will melt and start to take on a bit more colour after a few minutes.
I would definitely recommend trying this at least once as a special pud for grown-ups and the good news is that any leftovers keep long enough for you to finish off for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week! I’m already thinking of combinations for my next attempt- orange and Cointreau, white chocolate and Limoncello….let me know if you come up with any suggestions!
I can’t find a link to the recipe online but if anyone wants to give this a try let me know and I’ll type it up in the comments. Oh, and here’s the much less fancy but just as well received annual Pav.