When Billie's not invited into the kitchen to cook, she's busy cooking up a storm for her teddy bears using imaginative equipment and ingredients. Her dolls eat sock and peg soup with a side of duplo and dried beans.
This week I decided to open the floodgates. Billie baked. I let go of the perfect cake and scones and allowed her free rein with the sieve. Well, almost. I was a bit more precious with the chocolate cake (recipe coming up soon).
I let her really go for it with these delicious wholemeal and cheddar scones. She buttered the tray. Sieved the flour. Rubbed the butter into the flour. Whisked the egg and milk together. And rolled the dough out before cutting it into pieces and using a slice to manoeuvre the scones onto the baking tray. Toddler Master Chef here we come.
I discovered if I don't breathe down her neck and take over as soon as some flour strays out of the bowl, she gets bored of the task at hand and asks me to finish.
Billie can be credited with helping create this recipe. I had no plans to add black pepper but the grinder was on the table. I turned to find Billie busy grinding a reasonable serve of pepper into the dry ingredients. She did the same thing with some fritters the other day - except she asked before she ground.
These savory scones are best eaten straight out of the oven with a generous spread of butter. However, they were pretty popular later at the playground.
*NOTE ABOUT WHOLEMEAL FLOUR: If you can, buy stoneground wholemeal flour. It's processed in a traditional way by stone-milling the whole wheat grain and the result is a superior product. You get the goodness and texture of wholemeal without the density. I still often get the cheap and easy regular wholemeal from the supermarket. But lately I've been baking with stoneground wholemeal, and it's noticeable how much lighter the scones are.
RECIPE: BILLIE'S WHOLEMEAL CHEDDAR SCONES
75 g wholemeal flour
75g self-raising plain flour (white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
25g butter, at room temperature
100g grated cheddar
4-5 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp mustard (optional)
Grease a flat oven tray with butter or oil. Preheat over to about 210-220.
Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese, saving a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on top. In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, milk and mustard.
Rub butter into flour until crumbly, then add wet ingredients and combine. If mixture is too dry, add a few more drops of milk. It should be moist but still dry enough to lift out of the bowl and mold into a ball with your hands (but your hands should get covered in mixture - if not it's too dry).
Place on a floured bench and roll out just a little. Don't roll it too thin, just about the size of a side plate. Cut into nine scones, place well-spaced on tray and bake in hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until just browning.