Baking with the kids

School closures and social distancing due to the current world health pandemic mean parents will be spending a lot more time indoors with their children over the coming weeks. Trying to keep kids entertained at home while limiting their exposure to iPads, tablets and mobile phones can be a tough balancing act.
Head to the kitchen and bake something tasty! Kitchen tasks will give them the opportunity to count, measure and weigh, as well as the end result being something they’ll be very proud of! Aldi has a range of easy recipes that all of the family can join in and help to make (and eat) – so let’s get started!

Oaty Banana Bread Buns
Serves: 16 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

100g butter (room temperature)
40g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract (2.5g)
240g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder (10g)
4 ripe or over-ripe bananas
90g porridge oats

• Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line a bun tin with 16 paper cases.
• Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well. The easiest way to do this is with a hand-held electric beater but a wooden spoon and some elbow grease also works. The mixture should become a little lighter in colour.
• Add two of the eggs along with the vanilla extract and half of the flour and beat well to combine. Add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour with the baking powder. Mix until everything is just combined – overbeating will make the buns less light, so easy does it.
• Peel the bananas and mash the flesh in a bowl, then carefully fold into the bun mixture with the oats. Using two large spoons, divide the mixture among the paper cases.
• Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until cooked through. To test, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a bun and it should come out clean. The buns will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch.
• Remove the buns from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire or grill rack and leave to cool completely before serving.
• These buns will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 1 month and defrosted as needed.

Choc Bloc Biscuit Cake
Cooking Time: 10 mins

300g pack chocolate
100g pure Irish creamery butter
2 tbsp manuka honey (regular honey will also work)
250g broken biscuits – digestive/rich tea
75g malteasers
75g sultanas (optional)
50g mini marshmallows

• Line a 20cm (8”) square baking tin with a double layer of cling film.
• Put the choc bloc, butter and honey in a heatproof bowl and place over a small saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the water to touch the base of the bowl).
• Stir occasionally until melted.
• Stir in the biscuits, Malteasers and sultanas.
• Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture and press lightly into the top.
• Cover and refrigerate until set.
• To serve, turn out of the tin, remove cling film and cut the cake into small square, Enjoy!

Unicorn Cheesecake
Serves: 8 people
Prep time: 150 minutes

225g digestive biscuits
85g unsalted butter (melted)
700g soft cream cheese
350g double cream
150g icing sugar
½ lemon (juiced)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pink, red, blue, yellow and green food colouring

To decorate:
150g ready to roll icing
pink food colouring
200ml double cream (whipped)
50ml dark chocolate (melted)
Plus any extra pastel coloured sweets for decoration (white chocolate buttons, bon bons, liquorice allsorts)

21cm loose-bottomed tin
1 cocktail stick (trimmed)

• Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and blitz into crumbs.
• Pour the melted butter over the biscuit crumbs and combine,
• Press the crumbs into the base of the tin and leave to chill while you make the filling. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and icing sugar for a couple of minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.
• Add the cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract into the cream cheese and whisk until fully combined and thickened.
• Pour the mix between 5 bowls and use the food colouring to dye the mixture pale/pastel shades of pink, purple (blue and red), blue and green and yellow.
• Pour the pink layer on top of the biscuit base and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set long enough to add the next layer. Follow this process with the purple, blue, green and yellow layers.
• When the final (yellow) layer is in place leave to set in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour (we don’t want to freeze the cheesecake, just set it).
• While the cheesecake sets, take 75g of the ready roll icing and add a drop of pink food colouring, then knead until an even colour is achieved.
• Roll out a little of the white and pink icing, cut out two white triangles and two smaller pink triangles and then stick these together using a pastry brush and water to make the ears.
• With the remaining icing, roll each into two strips then wrap them around the cocktail stick to create a two-tone unicorn horn.
• Use the melted dark chocolate to pipe eyes and eyelashes and leave to cool.
• To decorate, pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake and round one side to create the mane. Place the ears and horn onto the cake, and then decorate with the sweets.
• Finally, place the eyes on the front and serve chilled.

The above recipes are also available at