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Bookish Bites : Kipper cake

We have a new bedtime favourite. Well, it’s actually been the case for about three weeks now. The Kipper Story Collection by Mick Inkpen (Hodder Children’s Books) and the story that we’re being asked to read again and again at the moment is Kipper’s Birthday. Hmmm… I wonder why that might be! His second favourite story is Kipper’s Toybox and a small fascination with Sock Thing, one of Kipper’s toys.

In Kipper’s Birthday, there is a small mix up with Kipper’s invitation to his birthday party. Kipper asks all his friends to come to his party “tomorrow at 12 o’clock. Don’t be late.” But then fails to pass the invites onto his friends until the next day (his actual birthday) meaning they don’t arrive until the day after his birthday. A bit disappointing for Kipper but at least he has the birthday cake he’s made to eat in the meantime. And it’s this birthday cake that Milo and I decided to bake.

Looks like a giant rock cake doesn’t it? Well, that’s what we chose to go with. I love the description of how Kipper goes about baking his cake.

It’s almost a recipe so after a little read of the book we pretty much decided to follow Kipper’s instructions.

Milo and I haven’t made rock cakes together before. Goodness know why because I absolutely love them. My grandpa used to make a wonderful rock cake and it was always something I’d look forward to whenever I visited my grandparents house. So, let’s get cracking. Here’s the recipe:

100g butter (softened)
225g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
50g of granulated sugar
80g of currants
60g of cherries (we used maraschino cherries)
1 large egg
and about a tablespoon, maybe a bit more, of whole milk

Making rock cakes with a toddler is completely hands-on. There’s nothing that they can’t get stuck into and have a go at doing and because of this Milo pretty much made the whole of this recipe by himself. First, sieve your flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the butter.

Rub with your fingertips (or use your whole hand as Milo likes to do) until you get breadcrumbs.

Add the currants, cherries and sugar and stir well. You don’t have to just have currants and cherries, you could add dried fruit or candied peel as is more traditional with rock cake but we were trying to stick to Kipper’s own recipe.

Beat the milk and egg together and add to the mixture.

We then chose to make a few small rock cakes and one giant one just like in the book. Lump it all together (we didn’t roll it out first like Kipper tried to), pat it into a sort of shape and transfer to a baking tray.

Pop a cherry on the top, sprinkle a little sugar over your cakes (we used demerara) and then bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, while your cake is baking, it’s best to get cracking on your party invitations to your Kipper party. Milo chose to invite Moomin, Beru bear, Ollie “the blobby” octopus and also Mr Derek, the anteater. Some painting then…

Time for the cake to come out of the oven. Ours flattened out a bit in the cooking process so isn’t as high as Kipper’s actual cake, but all the same it tasted good. So, so good.

Well, at least I thought so.

Milo was not so impressed by the currants. Loved the cake around them though but got completely fed up with picking out currants (“you could just eat them instead of picking them out” is what I said. Met with disdain and irritation). He tried giving his away to Mr Derek and Beru bear who both enjoyed it muchly.

Milo’s verdict: “I don’t like currants and cherries but I like Kipper cake.”

Oh dear!

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