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5 Easy Summer Puddings Your Kids Will Love To Make

Simple puddings you and your children can enjoy cooking and eating together.
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Children love cooking with you - and, of course, the reward of tucking into their creations afterwards. Cooking anything with kids encourages an interest in tasting and trying new foods, but these naturally sweet desserts hold an instant appeal for kids. Let’s face it, how many times have you have to encourage your children to eat their pudding?

These recipes are all super-simple with seasonal produce and involve kids’ favourite culinary tasks like sifting, mixing and mashing.

Eton mess

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This delicious summer pudding couldn’t be simpler - a mixture of crushed meringue, double cream and fresh strawberries. You can make this sweet delight with shop-bought meringues, but it’s also a great way to use up broken homemade meringues.

Kids will love bashing the meringues and stirring it up. It’s not often they get the OK to quite literally make a mess, after all.

Where does the name come from? Well, it’s served at the annual cricket match between Eton College and rival Harrow and does look a bit of a mess. There’s also a tale, probably untrue, of a Labrador running amok during an Eton open day picnic and squishing a strawberry pavlova, which the boys still tucked into with gusto.

Serves 6

You will need:

6 meringues
570ml double cream (or use half Greek yogurt for a healthier version)
450g strawberries, washed and hulled

What to do:

Kids aged six upwards can be put in charge of cutting the strawberries up - halves, slices, quarters, whatever works best. If your kids are keen on other fruits, like raspberries, blackberries and bananas, add them into the mix too.

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Fold in the juicy berries.

Put the meringues in a plastic bag and give them a good bash (not to total crumbs!) then fold the broken bits into the strawberry and cream mixture.

Spoon the Eton mess into individual dishes. Decorate with extra strawberries and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before eating.

Summer pudding

Flickr CC-BY Jeppestown

A classic British pudding that encapsulates the taste of summer and childhood nostalgia, this recipe is easy and delicious. The only prep is finding a pudding basin with a one-litre capacity and a small plate or saucer that fits neatly inside the rim of the bowl.

Serves 6

What you need:

7 slices white bread (crusts removed)
225g redcurrants
110g blackcurrants
450g raspberries
150g golden caster sugar

What to do:

Children can help de-stalk all the fruits, before rinsing them and placing them in a large pan with the measured sugar.

Cook over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the juices begin to run, then remove the pan from the heat.

Trim one slice of bread to fit the base of the pudding basin, and cut 4 slices in half to line the side of the basin, overlapping them at the straight edge with the rounded side down. Seal well by pressing the edges together - the perfect task for little fingers. Fill any gaps with small pieces of bread, so that no juice can get through from the added fruit.

Pour the fruit and juice in – except for about a cupful – then cover the pudding with the remaining bread and place a small plate or saucer on top. Place a heavy object like a can (or two) of baked beans on top of the bowl and saucer and leave in the fridge overnight or for at least six hours.

Just before serving, loosen the pudding all round using a knife, and turn it out onto a large serving dish, then spoon the reserved fruit and juice all over, to soak any bits of bread that still look white.

Cut the juicy pudding into wedges and serve with cream or ice-cream.

Blackberry crumble

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Blackberry picking season seems to start in mid-July, rather than the late August of our own childhoods. This is a great recipe for using all those pickings from hedge rows and bramble patches. But blackberry juice does stain fingers and clothes so insist on aprons or dark clothes.

Serves 6

You will need:

500g blackberries
zest and juice of one orange
120g plain flour
2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
120g butter, cold

What to do:

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Put the blackberries, orange zest and juice into a bowl and toss together gently. Remember that if children use their fingers, they’ll be a lovely purply colour. Spoon into an ovenproof dish.

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, add the sugar and stir together.

Cut the butter into little cubes, add to the flour-sugar mixture and get children to crumble between their fingers until the crumble topping is the texture of sand.

Sprinkle the mix over the blackberries and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the berries are bursting around the sides and the top is golden brown.

Allow the piping hot blackberry filling to cool a little before serving with cream or ice cream.

Chocolate and raspberry brownies

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These super squidgy chocolate brownies with a summer twist are deliciously moreish. Your kids will love helping with weighing, sieving and stirring and they make perfect picnic fare if you’re planning a day outdoors.

Makes 16 squares

You will need:

200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
100g milk chocolate, broken into chunks
200g of raspberries
250g butter
400g soft light brown sugar
4 large eggs
140g plain flour
50g cocoa powder

What to do:

Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line a 20 x 30cm baking tray tin with baking parchment. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan and gently melt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat.

Stir the eggs, one by one, into the melted chocolate mixture. Sieve over the flour and cocoa, and stir in.

Stir in half the raspberries, scrape into the tray, then scatter over the remaining raspberries.

Bake on the middle shelf for 30 mins, five minutes more if you prefer a firmer texture. Cool before slicing into squares.

Chocolate button fairy cakes

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Children love decorating individual fairy cakes with buttons and icing. Top tip: to avoid squabbles give each child their own bowl to mix their own icing.

Makes 24 cakes

You will need:

For the cake:

4 eggs
225g sugar
225g self-raising flour
225g butter, melted

For the chocolate buttercream icing:

110g butter, softened
170g icing sugar
55g cocoa powder, sifted
1-2 tablespoons milk

To decorate:

white chocolate buttons
milk chocolate buttons

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4 and line 2 x 12-hole fairy cake tins with cake cases.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Carefully fold in the flour and melted butter.

Pour the mixture carefully into the paper cases.

Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the tin.

To make the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Add the remaining icing sugar, cocoa powder and one tablespoon of the milk and beat until creamy. Beat in more milk if necessary to make the icing less thick.

Once the cakes are cool, spread the buttercream icing on top and decorate.

Happy eating!

(Note: Never leave your children alone in the kitchen mid-cooking session and drum into them that hot pans and ovens can be dangerous. You and your children should enjoy all sweets and treats as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle)