There’s something about cooking with children which always seems so hard. It starts off such a good idea, and you think that there’s no way you can possibly mess it up. It’s only when it takes you twice as long, the kitchens a complete mess, and you have no idea how much of the ingredients actually made it to the bowl, that you wonder why you ever suggested it in the first place.
Cakes are always a good idea, even when they go a bit wrong they can normally always be salvaged. But then you end up wearing more flour then you use, and if you let the child crack the egg, you have half of it rolling around the table. But my nephew loves the idea of baking and cooking different things. He tries to be so helpful and do absolutely everything, that more often than not, you slightly want to give up on it, and completely take over.
Because I love baking, I think it’s important to pass on the passion. And while he’s willing, I’m up for letting Bo help me out in the kitchen any time. I wanted to do something really simple with him. Something that was impossible to mess up, and was quick and easy for him to make.
We’re not massive chocolate eaters in our house, and what we have is often left lying around until it runs out of date. So instead of wasting it all and just chucking it in the bin, I wanted to make something new out of all of it. And what better way than to melt them down and turn them into chocolate lollies. Super quick and easy to make, you can’t really go wrong.
Burning The House Down
I know that melting chocolate is one of them things that seem so simple and easy to do. But when we were younger, me and my sister nearly burnt the house down! It was just after Easter, and we had some chocolate eggs that needed to be used up. We thought it would be a great idea to melt it all down, and dip strawberries in. I mean, that’s just plain yummy! So, we asked my mum and brother how to do it and they told us to, ‘just put it in the microwave for about 5 minutes, and keep stirring it’. So, we did just that. We broke the chocolate into chunks and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes, then went and watched TV while we waited.
About two minutes later, we thought we could smell smoke, and looked at each other, with very confused looks on our faces. It’s only when my eyes drifted over her head that I saw it. Thick, grey plumes of smoke billowing out of the microwave, looking like it was about to burst into flames!
We ran out, waded our way through the smoke, and managed to turn the oven off. I think it’s fair to say that the room stunk. When we finally managed to get it out the microwave, it had turned into a hard, burning lump of charcoal. It turns out that they meant put it in for about a minute at a time, and stir in between. Not to put it on for 5 minutes at once and stir it afterwards. But you know, the house was still standing, and we learnt that lesson the hard way. And yes, it still gets referenced to this day. I personally think it was just one BIG misunderstanding!
Through that I learnt that the best way to melt chocolate is to fill a saucepan with water, and place a heatproof, glass mixing bowl on top. Place the chocolate into the mixing bowl, and turn up the heat. This allows the steam to melt the chocolate, and this way you can keep an eye on the melting process. But be very careful around little hands as this can get incredibly hot.
The best part is deciding what shapes you want your lollies to be. They can be absolutely anything you want. You could play it safe with circles, or hearts, or I love letting my nephew design his own shapes. I just give him a pencil and let him draw his shape on a piece of baking parchment. You then simply turn it over, so you can still see the outline and use it as your mould. The simpler the design, the easier it is in terms of pouring the chocolate in. Or if you have any you could also use cake pop moulds or any other silicone moulds.
A Sprinkle Here, A Sprinkle There…
You can also have a bit of fun by adding some decorations to the chocolate. A few sprinkles are a great way to add a bit of colour to the whole process, and is a great way make them extra special! You can use anything from sprinkles, to popping candy and can even icing pens if you’re feeling extra creative. Decorating is one of my favourite parts of baking, and is what the kids really love most. So if you’re up for it, I’d give it a go.
So, if you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen with a little helper, why not go back to basics. Simplicity is the key, and these always seem to go down well. There’s not really that much that can go wrong.
At the end of the day, what kid doesn’t love chocolate?
Chocolate Lollipop Recipe:
The perfect way to start baking with kids
Yields: Roughly 10 Medium Lollipops
- 200g Chocolate
- Sprinkles, Hundreds & Thousands or any other choice of decoration
- Lollipop Sticks
- Line a flat baking tray with baking parchment, this is going to go in the fridge later so make sure it’s not too big.
- Break the chocolate into chunks and place into a heatproof glass bowl.
- Half fill a Saucepan, around the same size as your glass bowl, with water and place the glass bowl on top, making sure it’s not touching the water. Remove some liquid if necessary.
- Melt the chocolate over a high heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until completely melted. Be careful of little hands at this stage, adult supervision is essential!!
- Once melted remove the glass bowl and allow to cool for a minute so it’s not too hot for children to handle. Place your Lollipop Sticks on top of the baking parchment. Allow a bit of space in between each stick so the chocolate doesn’t touch.
- Using a tablespoon, place a blob of the chocolate on the top of one of the sticks. Make sure you cover around 1/3 of the lolly stick so the chocolate doesn’t fall off once set! Flatten the chocolate using the back of the spoon to create a circular shape. Add a bit more chocolate if you want a bigger lolly – anything goes!
- Repeat for the remaining 9 lollipop sticks
- While the chocolate is still melted sprinkle on your desired toppings – we used sprinkles, hundreds & thousands and sugar balls!
- Carefully place your baking tray into the fridge, making sure it sits flat. Leave for around 20 mins or until set and gently peel the lolly’s off the parchment paper. And enjoy!
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