1. Banana Ice Lollies
2 or 3 bananas
lolly sticks (you can substitute cocktail sticks for older children)
melted chocolate or maple syrup
vermicelli (hundreds and thousands)
Cut the bananas into bite size chunks and push the lolly sticks into them. Place in the freezer on a covered freezer proof dish for a couple of hours or until frozen. They are delicious just like that but if you prefer a bit of decadence (still relatively frugal when you’re making your own!): dip each lolly in chocolate or syrup (be quick – it sets quite fast!) and then into dry ingredients of your choice (chopped nuts are our favourite). Perfect for all those wonderful long summer days that are coming (positive thinking).
2. Blended lollies are great – you can use pure juice but it will come out very hard and ice like. Adding some banana to the blender helps cream it up a bit – pictured are a blend of raspberries, banana and a little apple juice. Experiment with what fruits you have at hand 🙂 Lolly moulds available here
250g/8oz/1 and a half cups of flour
50g/2oz/1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
200/g/6oz/1 cup sugar
75g/2oz/half a cup of mixed, chopped nuts (optional)
150g/5oz/1/2 cup vegetable oil
120ml/4 fl oz/half a cup cold water or soy milk
120ml/4 fl oz/half a cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into 8″ square or 9″ round baking pan. Mix liquids (except vinegar) and whisk into dry. When batter is smooth, add vinegar and stir quickly, until it is evenly distributed. Put it in the oven, don’t let it stand around (that has something to do with the vinegar) Bake for 25-30 minutes…or longer until done.
A gorgeous ‘steamed pudding with chocolate sauce’ variation of this cake was sent in to us by Bracken: put broken up chocolate bar pieces in the bottom of a microwavable basin and put the chocolate cake mixture on top. Microwave for 2-4 minutes depending on machine. It is something similar to the M&S (and several other companies) steamed chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce. Its also very quick and you dont need to use the oven (so saving electric).
This recipe makes about 40 small (2 inch/6cm) cookies
150g/5oz/three quarter cup caster sugar
150g/5 oz/three quarter cup vegetable margarine
5 tablespoons of soya milk
300g/10 oz/1and a half cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 200C/400F and grease cookie sheets. Cream together the sugar and marg. Mix in the soya milk and vanilla and then the flour. The mixing of the flour is best done with your hands (messy but fun!). You should have a workable dough (add more flour if it’s too wet or more soya milk if too dry and doesn’t hold together well). Roll out on a floured board (to just under 1 cm thick) and cut into cookies (if you don’t have cookie cutters you can use an upturned glass). Lay on cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes for soft bake cookies or a little longer for dryer, crunchy ones.
Variations: Add choc, nuts or/and dried fruit Half dip the cooled cookies in chocolate – choccy biscuits! Crushed chocolate beans are a colourful replacement for chocolate chips. They can also be pressed all over the top prior to baking. Plain cookies with a handful of sesame seeds or desiccated coconut added into the dough are delicious. Jewel biscuits: make a hole in the middle of your uncooked cookie once it is placed on a baking tray and place a boiled sweet in the space – this will melt down and fill the hole in the oven and then reset once cool – lovely for Christmas tree decorations! Plain cookies with a square of chocolate pressed onto them before baking work well too.
Don’t miss our Frugal Christmas section!
Fitted well in an 8″ square tin but any shape will be fine – this same mixture can be used to make small fairy cakes – you could fill 12 paper cases (bake in the oven in a patty or muffin tin for about 15 minutes) and then use the rest for the main cake – puddings and treats!
300g/12oz/2 cups of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
100g/4oz/half a cup of sugar
1 cup/8 fl.oz/200ml of sunflower oil
1 cup of soya milk (or possibly a little more to get a good mixture)
2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract (optional)
Oil your cake tin and preheat oven to 180C/360F. Mix together your dry ingredients of flour, sugar and bicarbonate. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, soya milk and vanilla – mix well. Pour into cake tin. Bake for about half an hour or until cooked in middle (insert a knife or skewer into the centre of cake and if cooked it will come out clean).
Variations: Top with chocolate chips prior to baking. Add dried fruit or chopped nuts (50-100g) to the mixture. Once cool ice with melted chocolate or water icing (50g. of icing sugar mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot water) Add a mashed banana or two while mixing for banana cake. Add the juice and zest of a lemon – you can also make lemon icing in the same way as water icing using lemon juice instead of water.