The Junior Chef Cooking Club; Lesson 3

Following two successful savoury lessons of The Junior Chef Cooking Club (see Lesson 1 & Lesson 2) it was time to try some festive themed baking! Everyone deserves a sweet treat at Christmas!

Immediately the request was for a classic gingerbread house! This however posed a problem for me as most gingerbread recipes, especially for construction of a house, require time in a fridge overnight and with hectic Christmas schedules it was impossible for us to get two consecutive days to meet up for a lesson. I considered making the dough myself, but then the Junior Chef would miss out on a big part of the lesson, even though the building of the house & decorating is the fun part!

Thankfully at this point we discovered a wonderful BakedIn Gingerbread House kit that contained a pre-made powdered mix, icing, decorations & even stencils that would allow us to make a festive treat in one afternoon! Perfect for when everyone’s attention spans are short with the Christmas distractions!

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BakedIn Gingerbread House kit

The kit (£8) contained 5 bags of ingredients, plus the stencils for cutting out the house for assembly. The bags are all well labelled, so you can’t accidentally empty the wrong one in at the wrong stage! The first bag was dark muscavado sugar only, whilst the second was a mixture of the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and ground ginger. The final three were full of elements for the decoration like fruit drops, milk chocolate beans and icing sugar.

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Gingerbread House BakedIn Kit

As with most baking kits you have to add a few ingredients to the prepared items. For this we only needed butter, water and an egg. All things that are found in most people’s houses on short notice, again a great aspect of the kits for last minute baking!

The instructions that came in the kit were really detailed and clear, which I loved! There is nothing worse than vague instructions, especially when baking with children! You’d expect nothing less when the kits are designed and approved by Michel Roux!

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Detailed instructions – Time to get baking!

The first step was to melt the sugar (pack 1) with the butter required in a pan, obviously be careful with younger children as this will get very hot. Once this had cooled so you can handle it safely, you add in the flour mix (pack 2) and bring it together to make a very quick gingerbread dough.  Super simple!

The kit came with pre-cut baking paper to roll the dough out between, a great little touch! Once rolled out we used the included templates to cut out two sides and two doors, with little holes for windows. In these we added crushed boiled sweets to make ‘stained glass’ windows. This definitely took me back to days making stained glass biscuits with my family when I was younger.

Once baked for roughly 12 minutes, we let all the pieces cool & started on preparing the decorations. Remember that the boiled sweets in the windows will be extremely hot and the Junior Chef should be kept away from it all whilst it cools to avoid any burns. Whilst they cooled we made the icing (pack 4) using an egg white to make a firm but still running consistency for construction glue!

Once this had firmed up & dried (about 30 minute break) we started on the addition of decorative piping and chocolate beans to make a beautiful finished Gingerbread house showstopper! Perfect addition to a family meal as a centrepiece.

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Our finished Gingerbread House for Lesson 3!

The BakedIn kits are available online & in quite a few stores now. There is also a monthly subscription option for the BakedIn monthly Baking Club or Mug Baking Club. Prices start from £7.50 or £5 a month respectively for each subscription, and vary depending on choices to pay annually, quarterly or monthly.

Subscriptions can be gifted and would definitely be great for the aspiring baker in your life, especially for a family who wanted to learn to bake together too. The ingredients are pre-measured so there is no waste,  only a few simple store cupboard items need to be added and off you go. I will definitely be trying a few of these, I have my eye on the Iced Cinnamon bun kit already!

I really enjoyed baking with the Junior Chef for Lesson 3, it definitely reminded me of baking with my Nanny when I was little! The discovery of BakedIn kits was wonderful, these are perfect for cooking with kids & also when you are shorter on time but want a delicious treat, I can’t wait to try them again! The next lesson will be a return to savoury dishes with a fishy twist!

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Proud of his first Gingerbread House!

Lesson 4 will be a fishcake supper!

_Lesson Plan 3
The Junior Chef Cooking Club Lesson Plan!

Date: December 2019

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