For me, cooking is one of the most fun home activities for kids. I love cooking with kids, they can learn how to make food and enjoy the finishing product. Children also have the opportunity to learn different food ingredients, their original look and ways of cooking them.
I always do baking with my children as they love mixing things together! One of the most desired tool for baking is the best electric stand mixer. Kitchen Aid and Bosch are famous brands of stand mixer but they are pricy too. Finally I bought a good cheap stand mixer Elegant Life from amazon on Black Friday Sale which I think it’s a good deal. Although I cannot say it’s the best electric stand mixer, I do recommend it as it did a great job at its price. Let me share with you what we made with this good cheap stand mixer.
Hong Kong Style Pineapple Bun – Complicated but Satisfying
After moving to UK, I always miss the food in Hong Kong. Luckily we can buy most of the ingredients here, just some of them were in higher price. To enjoy Hong Kong style flavour at reasonable price, bakery is a good idea as all ingredients are available in supermarket at normal price. One of my favourite bakery items in Hong Kong is pineapple bun. It doesn’t really contain pineapple, it’s just look like pineapple skin. The recipe below can make crispy and soft pineapple buns which can pamper my Hong Kong appetite, let’s try together!
Strong flour/ bread flour 300g
Unsalted butter 30g
- In order to have softer texture, mix bread flour, sugar and egg in stand mixer then add 140g of milk in several times.
- When it forms a dough, stop the stand mixer.
- Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, then rest for 30 minutes (in fridge during summer or in room temperature during winter).
- Take the bowl back to stand mixer, then add salt and mix.
- Add yeast and mix for 2 minutes.
- Add butter and blend thoroughly.
- Add the remaining 30g of milk in several times, only add milk when all of previous milk was absorbed.
- Different brands of flour has different absorption ability, please adjust the amount of milk accordingly.
- The finished dough should be smooth and shiny, very soft and not easy to break. Leave it for fermentation for around 45 minutes.
- Take out the dough and press it to release air inside. Cut it into 9 pieces and shape them in round.
- Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 10 minutes. Press them to release air and shape them into round again.
- Leave them for fermentation for 35 minutes.
Unsalted butter 50g
Egg yolk 18g
Cake flour/ plain flour 100g
Milk powder 10g
Baking powder 2g
Baking soda 2g
- Leave butter at room temperature until soft then mix with sugar.
- Add egg yolk and mix well.
- Sieve flour, milk powder, baking powder and baking soda together.
- Add into the mixture in 2 times and mix well until no powder left.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and put into fridge for 15 minutes.
- Take out from fridge, cut into 9 pieces and make them round.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and roll it into thin circle.
- Preheat the oven at 180C.
- Put the crispy overlay on fermented bun then brush egg mixture on top.
- Bake in 180C oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Blueberry Pound Cake – Easy but Delicious
Children love cake, like their sweetness and soft texture. Blueberry round cake is one of the easiest cake to make, but it involves a lot of sugar and butter which is not that healthy. So we make cake only around once a month, this is a recipe which can be handled by kids themselves.
Unsalted butter 200g
Plain flour/ cake flour 240g
Baking powder 5g
Fresh blueberry 120g
- Soften butter at room temperature, then put into stand mixer and whisk with sugar.
- Add 1 egg each time and continue to whisk.
- Sieve in flour and baking powder, continue to mix.
- Add blueberry and mix well with scraper.
- Put into a rectangular cake mold and smooth the top.
- Bake in 175C oven for 30 minutes.
Homemade Beef Balls – Perfect for Hot Pot
Another reason of buying a stand mixer instead of bread maker is the function of making meatballs. Beef ball is a must have item for hot pot at our home. Meatball is available in UK supermarket but the texture is different from those we had in Hong Kong. Therefore, I tried to make it myself here using the stand mixer.
Beef shank 700g
Sweet potato powder 20g
Himalayan salt 8g
Raw cane sugar 15g
Chicken powder 1 tablespoon
Mushroom powder 1 tablespoon
Ginger powder 1 tablespoon
Grated black pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Egg white 25g
Ice cube 30g
Ice water 20ml
- Cut beef shank into cubes, then blend into mince in food processor. You may also use minced beef to skip this process.
- Put the beef mince into fridge for 20-30 minutes until it is 4-5 degree celsius. The ideal temperature of meat is below 12C during the process, higher temperature will affect the emulsification.
- Put the cold beef mince into the stand mixer bowl. Add Himalayan salt, sweet potato powder, sugar, chicken powder, mushroom powder, ginger powder, black pepper, egg white and ice cubes.
- Beat for first 3 minutes in low speed 2, then change the speed to 3 for 7 minutes. Scrap the meat on the side of bowl and check its temperature. Put the whole bowl into fridge again if it raises over 12C.
- Add ice water, blend with speed 3 for 5 to 7 minutes until fine.
- Boil water in a saucepan, lower the temperature to 80C by adding cold water.
- Squeeze the meat into ball shape by hand or by two spoons.
- Put the meatballs into the saucepan of water and cook for 15 minutes. Keep the water at 80C by slow heat up.
- Serve immediately. If you want to keep them for next time, put them into ice water and drain into a storage bag. Can be kept in freezer for a month.
Children can help to add ingredients and squeezing the meat into meatballs which is also a funny activity for them.
Although I have changed to a working mum now, I still spend my weekend time making food with kids. Baking cookies is also a good idea as kids can involve by shaping them. Stand mixer is definitely a must have item for baking, it saves a lot of energy and hassles during baking. Please share with me your baking journey with children.