Strawberry shortcake pudding

When you fancy strawberry shortcake but can’t be arsed to make it. This has the same soft, vanilla crumb and berry sweetness but takes 10 minutes to prepare and 10 seconds to finish off out of the oven.

Bert declared this ‘not a birthday cake: a normal cake’.

It’s my birthday tomorrow. On his way out this afternoon Bert’s dad asked me if we needed any food. 

Me: you might need chocolate? Self-raising flour? Candles?

Him: blank face

Leftover normal cake it is then.

Serves 4-6 (ahem. Ok. Three)

6 tablespoons soft butter

1 measuring cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1.5 measuring cups plain flour

1/2 measuring cup milk 

1 punnet strawberries

1 tablespoon icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180.

Beat the sugar and butter together till fluffy then add the egg and vanilla and beat again. Mix through the flour, baking powder and milk till you have a smooth, thick batter then tip into a deep, buttered pie dish and smooth out the top. Top with the hulled and halved strawberries and bake for about an hour (check after 50 minutes – it’s ready when it’s deep golden brown and coming away from the sides). 

Dust with sieved icing sugar and serve warm with thick cream.


Eton crush


In the mood for throwing pasta at the wall? What you need is two helpings of Eton crush and a cuddle.

Serves 1/2

4-6 strawberries, depending on the size

Large dessertspoon marscapone cheese

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Stir the sugar into the cheese and the crush the strawberries into that until it looks a bit like Eton Mess – you’ll have a pink and white, swirly mixture with big chunks of fresh strawberry in. Hand your baby a spoon and reach for the wet wipes.

Yoghurty fruit

fruit yoghurt

This is pushing the definition of a recipe a bit.

While I fully expect to be throwing chocolate eclairs at a reclining Bert while he watches endless How I Met Your Mother reruns in a few years, at the moment I’m mostly avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Greek yoghurt has more protein, and is thicker so it clings to the fruit a bit better. (That also makes it a better choice for spoon fed yoghurt – feeding runny yoghurt to a child by spoon is a job for a more patient woman than me.) Serves 0.5 as I assume fully grown adults have better puddings at their disposal.

Serves 0.5

1 strawberry, quartered

1 kiwi fruit, in bite sized chunks

1/4 teaspoon of fruit puree or low sugar jam (I use Superjam)

3 or 4 teaspoons of yoghurt

Stir the jam into the yoghurt and coat the fruit with it. Watch it get stuffed into a damp face. In the picture, Bert’s combined it with his own snot – that’s optional but adds a salty tang.