The most important ingredient of all

I love baking. I find all the mixing and the weighing of the ingredients therapeutic. It’s something I have always done with the Big One. Today, I felt she needed some one on one time, so, while Medium and Little napped, we decided to see what we could create.

We decided to make an orange and lemon drizzle. I can’t stand insipid drizzle cakes. If you’re going to make a citrus cake, make it zesty and full of juice. Take whatever the recipe says and double – no, triple – the amount of fruit it says to use.

With the Big One in her Little Helper, we started preparing tins. She had a good go at cutting out the circles of baking paper for the tins and even helped to grease them on a ‘bit of butter for the tin, a bit for her’ basis. While we worked, we chatted. I learned that the moon can be out during the day and that her littlest sister was happiest when she was having her milk. I learned that she loved her current book that she’d borrowed from pre-school and that she’d like to clean out the chickens when we’d finished baking and do a picture for Nana and Grandad, who arrive from Spain tomorrow. It was a special time. It didn’t matter that the floor was covered in flour, she ate a whole dessert spoon of sugar and that we didn’t have quite enough butter so we added some Bertolli.

She even helped to tidy up. Mainly by licking the bowl and then covering the kitchen in sticky fingers, but she’s four and that’s a four-year-old’s prerogative.

For those that like to bake too, here’s our recipe.

For the cake:
225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
225g butter
4 eggs
Zest of four lemons and two oranges

For the drizzle:
85g of caster sugar
Juice of four lemons and two oranges

Whack all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Place in a pre-heated oven (160deg) for 45 minutes. When it’s done, score the top and pour the mixed juices and sugar over it. Whisk the four-year-old into her chair at the table and share a huge slice between you (one big enough for two, don’t diddle yourself).

Most important ingredient of all: One four-year-old daughter to stir in a shed load of love. I swear it makes it taste better.

The most important ingredient of all