I always knew there is no better way to introduce Science to the child other than baking. Its the best way there is. Also I am by no means, good at baking. Initially I thought I will put her in a toddler class for baking. :P There was one too but so darn expensive. So I decided to teach her while learning with her while having some mommy-daughter quality fun. The toddler goes to a kindergarten every other day in the week. So the baking happens on the filler days.
Solids turning into liquids. Liquids turning into solids by mere whisking. It amazes at-least my toddler to total attention.
We started out with the simplest of the baking there is. Meringue Mountains. I read out the ingredients to her and she brought them out from the storage. It helps that I am always talking about what I cook. Right from when she was a teeny tiny baby in her bouncer. That is the only way to cook and entertain a baby at the same time. She can identify most of the kitchen basics as a result of that.
Meringues are made with just egg whites and sugar. The trickiest part is separating egg yolks from the whites. So I got her a separator. She can now break an egg without making a mess most of the types.
I let her whisk the egg whites for as long as its fun for her. Beating an egg white manually is no small feat. It takes up a lot of muscle. But she loves it. She knows that the transparent whites have to turn into white gooey peaks. Obviously, mommy takes turns to give it a fast whisk in between to help.
She loves mixing in sugar into the peaks spoon by spoon. She can measure out a cup or half cup of sugar easily.
Here is her first attempt at Meringue Mountains:
Next we moved on to a basic sponge cake. This actually easier than the meringue in procedure but has more ingredients. We follow a 'mix-everything-in-one-bowl' recipe for kids. She has the freedom to put which ever ingredient first or last. She always picks out the vanilla essence first :) She puts butter,eggs,flour,baking powder and sugar and whisking them till she has tired out. She moves on to grease the cake pan. She loves this as it is the messier part of the process. :)
She also gets to lick the bowl latter (for which she has competition from mum too)
Here is her sponge cake with a basic butter frosting:
We learn together stuff like flour has protein called Gluten which binds and builds the cake. Baking powder creates Carbon Dioxide to help air the batter. Actually, I learn all this and parrot it to the toddler. Obviously , she doesnt really care as long as she can mess around a bit. :D
Whats most important is that it is fun and yummy. Daddy is the happiest to eat desserts every once in a week. Mommy is happy that the child learns somethings and spends energy in a constructive way and not plonked in front of the TV or alone.