What's cooking in the Girls' group?

I’m a youth worker and one of the best things about my job is getting to cook with the young people. Some things more successful than others! Last month, we made a Cheesy chicken pasta bake and flat breads.

pasta and flatbread
Flat breads and Cheesy chicken pasta bake
Jan 2014

Pasta bakes are always easy to make with the young people. Boil and drain some pasta and fry off some chicken (or you could use tinned tuna). Mix together in a big bowl/pan with pasta sauce. Tip into an ovenproof dish and top with grated cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and golden. Done. So simple that it shouldn't taste as good as it does!

I made the Flat breads at home previously and they were really simple to make. So, I wanted to try making them with the young people. I'll share this flat bread recipe, as I think it's a decent one.


250g plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
150 ml warm water


1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
Add oil and water.
Mix together to form a sticky dough.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth.
3. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 8 balls.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each ball until 2mm thick.
5. Heat a large heavy based frying pan over a high heat.
Cook each flat bread for 1-2 minutes, or until the underside begins to brown.
Then flip over and cook for another minute, or until lightly browned and crispy.
Lower the heat if the flat breads are browning too quickly.

A home cooked Moroccan meal:
Flat breads with Zaalouk
Turkey & sweet potato stew with cous cous
December 2013

Back to the Girls group. Last Monday, I attempted to make a Chocolate fudge cake with the Girls' group, as it was a group member’s birthday. Unfortunately, when I printed off the instructions, some of the recipe didn’t print off. This resulted in a failure of a cake. So, I made one at home using the same recipe (after checking the bits that were missed off originally) and took it into work for the group the following week. I used the Hershey’s recipe for the cake and used Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge icing to frost then topped with grated milk chocolate.

This cake went down well with the girls and a colleague even said that it tasted like something you’d get from Fenwicks. What a lovely compliment :)

Beware, it’s very chocolaty and rich! I would make this again for an occasion cake but would like to try and make my own chocolate fudge icing.



2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

choc fudge cake 2



1. Heat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease and line two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.
Cool completely.
4. Frost with your desired icing.

choc fudge cake