Dr Oetker Pud in a Mug

Dr Oetker Pud in a Mug range are delicious hot desserts cooked in under two minutes in a mug making them super quick, easy and with minimal effort required. Ideal if you are home alone and want a quick treat but equally good for all the family and they can each pick their favourite flavours for dessert.

Available in a variety of tasty flavours:

  • Sticky Toffee
  • Rich Chocolate
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate

We couldn’t wait to try a few of them out and the children were keen to get involved measuring out tablespoons of milk into their mugs and then stirring in the mix from the packet.

You then simply pop each one into the microwave for the required time, anything from 50-90 seconds depending on the flavour.  As these were new to us we decided to share the mug cakes and put them in the centre of the table so we could tuck in to each on and check them out.

So the results are in for Dr Oetkers Pud in a Mug desserts!

Rich Chocolate was a firm favourite by all of us closely followed by the new addition to the range Sticky Toffee.  The Chocolate Chip was ok but didn’t turn out as good as the others, the ones with a gooey sauce were definitely better and ones we’d consider using again.

So all in all  the Dr Oetker Pud in a Mug cakes are a success.  Considering how quick they take in the microwave, you can’t fault them and all you need to add is a little milk.  Also there is minimal mess with just a mug and spoon being used.  For a quick treat for one or to give people a choice of flavour they are a great solution for dessert ideas but for me I think they make a perfect store cupboard buy so you can grab one whenever you fancy a gooey hot dessert in an instant!

This is a collaborative post with Dr Oetker.

 

Soreen Disney Mini Loaves in Toffee and Chocolate

Soreen a household name in malt loaf products have brought out Disney themed mini loaves in both Toffee and Chocolate flavours.  How could they not be a winner with kids?  With Pixar images on the chocolate flavour and Frozen images on the toffee flavour I couldn’t wait to share these with my children for a full verdict!

Soreen is a popular snack in our household, the larger loaves with the adults and the mini loaves with the kids as they are absolutely ideal for snacks, especially when out and about.  Not only do they come individually wrapped, they aren’t messy, can’t melt and provide a fairly healthy bite to eat.

We kind of knew what the Chocolate flavour would taste like as we’ve had the large Chocolate loaves before and we all love them.  The Toffee flavour was new to us but proved to be a hit and was enjoyed by both children.  I have to say that the Disney packaging didn’t go unnoticed either and they loved picking out which character they were going to have before eating one.

I love Soreen products, not only do they taste great, they are low in fat.  The mini loaves all come in at 100 calories or less, are individually wrapped and loved by both children and adults.  Great for days out or snacks on the go – I know I use them for a multitude of occasions such as after school trips to the park, a snack after swimming/sports lessons, family days out, picnics etc  Also watch out for special edition Soreen flavours in various sizes such as the Winter Spice edition large loaf that is available over the festive season – with every new flavour that Soreen release, be it chocolate, toffee or Winter Spice, they’ve never failed the taste test with us!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Valentine’s Cupcakes topped with Devon Fudge

Valentine’s cupcakes topped with Double Chocolate Fudge from The Devon Fudge Company are the perfect indulgence for this time of year.  Enjoyed by couples, families and kids alike, it doesn’t matter who you make them for, you know they have a versatile appeal and if you have kids they can be part of your Valentine’s celebrations.

For simplicity I just used the basic sponge recipe my mum taught me many years ago when I first started baking, 2 ounces of butter, sugar and flour to each egg.  This is a simple one for kids to follow too and my two love mixing it up in a bowl for me with a wooden spoon (whereas it’d be straight in my stand mixer if I was doing it!).

So here goes to make a batch of 10 generously sized cupcakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3 oz self raising flour
  • 1 oz cocoa powder

Simply cream the butter and sugar together before slowly adding the beaten eggs, then fold the flour in to make a rich, chocolately batter.

Bake for approx 20mins in a 180c oven (test with a sharp knife to ensure cooked through in centre)

Then for the frosting I used a simple buttercream:

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 160g icing sugar
  • a tablespoon of milk
  • small blob of red gel food colouring

Simply beat all the ingredients together, pipe on top of each cake and then decorate as you like, obviously here we have added small chunks of the utterly delicious Double Chocolate Fudge from The Devon Fudge Company along with some small pink chocolate hearts to add to the feel of  upcoming Valentine’s Day.

The Devon Fudge tastes utterly delicious.  We did taste test it before adding it to the cakes and didn’t want to lose the flavour in the cakes so put the pieces on top.  As you bite down into the cake you really taste the fudge in the icing and it makes a delicous addition to what otherwise would be a standard chocolate cake.

For a quick a simple homemade treat this Valentine’s why not make a batch of these cupcakes and don’t forget to add some Devon Fudge for that extra special touch and flavour!

 

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Melt & Make Chocolate House – Review

The Melt & Make Chocolate House by choconchoc is available from what2buy4kids and is a high quality, fun to make activity suitable for children aged 4+.  The kit comprises of the house moulds, a garden scene colouring sheet, two bags of good quality chocolate buttons (one white and one milk) and a chef’s paper hat for the child to wear.

choconchoc houseMy two children, Miss M age 8 and Mister B age 5, didn’t need any encouragement  in participating in this activity, in fact their eye’s lit up in delight at the prospect of building a house out of chocolate which they could then eat!

choconchoc house 2The kit is simple and well thought out to make the job really easy and the first task was to melt the buttons in a bowl.  Miss M was in charge of the white ones, and Mister B the milk buttons.  I microwaved each of their bowls which they then stirred up to turn the buttons into gooey, runny chocolate.  At this point they were both begging to lick their spoons but I told them to fill the moulds first which they eagerly did using a teaspoon to spread the molten chocolate around.

choconchoc house 3Next came the obligatory spoon licking while the moulds were put in the fridge to set.  They also used this time to colour in the garden sheet upon which you can rest the finished house on to create a little 3D scene.

choconchoc house 4Once the chocolate had set hard, I helped the children to press the shapes carefully out of the moulds to ensure we didn’t break any pieces. I thought the pieceds looked great with a good depth of detail that was really clear and made the house look really effective.  We then put them carefully together using a little molten chocolate on our fingers to glue the pieces in place – the kids loved this idea and wanted to put ‘glue’ everywhere!

choconchoc house 5I have to say I’m quite impressed by the finished house, it looked really good for quite minimal effort.  The children were really pleased with their finished piece and looked longingly at it wondering when they could start tasting it.  I made them wait until after dinner so that we could admire our handywork for a couple of hours but when we did taste it, it was very good – the bonus of having good quality chocolate in the kit!

choconchoc house 6This kit was a great activity which both of my children thoroughly enjoyed.  The set would make great gifts for children at any time of the year, so well worth looking out for.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

The Snowman™ and The Snowdog Great Festive Bake Off Blog Tour

The animated film of The Snowman first graced our screens back in 1982 when I was just seven years old, although it is one of those films that I remember clearly and have watched many times over during it’s annual viewing each Christmas.  The 20th anniversary film released in 2012 shares the snowman’s adventure with another little boy along with a Snowdog, of which has become one of my little boy’s favourite cuddly toys since taking part in last years blog tour.  If you haven’t seen the film or want to watch it again then keep your eyes peeled as The Snowman™ and The Snowdog will be shown on Channel 4 again this Christmas!

Snowman Bake off bannerThis year we have received some lovely Snowman & Snowdog gifts to try out as shown below.

snowdogThe Snowman Indoor Light String with LED bulbs is available from Christmas Trees and Lights priced at £15.99.  The set contains 10 moulded snowman which gently illuminate to a soft glow.  The set requires 2AA batteries to operate it, which I do like as it means they can be hung anywhere.  We chose to hang them from our picture rail between our lounge and dining room.  The children really love these lights and can’t wait for me to turn them on each evening.

snowdog 2A product that will always prove popular in this house is chocolate and when it’s a white chocolate snowman from Thornton’s, you know you are onto a winner!  The chocolate is creamy and very yummy, a firm favourite with my little ones and also myself, great for a Christmas treat!

snowmanThe fun twist on this years Snowman & Snowdog blog tour is a bake off along with the other bloggers taking part.  We have all been sent this lovely set of Snowman & Snowdog biscuit cutters available from John Lewis and Party Delights to see what we could come up with.

snowman 3I didn’t have to ask my children twice if they wanted to help, they absolutely adore baking, and as soon as I mentioned we were starting they were in the kitchen doing up each others aprons and sitting at the work top ready to begin.  Due to an imminent house move my food processor is all packed up, so luckily the children love getting their hands in the bowl and effortlessy rubbed the butter into the flour for our biscuit mixture.  They then rolled out and cut a variety of shapes ready for baking.

snowdog 3I love their results, so sparkly and festive!

snowdog 4And aren’t these snowdogs super cute?

snowdog 5Then it was mummy’s turn with the other half of the mixture.  I carefully cut and baked my shapes before attempting to ice them!  I’d had a long weekend of DIY at my new house and was feeling pretty shattered, so was a little rushed, but I gave it my best shot!

snowdog 6I really enjoyed this challenge and found it really fun to do.  I’ll definitely be trying out some more biscuit designs in the new year when I have a bit more time on my hands.

snowdog 7Mister B’s snowdog came down to the kitchen for a visit and approved of my biscuit creations of him and thought the children would love them!

snowdog 8I have to say the finished biscuits are very tasty and the children couldn’t wait to sample them. I can confirm they do taste absolutely delicious are make the perfect festive treat this Christmas time.

snowdog 9For more Snowman & Snowdog gifts and bake off adventures head over to Madhouse Family Reviews tomorrow for more wonderful festive ideas.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the Snowman & Snowdog goodies in order to write an honest review.

Arla Chocolate Flavoured Milk – Review

There’s nothing my children love more than a drink of chocolate flavoured milk as a delicious treat during the day, so we were pleased to try these cute little individually portioned bottles of Arla Flavoured Milk.  Available in chocolate and strawberry flavours I knew chocolate would be a hit with my two!

arlaI love that they come in individual bottles as you can always open a fresh bottle and don’t have to rush to finish a large bottle in a few days.  Also children love having their own little bottles and you can ensure they get an equal amount each (yes, my 2 do compare the amounts I pour out for each of them!).  These flavoured milks contain 50% less sugar than most other available flavoured milk drinks and also have no artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours.

arla 2So what did my two think of these drinks?  Well I think you can tell by the pictures above that they were a hit, they couldn’t wait to have another one and eagerly drunk their drinks without any encouragement needed!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the chocolate milk in order to write an honest review.

Cool Create Chocolate Bar Maker – Review

Cool Create Chocolate Bar Maker is every kids dream, making their own chocolate bars and my two children couldn’t wait to give this a try.

chocolate barThe set contains lots of accessories and moulds to get you started, all you need to add is chocolate and your favourite toppings/fillings.

What you get:

  • 1 x Choco Easy Squeeze
  • 1 x Deco Nozzle
  • 1 x Large Sharing Mould
  • 1 x Large Swirl Top Mould
  • 2 x Fun Size Smooth Mould
  • 3 x Mould Inserts (6 Designs)
  • 8 x Cello Wrappers
  • 1 x Sharing Cavity Blister
  • 1 x Smooth Cavity Blister
  • 1 x Alphabet Blister
  • 1 x Recipe Booklet

chocolate bar 2To get started you need to need to break up some chocolate into the Choco Easy Squeeze and place it in the microwave to melt.  We then picked a mould to use and added mould inserts into the yellow moulds. These have a pretty pattern on which will come out on the top of your chocolate bar and with six to choose from there are lots of variations to make.  Once the chocolate has melted, you can remove the lid and squeeze the chocolate into the moulds.  The children both loved this part.  To save using too much chocolate and to make it more interesting we added some Cheerios and biscuit pieces to add texture and make it crunchy.

chocolate bar 3Once you have filled your mould, you need to put it in a freezer to set.  The moulds soft which made the chocolate bars really easy to turn out once set although I did have to help the children with this. You can then add any additional decorations should you wish and there is a this nozzle included if you want to add further melted chocolate in perhaps another colour across the top.

I think the chocolate bars looks really impressive once finished and the children were so pleased with their results.  You even get some wrappers to put them in which is great to keep them in if you aren’t eating them all straightaway or if you give one as a gift.

chocolate bar 4The children thoroughly enjoyed using this Chocolate Bar maker kit from Cool Create, and the finished products tasted good, although didn’t last long!  The set is reusable again and again, as long as you buy more ingredients therefore I think it was great value and something we will bring out and do from time to time.  This would make a great gift and is a fun activity that children will love to do!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the set in order to write an honest review.

Serenata Flowers Review and Chocolate Hamper giveaway

It’s always nice when you get a surprise delivery, be it a bunch of gorgeous flowers, a plant or a hamper and Serenata Flowers are an online company that can arrange for any of these gifts to be sent to the person of your choice.

I was delighted to be sent this Lavender Planter, perfect to stand on my patio, and one of my favourite colours.  Included is the wooden planter and inside are two lovely lavender plants.

serenata 1I’m really pleased with this gift and would have been more than happy to receive it as a surprise.  It fits perfectly in with the feel of my garden, is a style I like and I love the colour!

serenata 2The quality from Serenata is great and the plant I received was packed very well, certainly a company I’d use again if I wanted to send some birthday flowers, or a hamper treat.

Talking of hampers, Serenata have a wide range available from pamper hampers, to cheese hampers, food hampers and this rather delicious looking luxury chocolate hamper of which I have one to giveaway!

Contains:

Belgian Choclate Infused Handmade Fudge 113g
Willow Hamper – Small
Luxury Ribboned Box of Belgian Chocolates – Small
Ballotin of Salted Toffee Truffles 100g
White Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Luxury Dark Chocolate Coated Brazil Nuts
Luxury Yoghurt Covered Peanut/Raisins

Standing_Large550_105910If you’d like to win the above hamper then just fill in the Gleam form below:

serenata

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the a lavender planter in order to write the review.

 

Thomas J Fudge’s Salted Caramel Florentines

Salted Caramel Florentines from Thomas J Fudge’s sounded like a perfect treat, so I couldn’t wait to taste them.  I’ve always been a fan of Thomas J Fudge’s savoury biscuits but never really tried the sweet varieties.

florentinesThese florentines are a trio of chocolate, nuts and salted caramel and certainly didn’t disappoint.  They look luxurious, are a generous size and half coated in a thick layer of milk chocolate.

The flaked almonds give them a great texture and with the combination of the caramel and dried fruit they have a chewy bite.  You only need one of these at a time, due to their richness, but that’s a good thing because not only do you save on calories, but the pack lasts longer!

florentines 2If you haven’t tried Thomas J Fudge’s biscuits and savouries, then I’d highly recommend them – they never disappoint and are the perfect little bite of indulgence!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the products in order to write the review.

42 days of Summer fun with BN biscuits

Six weeks of school summer holidays means 42 days to have fun with the children, days out, days at home, some in the garden having fun, others inside playing games, baking and making crafty pictures.  So much to do, so much fun to have, where do we start.

If it’s sunny and you want to get out but not go to far, why not try out a local park that you’ve never been too.  We discovered one the other week that ended up being fabulous, the children loved it, lots of new things to do and we ended up spending a good few hours there walking around and playing.

They loved the zip wire, in fact we didn’t know we had one so close to home.  They are now eager to return!

devonport park 1This big hammock like swing was a huge hit and my two lay on it for ages relaxing while mummy gently pushed them.

devonport park 2There was also a huge wooden structure to climb on, which Miss M was eager to try out.  Mister B wasn’t so keen but gave it a go.

devonport park 3If it’s a dry day why not get the children out on their bikes and scooters for a ride.  Mister B has just mastered his scooter after many months of insisting he couldn’t ride it.  The summer is a great time to teach them how to ride things.

scooterIf you need to get on with some household chores, then get the children to help.  They love it more than you think.  Here they are helping me to clear some of the plants and weeds from their grandparents garden.

gardeningIf it’s raining, there are plenty of things to keep children occupied with indoors, board games, cooking, crafting or how about face painting?  Miss M made her first attempt at face painting the last week when she painted Mister B’s face with Spiderman.  I was very impressed and we had lots of fun for the afternoon decorating each other’s faces!

Spiderman faceSo no matter what you do, whatever the weather, you always tend to feel a little peckish and tired in the afternoon.  This is a great time to sit down and have a little snack.  As it’s the summer holidays then why not make it a fun snack, such as a McVitie’s BN biscuit!

bn 1These crispy sandwich biscuits come in Chocolate and Raspberry flavours, with a fun smiley face on the top.  Miss M and Mister B loved these particularly the chocolate flavour and I have to agree they did taste rather good!

bn 2McVities BN biscuits are perfect to bring a smile to hungry children and are not too heavy so make a great snack.  Why not try some to bring a smile to your summer?

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL