Savisto Retro Food Stand Mixer

I think one kitchen gadget that most people would love to own if they don’t already is a stand mixer.  They look great and are fantastic for a multitude of baking scenarios from beating, whisking and kneading dough.  Savisto is not a brand I’d heard much about before but am excited to try out their Retro Food Stand Mixer which retails for under £100 which is an amazing price for what you get.


The Stand Mixer comes with three attachments, a transparent lid and a silicone spatula.  The large stainless steel bowl has an impressive capacity of 5.5 litres, is ultra light to carry and has a chunky handle that’s easy to grab hold off.  It looks fantastic and I know I will fit whatever quantity of mixture I want to make up in it.  The whole stand mixer has a stylish look and a smooth, curvy structure which is easy to wipe down after use.

savistoIt may look impressive and stylish, but the big question is how easy is it to use and how well does it work?  So with my little boy Mister B’s 6th birthday party on it’s way I got started on a basic cake batter.  Being a little unsure on how the mixer would perform, I made my first batch with just four eggs but having done that you could easily fit a batter double the size in the huge bowl!

Each of the three blades simply fits on with a push and twist.  It’s so easy that you can chop and change if required.  Also if you want the lid on you need to click that into place before the blade attachment.  Below you can see me creaming the butter and sugar together, the finished chocolate cake batter, and mixing up a minion yellow coloured buttercream to top the baked sponges with.


Once your attachment is in place simply turn the lever to release it back down into the bowl and add your ingredients.  Mixing was an absolute dream, just turn the dial to the required number (you have six speed options) and off it goes.  It works really efficiently and is a total pleasure to use.


I split my first batch of cake batter into two tins for two layers of the main birthday cake.  Later I made a third layer and multiple cupcakes in various sizes.

savisto-3I ended up making several batches of cake batter plus a couple of batches of buttercream which I couldn’t have done in the time without the ease of the Savisto Stand Mixer.  It’s quick, efficient and the bowl is so easy to scoop the mixture out of and wash up!  A huge bonus from the clunky, 16yr old food processor I have been using to do my baking up to now.  The bowl is large and smooth making it so simple to clean, if you are changing what you are mixing, you can easily wash it out in a couple of minutes and use again.

bba56b32-d5b5-4c0c-bd6b-62bf27142848With a multitude of cakes made it was time to decorate which took me way into the late hours but fortunately the birthday boy was thrilled with the results just like I was thrilled with the pleasure of using the Savisto Retro Food Stand Mixer. 1ed18c4c-6600-4e18-a6d0-7781510d1532-1When a gadget is easy to use it always makes life simpler and means it’s something that you will use again and again.  I can’t emphasise how simple this stand mixer is, you just click the bowl and required attachment into place, then turn it on to one of six speed settings.  Et Voilà!  A cake is made! wp_20161015_08_35_18_pro

I’m very impressed with Savisto, for the both the price and style.  They sell a range of kitchen gadgets so do check them out and see what they have.  There’s probably something on there that would make a great Christmas gift and I can certainly say that I recommend the stand mixer for any keen bakers out there.

I fancy trying a meringue based recipe next with my new Savisto Stand Mixer to try out the whisk attachment, so keep your eyes peeled as I’ll share my results in a future blog post!

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













Real Baking for Kids with the Great Baking Set & Cake Pops

With The Great Bristish Bake Off on our tv screens at the moment, it gives us all encouragement and motivation to head to the kitchen to bake up our own creations.  My children both love this programme and it really inspires them to bake themselves and these children’s Real Baking kits have come just at the right time from Vivid Toys.  We tried the Cookie Kit and Chocolate Pen a few weeks ago, but today we are sharing with you how we got on with the Great Baking Set and the Cake Pops sets.

wp_20161002_15_51_11_proThe Great Baking Set contains all the basic equipment needed to make some mini cupcakes. You get a couple of bowls, one with a suction base to help it stick to the worktop, a 4 hole silicone baking tray, spoon measurers, an egg cracker, cake cases, icing nozzle and bags.

Miss M started off my creaming the eggs and sugar together to make a basic cake batter.

real-baking-cakesMister B being younger has not had much experience in cracking eggs so was keen to try the egg cracker.  I think this is great for really young ones as it ensures a clean break with no eggshell to remove.  Miss M being older and already used to breaking an egg prefered to do it on the side of the bowl as usual.

real-baking-cakes-2They then added some flour and cocoa powder before filling the cake cases as well as the cake pop and donut moulds from the Cake Pops set. real-baking-cakes-3The donut style moulds looked great when the cakes where turned out and the children really loved these as they looked different and fun.  Miss M was then eager to have a go with the piping bag, so she mixed up some butter and icing sugar, then added a bit of blue colouring to make her icing.  She found the icing bag easy to squeeze out of and the nozzle was a good size for icing her cakes.   real-baking-cakes-4

I love her finished creations, they look so delicious and yummy, and although I did get a little taste the children couldn’t wait to tuck in.  The cakes are actually a really good size for children and make a good treat or reward for them.  real-baking-cakes-5We then moved on to complete our cake pops.  The set contains cake pop moulds along with the donut shaped moulds, some chocolate cone shaped moulds and sticks.wp_20161002_15_47_37_proWe’d already made the cake pop ball shapes along with our cakes above, so the next step was to pour some melted Divine chocolate into the cone shaped moulds.  We put a stick in the centre and carefully balanced these in the freezer.  After about 15 minutes we took them out and I helped carefully remove the chocolate which I think looked really effective.


We then pushed the cake balls onto the top of the sticks, dipped them in some melted Divine chocolate and covered them in sprinkles.  I think they look absolutely fantastic and really effective.  It’s a shame you can only make four at one time as we would love to have made a few more at the same time.

real-baking-cakes-6 Overall we’ve had fun with the children’s Real Baking kits and the kids have been inspired to want to bake even more.  They’ve had a go at different techniques and created various things and it’s great to get them involved in the kitchen although I have to say my two are always keen when it comes to making something food orientated. wp_20161002_18_12_27_pro All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.








Real Baking for Kids with Chocolate Pen & Cookie Kit

Children love baking, especially my two, so were excited to receive the Vivid Toys Real Baking range to try out.  With four kits across the range, we started experimenting with the Chocolate Pen and Cookie Kit.


The Chocolate Pen immediately appealed to my children as it seems they had seen it on TV and had really wanted it, so were very excited to try it out!


The set comprises of the main pen shaped unit which requires 2 AAA batteries (not included), 3 mould trays, 4 nozzles/caps/clamps and 12 special piping bags to fit the pen.

chocolate-pen-2We were also supplied with some Divine chocolate which tastes just as it says on the pack, which we used in the chocolate pen.  We broke it into chunks and put it in one of the plastic bags and then left in a mug of hot water to melt.  In my anticipation to make the most of it, I noted that the instructions said to fill the bag three quarters full.  Obviously they meant with the chocolate chunks, but I kept getting the kids to add more chunks to the bags as it was melting to ensure we had a good three quarters of a bag full of melted chocolate.  This was a mistake and meant that we couldn’t fit the bags inside of the pen!chocolate-pen-3To reduce the amount of chocolate in the bags we piped some just straight through the nozzles on the bags and then fitted it into the pen which the children both said was much better and lots of fun.  They loved using the pen, although my slight disappoint was the lack of chocolate that the pen could hold meaning the bags ran out very quickly.  That said it didn’t faze the children and they loved filling their moulds with different coloured chocolate and tried to create multi coloured designs which they did all on their own. chocolate-pen-4I think the results were brilliant.  We did leave them in the fridge for half an hour or so, but when we pressed them out we were left with really shiny shaped chocolates that looked very good.  It was definitely something different that the children really enjoyed and filled up their snack pots for the next few days!


We then moved on to the Cookie Kit which comes with a good sized rolling pin, a selection of cutters, a silicone baking sheet with rolling pin guide and a piping bag.

wp_20160925_10_29_44_proMiss M made a basic biscuit dough in a bowl which we then halved for the children to share in making their own biscuits.  Mister B had a go at rolling a piece of the dough on the guided rolling sheet and managed alright as he is not used to rolling dough, but Miss M who is 8yrs old is a little more experienced prefered to roll out the dough just on the table to allow a larger working area for cutting cookies.

cookie-kit wp_20160925_11_23_04_proThey spent lots of time cutting out various shapes, thoroughly enjoying their time choosing their cutters and rolling the scraps out to make even more.  Some of the cutters had smaller ones of the same shape which they cut out of the middle to make some special stain glass window biscuits.

cookie-kit-2In the biscuits where they cut out the centre the children added a hard boiled sweet and we were really pleased with the results when we saw them come out of the oven.  The sweet had melted and filled the inside of the biscuit giving it a true stain glass window effect.

cookie-kit-3Once the biscuits had cooled, the children were really excited to decorate them so I got the icing pens and sprinkles out and let them get on with it.  When I came back to see their results I was really impressed!  Don’t they look so pretty? cookie-kit-4With the leftovers they made biscuits in each of their initials – I think these look fabulous! cookie-kit-5

As you can see my children had an amazing time with both the Chocolate Pen and the Cookie Set and although they are only basic sets they do inspire children and get them motivated in the kitchen.  My children love baking and are already asking when they can make their next batch of biscuits!

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












Brown Sugared Vanilla Shortbread

Baking Mad is a recipe database website with endless pages of scrumptious looking things to make, all alongside mouthwatering pictures to tempt you into a spot of baking.  It really is the place to go if you are looking for something to bake and I do like the way you can search with just a few key ingredients in mind.  There is also a “How to” section which is really handy for getting to grips with methods, hints and tips as well as video demonstrations.

baking madWith an array of baking goodies sent to me including flour, sugars and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract, I wanted to make something that included most of them so searched with the words, “brown sugar, vanilla, flour” and I was faced with a delicious array of sweet treats wondering what to make.

I decided on the Brown Sugared Vanilla Shortbread, we all love shortbread and this one looked really tasty with the crunchy brown sugar and it’s deep golden colour.  And it was so simple to make, all the ingredients put together in the food processor which does the hard work for you then bake in the oven.

baking mad 2I let all the family have a taste and the verdict was a resounding “delicious”.  They all wanted more and now are eager for me to bake it again.  It has a really soft crumbly yet crunchy texture that just melts in the mouth, perfect with a hot drink to dip it in.

baking mad 4I’m really pleased with the outcome of the Brown sugared vanilla shortbread and now want to try some other recipes from the site, with so many tempting options I’ll have to be careful but I’m sure my family will enjoy tasting them with me.

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

Let’s Bake by Cathryn Dresser – Book Review

Let’s Bake! by Cathryn Dresser, a former contestant of The Great British Bake Off, is a wonderful children’s recipe book with 52 different ideas to bake.  The book is divided into seasons with recipes suited to Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter which come with step by step instructions worded in a fun and simple way.   There are also a few pages of tips and techniques at the front of the book, perfect for young bakers to learn from.

Let's bakeWhen we were flicked through the book, I can honestly say that nearly all of the recipes appealed to us, with Miss M eagerly making a list of all the things she wants to try.  The recipes are really simply written with lots of bright, clear pictures to help you see what you are trying to achieve.  Some recipes that Miss M is keen to try are the Welsh Rarebit Pinwheels, Petit Croque-monsieur Croissants and the Scrumptious Strawberry and Cream Meringues.  I want to try the Herb Soda Bread and the Easy Feta Cheese Triangles.  As you can see there is a great variety of recipes, with a mixture of sweet and savoury that have appealing flavours and ingredients to children.

lets bake 2We decided to make something sweet first that we could all share and one thing we’d all had our eye on was the Wicked Chocolate Brownies.  They were so simple to make and Miss M made them with minimal help. I just helped to measure out the ingredients, melt the chocolate while she mixed everything in a bowl and her favourite bit, which was to crack the eggs!

cath dresser 1Once out of the oven, we left them to cool and then cut them into squares. The recipe was very easy to follow and perfect for young ones who love to mix.  We were very pleased with the result which we ate when still warm and they had a lovely squidgy texture, slightly gooey in the middle.  In fact they didn’t last long at all – an indulgent chocolatey treat that we can’t wait to make again!

cath dresser 2I think Let’s Bake! by Cathryn Dresser is a really lovely book, beautifully presented with lots of content and most importantly recipes that we like and want to cook.  We will get lots of use out of this book and I think Miss M will grow up using it regularly, gaining lots of good baking skills from it.  I’d definitely recommend this for young bakers!

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


Sugar and Crumbs – Review

Sugar and Crumbs sell an amazing range of naturally flavoured icing sugars and cocoa powders with intense bursts of flavour from using 100% natural fruit.

sugarandcrumbs.co_.uk_My first thoughts on the ready flavoured sugars was how fantastic, no messing around trying to flavour the icing yourself, it’s all done for you.  I did wonder how they’d taste so couldn’t wait to try them out.

I was sent a Chocolate Orange cocoa powder and icing sugars in Tropical, Lemon Drizzle and Velvet Vanilla.  The packets were a delightful hot pink colourful with resealable tops which I think are a great idea, really convenient and easy to use.

Sugar and crumbs icing sugarEager to try out the different flavours I decided to make some mini cupcakes in both plain and using the chocolate orange cocoa powder so that I could add the different flavoured icing sugars to the top and try various combinations.

Sugar and crumbs bakingSugar and Crumbs kindly sent me a basic sponge recipe to use the cocoa powder with and an instruction sheet as to how to use their icing sugars.  They have cleverly made their icing sugars with really intense flavours allowing you to adjust them by diluting with plain icing sugar to reach a level that suits you.  Also each packet will last longer if you don’t use them to their full intensity.

Sugar and crumbs cupcakesThe flavoured products from Sugar and Crumbs are so simple to use, simply exchange them for your plain ingredients and you have flavoured cakes with no effort at all.  So what did we think of the taste?  The Chocolate Orange cocoa powder was very intense but a true, fresh orangey flavour burst came through the chocolate.  This is definitely one that can be used at a lower strength which I would next time.

The Velvet Vanilla icing sugar was sweet and full of vanilla flavour as I would expect it to taste.  My children enjoyed this one and it was their favourite of the flavours we tried.  My first choice would go to the Lemon Drizzle with it’s rich lemon flavours, which tasted fresh and citrusy.  Knowing my husband enjoys tropical flavours I gave him a cake covered in Tropical flavoured icing – he didn’t know what he was about to taste and thought I had just made plain cakes.  I didn’t expect such a strong reaction from him, but after his first bite he said “Oh wow, that is lush!!” and then proceeded to ask me when I was going to make some more.  I think that in itself speaks volumes about the rich intensity and deliciousness of these ingredients and the flavours that they bring to baking.

Sugar and crumbs testingWe’ve enjoyed baking with flavoured products from the Sugar and Crumbs range and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to bring some flavour to their cakes.  Sugar and Crumbs have a wide variety of flavours available and one that has caught my eye is Chocolate Lime while my husband has his eye on the Turkish flavoured icing.  Why don’t you take a look and see what flavours you would enjoy?

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

Secret Ready Brek Cookies

We love baking and I remember many years ago making Secret Cookies with Ready Brek.  I knew my children would love these so thought we’d give them a go as something to occupy Miss M during the summer on a rainy day.

Mister B wanted to assist too and insisted on wearing Miss M’s Hello Kitty apron rather than his own – but whatever makes him happy!  Miss M carefully followed my instructions to mix the ingredients herself and was very excited by the ‘secret’ part of the cookie.  A hidden square of white chocolate pushed into the centre of each cookie before it is baked.

Ready Brek1Here’s the recipe we used for Ready Brek Secret Cookies:

5oz butter
5oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
4oz Ready Brek
3oz self raising flour
2oz cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
15 squares of white chocolate (enough for 1 per cookie)

1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
2. And in egg yolk and beat well
3. Add the Ready Brek, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder
4. Mix to form a dough then break into 15 balls, flatten each ball down pushing a square of white chocolate into the centre and covering completely within the cookie
5. Bake for approx 15 minutes on 190°C

Ready Brek 2

The best way to eat these cookies is when they are still warm, so take them out the oven, let them cool slightly then take a bite and you’ll find the white chocolate square in the center is all gooey!

Ready Brek 3These are deliciously yummy, I have to say our plateful of cookies didn’t last long although we did manage to save a few until the next day.  They are almost as delicious cold as well, although if you pop them in the microwave for a few seconds it gently warms them up and they taste just like they’ve come out the oven again.

Why don’t you have a go at making these, lots of fun for children whatever the weather?

Boutique Biscuits – My 1st Attempt!!

I’ve always admired those delicious looking iced biscuits that you find in boutique bakeries or on a cakestand for afternoon tea in a trendy cafe or top hotel.  But unfortunately I didn’t have a clue how to recreate them in my own kitchen.  I tend to stick to buttercream when icing cakes as it’s easy, tasty and you generally can’t go wrong with it.

So when I saw a Boutique Biscuit course advertised locally, I jumped at the chance of signing my name on the dotted line to ensure I had a place.  The course ran over a couple of evenings last week.  On the first night we baked the biscuits and on the second night we iced them.

The key to these biscuits looking good is ensuring a good line is piped around the edge to contain the flooded icing – a skill that is hard to perfect – trying to turn the biscuit to ensure a continuous fine line is harder than it looks although a few wobbles here and there you can get away with.

I love the different effects you can create by dropping other colours into your flooded iced area whilst still wet such as polka dots or stripes.  And then once dry you can pipe further detail on top to make your iced biscuits look three dimensional.  I am now a master at making greaseproof icing bags after considerable practice from using them at various stages of the icing process, from piping to flooding and the various colours I chose to use in my designs.

I think these will make great gifts for friends and family and already used some of my first batch as part of my Mother’s Day gift, wrapped in a cellophane bag with some pretty ribbon.  I posted these 250 miles to my mum and they arrived safe and complete and were enjoyed by both of my parents.

I can’t wait to bake my next batch at home.  I’m going to go for a chocolately biscuit dough as I do like a bit of chocolate but I also think that the contrast of icing against a dark background will look fabulous.

Easter Baking ideas for children

We were challenged by to come up with an Easter activity video for children and decided we would love to do some baking as this is one of Miss M’s favourite pastimes.

I wanted to keep the recipes really simple so that Miss M could really feel like she was baking on her own without mummy interfering every 2 minutes.  So this is what we came up with:

Firstly we chose to make some Easter chocolate nests using Shredded Wheat:

6 Shredded Wheat
180g Milk Chocolate
60g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Mini eggs for decoration

Step 1: We crushed the Shredded Wheat into a bowl
Step 2: We melted the chocolate, butter & golden syrup over a low heat
Step 3: Add the liquid ingredients to the Shredded Wheat and combine
Step 4: Spoon the mixture into cake cases and add decoration – leave to set in a fridge for a couple of hours.

Next we made some Easter bunny and flower biscuits:

100g butter
100g castor sugar
1 egg
275g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar together
Step 2: Add the vanilla essence, a beaten egg and the flour to the creamed mixture and combine to form a ball of dough
Step 3: Roll out the dough and use cutters to create your biscuits
Step 4: Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 190C
Step 5: Once the biscuits have cooled, decorate using royal icing or ready made icing tubes and a variety of sweets/decorations

These recipes are very quick and simple and are ideal for children to follow.  Miss M even cracked the egg perfectly herself without the numerous shards of eggshell mummy normally has to spoon out of the mixture!!  A fun element of baking for Miss M is that she loves to get her hands stuck into the mixing bowl which we achieved when crushing the Shredded Wheat and mixing/rolling out the biscuit dough.

Miss M’s favourite bit was when mummy let her loose with tubes of icing and a plate full of sweeties to decorate the Easter biscuits.  It kept her occupied (and quiet) for a considerable amount of time and she had great pleasure and pride in showing us her finished results.

I think baking is a great activity to do with the children, one that gives them a sense of achievement with the finished result and gains them valuable skills in the kitchen.  Baking for an occasion is always added fun and helps with creativity.  Any cakes and biscuits made for Easter make ideal gifts for the children to give to friends and family – particularly grandparents who are always proud to see their grandchildren’s homemade efforts.  We tested out these recipes on Grandad and Miss M proudly wrapped her handpicked selection of goodies for Nanny to take back for him after her visit to us last week.  His verdict – delicious!

Here is our video:

Baking biscuits with Miko Cat and Miss M!!

Miss M has been desperate to play with all her Xmas/birthday presents particularly the messy creative ones (e.g Moon Sand) that are really unsuitable around Mister B.  So when Mister B had a nap yesterday afternoon I agreed we could try out her new ‘Miko Cat Make and Bake Gingerbread Baking Set’.

199083811It came in a gorgeous solid cardboard case (which we’ll use to store little bits & pieces in Miss M’s bedroom).  Inside was a lovely apron, rolling pin, mixing spoon, 3 cutters and a recipe card for ginger biscuits.

So we got started with mummy measuring out the ingredients and Miss M sitting excitedly on her kitchen chair waiting to pour each item into her mixing bowl.  And the question I kept hearing was “When can I put my hands in mummy?”.  So upon adding the butter to the dried ingredients I let Miss M loose with her hands in the bowl to rub it all together in a bid to form a dough.

And I must say I was very impressed with Miss M’s efforts as within a few minutes she had created a fine powdery blend with not a buttery lump in site.  We added the egg and made a dough which we rolled out and had lots of fun cutting it into shapes.

When the biscuits were cooked and cooled I made a small amount of royal icing in a piping tube and let Miss M free to decorate as she pleased.

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I thought the resulting biscuits were delightful and Miss M was very proud of her creations.  It was great to spend time baking with my daughter and I hope to make it a more regular activity once Mister B discovers a bit more independence and is able to entertain himself or even join in and have a go at some baking alongside his big sister.