Thursday, 29 September 2016

#GBBO with Real Baking - Chocolate


GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

Another fantastic Great British Bake Off (GBBO) episode last night! 3 more weeks to go! I'm going to miss seeing Mary in the show next year, it just wouldn't be the same without the original team.

The floral and citrus theme they used last night has inspired me to do something with the same for my next GBBO post, so keep your eyes peeled! For this week however, we played with chocolate instead as we were really intrigued by Vivid Group's Real Baking Chocolate Pen! I might need to get another one because the kids didn't want to take turn!

The Real Baking Chocolate Pen (RRP £19.99, suitable for age 6 years +) comes with:

Chocolate Pen (2 AAA batteries not required)
4 sets of Pen Tips, Clamps and Pen Caps
3 Mould Trays
12 Empty Chocolate Pouches
Instruction Booklet


GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

The mould trays come with 50 chocolate designs, including animals, trendy items (such as game controller and camera icon), food, as well as themed ones for Christmas, Halloween and Easter! They all have adorable faces too!


GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen
Right: Completely sealed pouches to make melting chocolate safe
GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen
Getting ready!
GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

The chocolate pen itself is fairly easy to use.

First, prep the chocolate pouches (maximum 4 at a time) by filling them with chocolate (chocolate drops are recommended, but each pouch can fit about 6 to 7 chocolate squares as well if you prefer), then slip the pen tip inside the mouth of the pouch and use the clamp to hold the tip in place (kids might need some help with the clamp as it's really tight to make it completely sealed). Make sure you seal the pen tip with the pin caps so that water won't go in the hole when you soak them.

Note: if you want to colour white chocolate, make sure you use gel colouring, not liquid base colouring, as chocolate hates water and will turn gritty. You can also buy Candy Melts, but we prefer real chocolate (the Divine Dark Chocolate is lush!)

Then place the sealed chocolate pouches in a bowl of hot tap water (around 50 degree Celsius) to melt the chocolate. My green chocolate went under water but the clamp and cap has kept the tip completely sealed, so we didn't have to worry about gritty chocolate.

Once melted, push the chocolate to the top and roll the bottom of the pouch up (full instructions can be found in the guide).

All that's left to do is to place the pouch inside the pen, and you are ready to go! The pen will keep the chocolate at the top, so you'll have a good flow of chocolate for your designs without needing to squeeze the pouches for the last few drops of chocolate yourself. It also makes writing in chocolate and adding colour and details to your designs much easier.


GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen
Right: Use pen caps to spread the chocolate out
GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen
The kids having fun, but they didn't like to take turn!
We tested the pen on parchment paper as well, but we loved the chocolate mould designs too much, so we focused on filling them up instead! I also used chocolate transfer paper (from craft or baking shops) to make a gold freckled chocolate piece:

GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

GBBO, Vivid Real Baking Children Baking Kit, Chocolate Pen

Here are some of our favourite designs! Clay's favourite colour is black (dark brown here) and he loved filling the designs with pure dark chocolate!

Abby loved her Matcha Frappuccino when we were in Hong Kong, and we happened to have green chocolate too, so she made a delicious looking Matcha Frappuccino!

Using coloured chocolate certainly makes making chocolate more fun! The only thing we wished to have is more pen caps, so that we can play with more coloured chocolate at the same time! Hopefully there are refill packs available!


Overall we had lots of fun playing with chocolate, and it's mess free too. It's also safe for children to use because melted chocolate can be quite hot to touch, and with the pen, it protects little hands from getting burned. The pen also makes adding details much easier.

I used to make my own chocolate piping bags from parchment paper, but it's hot to touch and the chocolate leaks everywhere (I'm terrible at it!), and the chocolate pen just solved both my chocolate drawing problems!

We love the really cute chocolate mould designs as well, and with Halloween and Christmas approaching, the seasonal designs will certainly come in handy!

Hmm, I might just use some of the chocolate decorations in my next GBBO post!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Our #GBBO with Real Baking Range


Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

Did you watch last night's episode of Great British Bake Off (GBBO)? There was much talk about the Bakewell Tart they made, and I've learned so much about it! Apparently what they were making was more like a Cherry Bakewell, which has icing and a glazed Cherry on top of the jam and frangipane tart. A traditional Bakewell tart on the other hand should be garnished with flaked almonds instead of icing. It does make people wonder why the experienced judges didn't say anything about it?

Anyway, it was a good episode. I'm really looking forward to next week's episode - the Botanical week! I'd love to see what the contestants come up with, especially for the last challenge - a 3 tier floral cake!


To celebrate the return of this year's GBBO, me and the kids were invited to join in the annual baking craze with Vivid Group's Real Baking range. These include:

Great Baking Set
Cookie Kit
Chocolate Pen
Cake Pops

The kids wanted to dive straight into baking as soon as they saw the amazing kits! They are perfect especially for Abby, who has attended Cookery Club at school last year, and will be joining again this year. Even Clay loves baking, and had a go at making Gingerbread Man at school too. I just love seeing their proud little faces when they showed us their yummy creations!

We were also given Divine Chocolate's chocolate bars and recipes from Amy Beth Ellice (Britain's youngest published baker) to get us inspired!

We decided to start our GBBO with baking cookies, using Real Baking's Great Baking Set and Cookie Kit:


Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Sucktion cup to keep the bowl in place
Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Egg cracker
The Real Baking Great Baking Set (RRP £19.99, suitable for 6 years+) comes with over 25 pieces of essential equipment to get the children started with baking! It includes:

16 cupcake cases in 2 styles
4 piping bags
3 measuring spoons
1 large bowl
1 small bowl
1 suction cup
1 egg cracker
1 silicone cupcakes tray
1 icing nozzle
1 instruction guide (in 3 languages)

We love the colourful and quality equipment, especially the suction cup which really helps the kids keeping the bowl in place (it's one of our main problem when it comes to stirring the batter!), and the egg cracker, which makes cracking eggs fun and less messy!

Actually I'm never keen in having the kids crack an egg, because of raw eggs getting all over themselves. Although I'll have to clean the egg cracker, I feel much safer for the kids to use it than cracking an egg barehanded. And this way, we get to keep most of the egg in the bottom compartment of the egg cracker, and the kids love doing it too!


Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

The Real Baking Cookie Kit (RRP £14.99, suitable for 6 years+) is brilliant to start the kids with their own cookie cutter collection! I have to admit that it's one baking equipment I have a lot of. There is never enough because you can do so much with different designs! The kit comes with:

14 cookie cutters
Silicone baking sheet
rolling pin
rolling pin guide
piping bag
instruction guide

You can use any cookie recipes with this kit. The instruction guide has instructions for making Stained Glass Cookies too, although we decided not to make these this time.

With 14 cookie cutters, the kids can go wild with their creations. We especially love the ice-cream and cupcake cutters! The rolling pin has a good weight to it to press the cookie dough out when rolling, but it's not too heavy that will make the kids struggle either.

The baking sheet fits perfectly in the rolling pin guide, so children can roll the dough out straight onto the sheet (do make sure you flour the sheet first). The thickness of the cookie dough made from using the rolling pin guide makes the cookies easy to cut out, so it's perfect for beginners. If you like your cookies slightly thinner like me, you can roll the dough further after removing the guide.


Here are the proofs of how much fun Abby and Clay had making cookies with the Real Baking Great Baking Set and Cookie Kit:

Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
From placing the egg inside the egg cracker to cracking the egg (see further above),
Abby cracked the egg using the egg cracker all by herself, without making a mess!
Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Abby sieving the flour and Clay adding the butter to the icing sugar
Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Time to roll!
Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Having so much fun!
Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies
Ta-da!
We made 2 batches of cookies (pictures featuring one batch), and used some of the dough to make jammy dodgers. I think I should really refrigerate the cut out cookie dough for much longer before baking them, so they won't expand too much! They were fun to make and yummy to eat nonetheless!

Note: You can put the silicone baking sheet from the Cookie Kit straight into the oven, but we needed more space so used our own baking sheet instead.

Once the cookies has cooled down (by then, all the jammy dodgers were gone!), the kids iced them with their favourite colours:

Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

Great British Bake Off, Real Baking Children Baking Set, Iced Cookies

It's unfortunate to say that hubby didn't get to eat any of the iced cookies, because they disappeared as soon as I finished taking pictures of them! Cookies, or any food, after all, are yummiest when you made them yourself!


We had a great GBBO, and the kids both enjoyed using the Real Baking kits to make their yummy cookies. We can't wait for this weekend to get on with our next bake off!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Twozies - Adorable Baby and Pet Collectibles!


Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

This is definitely one of the collectibles we think are super cute and fun to collect! And for the same price as many others, you get 2 toys and a display box!

We were given a lovely opportunity to review Moose Toys and Character Options' latest range - Twozies, which are collectibles that comes with a dressed up baby and pet that can be matched through collecting and trading!

We were sent 5 packets of Twozies Surprise Packs and 2 Twozies Fun Two-gether Playset to review, which gives us a good feel about what you can do with the Twozies collection!


Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

To start your collection, you can simply buy the Twozies Surprise Pack (RRP £2.49, suitable for 5 years+), which comes with beautiful shadow boxes (see above picture) that can be connected together with other boxes and playsets. You can also mount them on the wall to display your Twozies collection as a wall art!

Each Surprise pack comes with a mismatched baby and pet. Like other collectible toys, you can simply collect a set of adorable babies and pets (over 140+ to collect, including limited and special editions), but Twozies makes collecting them even more fun, as there is a matching pet for each dressed up baby for you to find!


It's unfortunate that we couldn't find a matching pair yet from the surprise packs, but the thought of finding a match makes us want to continue collecting them. And the fact that for £2.49, we get a solid plastic shadow box, a baby and a pet, it's definitely more value for money (perfect for Christmas stocking filler!)! We also found a duplicate, which will be great for trading, we just have to find other friends who are collecting these cuties!


Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

With Twozies, not only can you collect them, you can also get the playset and play with them! The Twozies playset (RRP £14.99, suitable for 5 years+) we were sent are Two-sweet Row Boat and Two-cool Ice-cream Cart.

The Two-sweet Row Boat comes with:

2 Exclusive matching babies and pets
2 pattern cards (meant to face inside, unlike what we did in the pictures!)
a medium shadow box
a row boat with moving paddles
2 cakes and 2 cupcakes
a removable table
2 removable floaties (we didn't realise there was another one hiding under the bigger one!)
1 instruction manual for the pattern cards

What impressed me most was the quality of the playset. The shadow box especially, because it is normally the part in toys that is flimsier. But the Twozies one is really sturdy!

The kids were really excited to find that the table was removable, and you can flip it over to reveal the cutleries, ready for picnic play! It acts as a brilliant storage box too for the cakes.

And after they've finished playing, they can put the boat and Twozies back into the shadow box for display.


My problem with collectibles is that we lack the space to put them, and we always ended up putting them in a tin. I think it's a brilliant idea to allow us to hang the shadow boxes onto the wall, giving us storage for the collectibles, while decorating the wall!


Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

The Two-cool Ice-cream Cart comes with:

2 Exclusive matching babies and pets
2 pattern cards (meant to face inside, unlike what we did in the pictures!)
a medium shadow box
an ice-cream cart with slide-out pet chairs, ice-cream storage and movable wheels
4 iced treats
1 instruction manual for the pattern cards

Again, really impressed with the quality, and the thought that went into the designs! We love the storage for the little accessories, and the extras that make playing with the playset more fun (than just displaying the Twozies on them).


Twozies, Collectible toys, baby figurines, baby and animal toy

Overall, we think that it's one of the nicer collectibles out there that is value for money, good quality and can provide a lot of fun play as well!

Twozies also come in 6, 12 and 24 pack (half babies half pets). You can check them out on Character's website.