Wednesday, 16 September 2015

#GBJABO - Mini-Make Cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

Have you been watching Great British Bake Off as well? It made me feel like doing some baking of my own too! Before I take on a challenge myself (if you are following me on Instagram, you might have seen a picture of what I'm about to bake!), Abby has already had her share of fun doing the #GBJABO (Great British John Adams' Bake Off) using John Adams' latest makers! We, especially me, are so impressed by the range that I have to show you what they are, starting with the Mini-Make Cupcakes maker!

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

The Mini-Make Cupcakes (RRP £22.99, suitable for 6 years +) comes with:

- chocolate melting unit
- biscuit grinder and bowl
- cake mould
- chocolate topper mould (to make chocolate decorations)
- 2 tools (for spooning and stirring, etc)
- cake tongs
- stickers (for decorating cake boxes and stick cake wrap together)
- 4 cake boxes
- 4 cake wraps
- cardboard cake stand (different pattern on both sides)
- manual

You will need to use your own:

- plain biscuits (we used digestive biscuits)
- assorted chocolate chips
- oil food colouring if used (I didn't have any so we used gel colouring instead, which is okay in small amount but the result isn't perfect. Liquid colouring is not recommended as chocolate will curdle when it touches liquid)
- additional small spoons for stirring and mixing if more chocolate type/ colours are used. Or you can wipe the tools clean with a kitchen towel before using it on other chocolates

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

To make the mini cupcakes, simply add very warm water (with adult's help) into the chocolate melting unit (making sure that the cap is screwed on tightly to avoid leakage) and melt chocolate chips in each compartments (small ones are for making chocolate toppings or mixing small amount of white chocolate with colours). While waiting for the chocolate to melt, you can start crushing the biscuits too (1 digestive biscuit is good for 1 to 2 cupcakes, depending on how much crumbs you use to mix into the chocolate).

Once the chocolates are melted, mix biscuit crumbs with melted chocolate inside the large compartment (or small ones, have fun experimenting!). Adjust the amount of crumbs to get a different finish (less crumbs makes smoother and creamier cakes, more makes it more lumpy and crunchy).

Abby chose to layer her mini cupcake by adding a pink chocolate at the top, biscuit white chocolate in the middle, and milk chocolate at the bottom.

I couldn't let her have all the fun so I decorated the top of the flower cupcake mould with pink and green chocolates, added a layer of milk chocolate next, then a dollop of biscuit white chocolate in the middle (so it's hidden from the outside, like a filling). I added more milk chocolate to cover the filling up, and then finished it off with a layer of dark chocolate.

We also coloured and filled the 4 chocolate topping moulds so that we'd have a good selection to use to decorate our mini cupcakes.

Once done, refrigerate the mini cupcakes and chocolate toppings in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size.

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes
Left: Use equal part of the same chocolate to sandwich the filling so that it will be more centred
After they've set, simply turn them over on top of a plate and pop them out. They come out really easily! Then use the chocolate toppers to decorate the mini cupcakes. Do note that the white and milk chocolate decorations are a bit softer than the dark chocolate ones (which came out like a perfectly tempered chocolate!). You can use the tools included to help move the toppings on the cakes to prevent them from melting on your fingers.

#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes
Higher crumbs content makes it easier to pile the mixture up high, making it look just like a cupcake
#GBBO, children chocolate making, children no bake mini cupcakes

Although "playing" with chocolate can be fairly messy, it is super fun to do with kids! The hardest part of making chocolate creations is to get the temperature right so that they will set with a nice finish, but the clever chocolate melting unit made it really easy to keep the chocolate warm and at the right temperature during the making, so the finish is beautiful (the milk chocolate used for my flower was either not set for long enough or the temperature has cooled down a bit when I started using it, so you can see some rough finishing at the top).

Not only did John Adams made chocolate making so easy and safe for kids, you can create a lot of different things with the set too! With less biscuit crumbs you can make moulded chocolates (those with fillings inside); adding a lot more crumbs gives you lovely no bake mini cupcakes, or you can even make cake pops by using cake crumbs instead and add lollipop sticks into the mini cakes before setting them!

You can of course use sprinkles, fruits and nuts, edible glitter etc too to make really fancy designs, and perhaps a surprise popping candy chocolate filling, or fancy truffle like filling (add a little bit of soft butter or whipping cream to the chocolate) in the middle. The only limit is your imagination!

They've also included a sturdy cake stand, boxes, wraps and stickers so that the children can play with the presentation of their creation as well, which I think is really clever and made the set even more value for money and attractive to use.

I think the Mini-Make Cupcakes is perfect for chocolate making beginners; it is fun, creations are yummy (Abby couldn't stop making yummy noises, and the kids also enjoyed eating the chocolate melting unit clean!) and it encourage creativity and design, perfect for getting young children excited about food making!

We had lots of fun making mini cupcakes, and will definitely use the Mini-Make Cupcakes maker again and again. I'd even use the chocolate melting unit to help me with my adult creations. Chocolate strawberries anyone?