BakedIn Baking Club March Box… Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

I really look forward to receiving my BakedIn Baking Club kit each month. My heart skips a beat when I see the long green box on my doormat. The March box was a perfect recipe for Easter… hot cross buns. They sent all the dry ingredients for you to either make traditional or chocolate orange hot cross buns.

As well as the packets of flour, sugars, yeast, spices, sultanas, chocolate chips etc, they also sent a butter measure (as always), a piping bag, baking parchment and the easy to follow recipe card. Last month they sent a tea temple from teapigs which I loved, so I was very happy to find they had sent another one in this box too! This time it was their Everyday Brew and it was so refreshing. Perfect to start the day the right way or as an energiser mid-morning with a hot cross bun 🙂 This tea is extra special for another reason, apart from the fact it tastes so good. Most of their tea comes from Rwanda, a country that unfortunately still has a stigma attached to disability. Teapigs fully funds one house (the teapigs house) which provides specialist care and accommodation for children and young adults with disabilities, and they also send donations to other similar houses and to help with the costs at the UCC Children’s School, a school which has over 500 children (52 of them with severe physical or learning disabilities). Every time you buy a pack of the teapigs Everyday Brew, they donate some of the money to these extremely worthwhile causes. So you get a cuppa that makes you feel good in more ways than one!

The kit also included a little pot of Boddington’s Berries orange marmalade to use as part of the glaze for the buns. The citrus smell as I peeled back the foil top was just beautiful! And it tasted as good as the smell suggested.

I had never made hot cross buns before so was excited but nervous about making these. I knew with BakedIn though every stage of the process would be explained brilliantly, and the end results would be scrumptious. I was right. The hardest part of the whole thing was the waiting while the dough proved. The recipe involved kneading the dough by hand, but I’ve had a bit of a kitchen nightmare which has meant I haven’t had much worktop space, so I used my stand mixer to knead mine. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. I was so impressed with the resulting buns! We all tried each of the flavours and couldn’t decide which we preferred. They were both delicious. It was really good to have the chance to try a different flavour to the traditional ones too. They were so soft and light yet so so tasty. BakedIn continuously impress me with their recipes and their attention to detail. I have recommended them to so many people as they are such a fantastic club to be part of.

The Baking Club usually costs just £7.99 per month, which INCLUDES delivery! It is amazing value considering everything you receive, and the fact you are baking recipes exclusively created for BakedIn by Michel Roux! Michel Roux!!!!!! I know!!!!!!! How lucky are we?? If you enter the code TRY499 at the checkout you will receive your first box for £4.99! Click HERE to go to the website and begin your baking adventure. Happy baking! 🙂

BakedIn Baking Club… Chocolate Honeycomb Cake

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I get so excited when the middle of each month comes round. I have 3 subscription boxes arrive then… one for craft, one for cake decorating, and one for baking. The baking one, as regular readers will by now know, is the utterly fabulous BakedIn Baking Club. Each month this subscription sends a box full of all the dry ingredients and little extras you will need to create a stunning recipe created exclusively for the Club by world renowned chef Michel Roux. February’s box was the most indulgent one I’ve received so far. Every month I am so impressed by the recipe provided, and the ingredients included are always top quality.

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You can see from the above picture how BakedIn think of every little thing you could possibly need to make the recipe yourself. All of the dry ingredients are provided already weighed out for you in numbered packages, so it is super-convenient and even easier to follow the recipe. Trust me, you’ll want to make the Baking Club recipes time and time again, and you can, as the recipe card lists everything that is in each package so you can buy it all yourself for the next time. It also lists any wet ingredients you will need, usually just butter, eggs and milk, things everyone has in their homes anyway. As you can see, you also get any baking paper needed to line tins and a skewer so you can test when your cake is done. Every month you also receive an extremely handy butter guide. This is so you can measure the butter needed without using scales if you don’t have any. It works with any standard 250g block of butter. I used it for this cake as it needed 200g of butter. Just to show how accurate it is I then weighed my butter. See how good it is for yourself…

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The recipe was incredibly easy to follow, as always, and a huge bonus with this month’s was getting to lick the bowl at the end! I could happily have eaten the cake batter raw it tasted so good! But the end result cake was just divine. So indulgent. Beautiful moist chocolate cake, with fluffy chocolate buttercream inside, chocolate ganache on top, and gorgeous crunchy honeycomb to add the finishing touch. Each month Michel Roux gives a tip on how to further enhance your bake, and this month he suggested crushing up the honeycomb and using it with a stencil to make a pretty design on top. I decided to use a peacock stencil (random I know) and decorated the top of the cake with that. I loved the effect the crushed honeycomb made. Overall I was massively impressed with this cake and will definitely be making it again. Luckily the recipe cards are wipe clean so can be kept in perfect condition forever!

The February box had an extra little gift inside to enjoy… a wonderful Chocolate and Mint tea temple from Teapigs. This was just beautiful. It was like drinking an After Eight mint! There was even a card with a discount code to use on the Teapigs website. I will definitely be taking advantage of that!

If you would like to try the Baking Club for yourself it costs just £7.99 per month which includes delivery. It comes in a box perfectly shaped to fit straight through your letterbox so you don’t have to wait in for it to arrive. BakedIn have an offer on at the moment though which lets you try the first box for just £4.99!

Click HERE to go to the BakedIn website and enter code TRY499 at the checkout, and you will receive your first box a few days later for the amazing price of £4.99.  Happy Baking!

Almond and Apricot Biscotti… January’s BakedIn Baking Club Recipe

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I’m a firm believer in starting as you mean to go on, and the New Year started wonderfully thanks to BakedIn Baking Club. Every month they send a new recipe kit for you to make, and the recipes have all been created by Michel Roux exclusively for BakedIn. What I particularly loved about the January box was that, like the previous month, it contained a recipe for something I have always wanted to bake but never got around to doing. I’d actually imagined biscotti was a tricky delicacy to make, but this recipe proved me wrong.

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The box, as always, contained all the dry ingredients needed for the recipe. If more than one dry ingredient needs to be added at the same time, they pack those together in one packet for convenience. You might look at the box and think there were only 6 dry ingredients as there are 6 packets, but some of those packets had a few things in. This makes the baking process so much easier, having everything pre-weighed for you. BakedIn even include extra bits you’ll need such as baking paper or a skewer to test something is baked throughout. It’s the little touches like those that shows how much they care. They make sure you have absolutely everything you could possibly need, and they pack it all in a sturdy box which fits perfectly through your letterbox. Obviously for food safety reasons they can’t send eggs or chilled ingredients but they are easy enough to buy, and most people will already have them in their kitchen anyway.

Anyway back to the biscotti. I followed the recipe card and was really surprised at how easy it was to make them. The nutty aroma that filled the kitchen was just so comforting.

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This is how they looked after their first bake and before cutting. I was already happy with it at this point as it looked pretty much how it was supposed to. Phew! I’d had visions of mine spreading off the baking sheets and dripping all over the bottom of the oven, or rising too much so their shape was wrong…. I told you I thought it was trickier to make than it actually was!!!

I sliced each into 1 inch slices and returned them to the oven to get that crunchiness that biscotti is known for. At this point I was sat nervously on the kitchen floor in front of the oven, watching to make sure I didn’t burn them! I needn’t have worried, and now I know for next time that I don’t need to keep my eye on them!

The final stage was to drizzle white chocolate over them. This made them look extra indulgent and scrumptious.

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They were delicious dunked in a cup of coffee. That made them literally melt in your mouth. They were equally good on their own though. This is yet another wonderful recipe from the Baking Club which I will be making again and again.

If you fancy joining the BakedIn Baking Club, it costs just £7.99 a month including delivery, and you can cancel at any time. Your first box is sent within a few days, and then your next box is sent at the same time as everyone else’s. I love the fact you get a box almost straight away. Most other subscription boxes make you wait until the next box is due, and if you’ve just missed the deadline for that month it can be a long wait for your first one! BakedIn understand you will be keen to get baking, so make sure you have something to get on with.

BakedIn are running an offer at the moment to give you your first box even cheaper! If you click HERE and enter the code TRY499 at the checkout, your first box will be just £4.99 including delivery. Definitely worth a try! Happy Baking!

DISCLAIMER: BakedIn don’t ask me to provide a review nor do I receive any form of compensation for my posts. I pay fully for my subscription and like to share the details of them with you as I truly think the Club is a wonderful subscription. All views and opinions are my own. 

A Gingerbread House from the Festive BakedIn Baking Club

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As you all know, I have been a member of the BakedIn Baking Club for a while now and it never fails to impress me with the recipe each month. December’s box really really excited me! Shockingly I had never made a gingerbread house before, so as soon as I opened the box and saw an array of sweets and the recipe card I let out a little happy squeal. I had visions of Hansel and Gretel and an instant Christmassy feeling swept over me. I hadn’t been feeling particularly festive until the arrival of this box, but this really changed that!

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The box contained the recipe card, lots of different sweets, all the dry ingredients needed for the gingerbread and the icing, a butter measure, baking paper, and templates for cutting out the shapes needed to construct the house. As you can see, each packet is clearly labelled with a number. This makes following the recipe so much easier and makes it ideal to do with children. My 9 year old son Luke couldn’t wait to help me with this one! After watching some episodes of The Great British Bake Off I was a bit nervous that my gingerbread would collapse, as that seemed to be a common problem with some bakers. I needn’t have worried. Baking Club recipes are created exclusively for BakedIn by Michel Roux, so it goes without saying that they are perfect. No chance of collapse with this recipe!

Making the house with Luke was one of the highlights of the Christmas holiday. He loved decorating it most of all. The only trouble was he loved the end result so much he wouldn’t let us eat it for ages!!! Luckily it still tasted amazing when he finally agreed to breaking it up.

The house had stained glass effect windows which looked stunning when we placed a battery-operated tealight inside the house. We did originally use a little torch but the tealight looked better. Luke said it was as if there was a fire glowing inside. There might not have been a real fire but there was a definite real feeling of warmth and happiness from making this recipe. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we decided that we will make a gingerbread house every Christmas from now on. You really can’t beat the contentment that baking with your family brings.

BakedIn Baking Club is a club suitable for everyone. People who have never baked before or who are just beginning to bake will love how easy the recipes are to follow. The recipe cards have photographs of each step so you know you are on the right track. The ingredients are already weighed out for you so you don’t have to spend ages doing preparation. All the dry ingredients you will need are included so you don’t have to buy a big bag of something you might not need again for a while, meaning less waste. People who are regular bakers will enjoy being able to add the scrumptious recipes to their own repertoire.

It costs just £7.99 a month to be part of this wonderful Baking Club. That price includes postage so it is amazing value for money. If you are interested in joining it too, you can have your first box for just £4.99!

To get your first box for £4.99 click  HERE  to go to the BakedIn website and enter code TRY499 at checkout.  Happy Baking!

DISCLAIMER: I pay for my subscription and receive no compensation for writing reviews for them. All views are my own honest opinions. 

Banoffee Cookies… November’s BakedIn Baking Club

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t particularly excited about making this month’s Baking Club bake. I know, it’s a terrible thing to say but it’s the truth. The box arrived a couple of days ago, conveniently dropping through my letterbox so there was no waiting around for it to be delivered. The first thing that I saw was the lovely bright new packaging… a beautiful green which made it stand out from the boring brown envelopes which arrived with it.

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I get really excited to open this box each month to discover what wonderful recipe I will be baking. I am a huge fan of Michel Roux, so to receive all the dry ingredients I need to create one of his exclusive recipes is just a joy. I opened this box with my usual eagerness and after opening the lovely paper that the ingredients are wrapped in, I saw the one word I usually really don’t like… banoffee. I have a huge sweet tooth but I have never found a banoffee recipe of any description that hasn’t been disgustingly sickly and far too sweet. So, in all honesty, my heart sank a little when I opened this box.

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How silly was I? I should have known this would be different! After all, in all the time I have been subscribing to the Baking Club, there hasn’t been a single bad recipe. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, these cookies are ridiculously scrumptious! The perfect amount of sweetness, not sickly at all, but bursting with flavour and texture. They contain fresh banana as well as dried banana chips for amazing flavour, and delicious fudge pieces for texture and indulgence. I like cookies to be chewy not crunchy, and these were perfect. Lovely and chewy and moist, with a little crunch from the dried banana on top. All finished off with a drizzle of white chocolate on top. They were delicious still warm from the oven, and they were delicious cooled completely. In a word… Heaven!

I have loved BakedIn Baking Club from the instant I received my very first recipe box, and this month I love them even more for introducing me to a banoffee recipe I can finally enjoy! I will be making these cookies again and again as we all really really enjoyed them. That’s the beauty of this Club. The recipes come with ingredients pre-weighed for you, but the recipe card clearly tells you how much of each ingredient you have so you can make them whenever you want to in the future too. I keep all my recipe cards from them in a folder so I know where to find them quickly.

I cannot tell you the amazing recipe that I used to make these treats, as it is exclusive to BakedIn and it wouldn’t be fair. However if you would like to join the Baking Club and receive these fantastic recipe kits for yourself, click HERE to receive your first box for the incredible price of just £1.99! After that, it costs just £7.99 per month which includes postage. Well worth every little penny.

Happy Baking!

BakedIn Baking Club…. Autumnal Spiced Blackberry Muffins

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I really look forward to my BakedIn Baking Club box arriving each month. The chance to bake something delicious using a recipe created exclusively by Michel Roux for BakedIn is just so exciting, and I love the anticipation of what each recipe might be.

The October box was a beautiful Spiced Blackberry Muffin recipe. The eagle-eyed readers amongst you will have noticed I used blueberries instead. Here’s why. I had gone with a friend and my son to pick some blackberries not long before this kit arrived, and had found a perfect place with an abundance of big juicy berries. As we were about to start picking them though, an elderly gentleman approached us and told us we should leave them. We thought he was joking but it quickly became apparent he wasn’t, as he proceeded to go on and on about how they were food for the birds. We did tell him there were more than enough for the birds and for us and if we didn’t pick some they’d just go rotten there were so many, but he just wouldn’t leave us alone, saying “Birds can’t go to Tesco”. He was so rude and his manner was so unfriendly, he was actually making us feel very uncomfortable, so we decided to abandon our berry picking. I went to Tesco to buy some the next day, only to find they weren’t selling them any more! I searched for any bushes locally as the perfect place we had found was miles away on a nice day out, but sadly the berries had all gone. Luckily the helpful BakedIn team told me that this recipe would work with blueberries too, so that is what I had to use. I will be making these again next year though as soon as I spot ripe blackberries around!

The Baking Club kit arrived as always in a box that fits perfectly through the letterbox. It contained all the dry ingredients needed for the recipe, already weighed out and placed in numbered packages to make following the recipe card simple. It also contained a handy butter measure guide, the recipe card, a skewer, and squares of baking paper.

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The baking paper squares were to make muffin cases out of, which I thought was wonderful. They ended up looking like the lovely tulip muffin cases you can buy, but were so easy to make! I just needed a glass that was the same width as the cups in my muffin tray, which I had, and then it was a simple task of folding the paper around the bottom of the glass. It didn’t take long at all to get them all made and placed in the trays ready for the mixture.

The instructions were, as always, very clear and easy to follow. You really can’t go wrong with these kits. I would say they are completely foolproof. The kitchen had the most amazing aroma of cinnamon and almond while I was preparing and baking these. It felt very Autumnal and cosy. The recipe made 20 muffins, which was great as they were so delicious they disappeared rapidly!

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The addition of cinnamon pearl sugar on the top added a beautiful sweet and spicy crunch. They really were scrumptious!

I don’t believe in giving much away about these recipes as they are exclusive to the Baking Club, but I can say in the months I’ve subscribed there hasn’t been a single recipe I haven’t loved. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut of just baking the same things for convenience, so this Club is a great way to try new bakes you might not otherwise have come across. It is ideal too for those days when you really want to bake but time is short. The fact the ingredients are weighed out for you cuts out so much preparation time, so you can just get on with the fun part. I tend to do mine with my 9 year old son, as the recipe card is so easy to follow. A perfect way to spend quality time with your family, and a great way to bring everyone together to enjoy the end results!

Christmas is fast approaching, and if there’s someone you are struggling to find a gift idea for, why not buy them a Baking Club subscription? It would make  a beautiful gift for any occasion. How about a house warming present? Give someone the smell of home baking to fill their house every month, along with a sense of pride and achievement when they have created something delicious.

The Baking Club subscription costs £7.99 per month, including postage. That is already a fantastic price, but the lovely BakedIn team are so sure you will love their Club, they are letting you have your first box for the crazy price of just £1.99!!! You can cancel at any time should you want to (although I doubt you will).

To get your first box for the ridiculously low price of £1.99, click HERE to join the Club using the discount code they will provide on that page. Happy Baking!

October Degustabox …. The Taste of Autumn

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I absolutely adore Degustabox. A monthly box of food and drink items and you have no idea what you are getting until the day it arrives…. what’s not to like? The October box had an Autumnal theme and it was one of my favourites to date! It featured some brands I was familiar with but also some I hadn’t seen or tried before. I get really excited about trying new products, and Degustabox has led me to some fantastic items I have gone on to buy regularly. So let’s see what was in this box…

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  • ROBINSONS SQUASH’D… I received the Orange flavour of this super concentrated squash. We are already a huge fan of these in our house. They come in a range of flavours but so far this is our favourite one. They are sugarfree and only have 3 calories per 250ml serving so they are a healthier soft drink to give to your children. What I particularly love about them too is the fact that you can carry them around in your bag if you want to. If you have a water fountain at your place of work but you find water boring, keep one of these in your bag. A quick squeeze into your water and you have a lovely refreshing flavoured drink. Perfect for picnics too if everyone likes different flavoured drinks. Rather than make up several bottles of more than one flavour of squash which would really weigh you down, just take a bottle of water and a couple of these and you have a happy family. The RRP of these is £2.49, which is great value as you only need a tiny amount per drink.

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  • IAM SOUPER… These soups are high in protein, which means you feel full for longer. They have no artificial nasties, and are low in fat so perfect for people on calorie-controlled diets. I received Pulled Pork and Jalapenos, and Supergreens flavours. They were so tasty! I had the Supergreens one and my partner took the Pulled Pork one to work for his lunch. He said it was delicious, as was the one I ate. Chunky and satisfying and full of flavour. I love the name of them too… what a fantastic affirmation “I am Super”. Well you are, and so is the soup. The RRP is £1.49.

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  • MAGGI FUSIAN NOODLES… I received Aromatic Spiced Curry, and Fiery Sweet Chilli flavours, but you can also get Classic Chow Mein. These are super quick and easy to prepare and can be eaten on their own as they are packed with flavour, or you can add them to a stir fry. These are different to other instant noodle brands as these have a sachet of infused oil, seasoning and vegetables which you make up first by mixing with water, and then you add the noodles. That makes the flavour much more authentic. I have to say I was really impressed with these and will be looking out for these in the shops. The RRP is £1.39.

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  • JIM JAMS… I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this in the box! My son let out a little excited squeal, as this is now a regular purchase in our house thanks to being introduced to it in a previous Degustabox. I received the Milk Chocolate Spread, but you can also get one with hazelnuts to make it taste more like another big brand of chocolate spread. The first time we ever tried this we were knocked out by how good it was. It has 83% less sugar than the other brand, and is gluten free and diabetic friendly. We did a blind taste test last time, as at the time I had the other brand in my cupboard so we could compare them. Jim Jams came out on top for flavour, creaminess, sweetness… in short I honestly think this is the best chocolate spread you can buy. As a parent it is great to know it won’t rot my son’s teeth and cause all manner of sugar-related health problems too. I buy this regularly with no guilt and the other brand hasn’t been seen in my house since first trying Jim Jams. Mix it with hot milk for a yummy hot chocolate, mix it in buttercream for the creamiest chocolate cake topping, spread it on toast, use it to sandwich 2 cakes together, dip breadsticks or strawberries in to it for a grown up Choc Dip, the possibilities are endless. The RRP is £2.59. It is available in Tesco and Holland and Barrett.

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  • PASQUIER PITCH CHOCO BARRE… This is a French snack now recently available in the UK. We LOVED these! They are little brioche buns with a miniature bar of milk chocolate in the middle. Not melted chocolate, but an actual bar! The brioche was so soft and sweet and delicious, and the chocolate was wonderfully creamy tasting. Put them both together and you have an amazing treat! You get 4 in the pack and each is individually wrapped to keep them fresh. I could easily have eaten all 4 in one go they were so yummy, but I was good and shared them 🙂 I will definitely be looking out for these in the shops. The RRP is £1.40 per pack of 4.

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  • HERSHEY’S COOKIES’N’CREME… This was a king sized bar of scrumptiousness! Creamy white chocolate with crushed up cookies mixed in. Imagine an Oreo biscuit but with the cream on the outside and the chocolate cookie bit in the middle…. that’s what this reminded me of. It was sweet and indulgent and impossible to resist. There’s not much else to say about it really except is was sooooooo good and I need to buy more! The RRP is £1.00.

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  • YUSHOI SNAPEA RICE STICKS… This Japanese inspired snack is made from baked green peas and rice. I received the Lightly Salted flavour and absolutely loved them! They look like pea pods with a crispy rice coating, and that’s what they are! They have no artificial colours or flavours and are high in fibre and a good source of protein. Each pack contains 5 servings (unless you are a pig like me) and each serving only has 91 calories. I am not a fan of salt and sometimes find that even lightly salted foods contain too much, but these had the perfect amount. Just enough to taste without overpowering the delicious flavour of the pea and rice. I have since bought more of these from Tesco, I enjoyed them that much. The RRP is £1.99.

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  • LEVI ROOTS SMOKEY BBQ COAT’N’COOK SAUCE… I love this type of sauce. Ideal for busy days when time is limited to prepare a meal from scratch. No need to marinade, it provides instant flavour. You just pour it over chicken, fish or ribs, and pop it in the oven. Easy! I used it on chicken and it was delicious. Many of this type of BBQ sauce are mild but this one had more of a kick from Scotch bonnet chillies. My son likes mild flavours so this was a bit too hot for him, but my partner and I loved it. It has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and the sauce is suitable for vegetarians and vegans (obviously not if used on meat though). The RRP is £1.00.

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  • BELOVED DATE FRUIT HEARTS… These very nutritious snacks are made from raw dates and other natural ingredients. You get 5 heart shaped pieces per pack, and they count as 1 of your 5 a day for fruit and vegetables. They are gluten free, high in fibre and low in fat, and have no added sugar. They come in 4 delicious flavours: Simply Divine Date (100% dates), Rich Cocoa Date (98% date, 2% cocoa powder), Cocoa and Berry Date(97.5% dates, 2% cocoa powder, 0.5% freeze dried raspberry powder), and Zesty Orange Date (dates with a hint of natural orange flavouring). They were all lovely, but I am a huge fan of dates so these were perfect. They are suitable for vegans, and one pack of 5 hearts only contains 105 calories. Guilt free snacking at it’s best. The RRP is 75p per pack.

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  • HEINZ… I received Minions dry pasta shapes, and smooth tomato pasta sauce. The pasta in particular caused much delight when my son found them in the box! Everyone loves the Minions so making pasta in their shapes was a stroke of genius. Although Luke liked inventing stories on his plate and moving the Minions around for a while acting out the stories! Eventually the Minions left the story for one reason or another so that was when he was able to eat them. He loved the shapes and he said the sauce tasted better than the sauce in tinned spaghetti. The pasta is made from half whole wheat and half durum wheat and is suitable for vegetarians. The sauce has no added salt or sugar, and no artificial colours or preservatives. Great fun for children to eat. The RRP of the sauce is £1.55 and the pasta is £1.19.

As you can see, this box had something for everyone! Familiar and unfamiliar products, sweet and savoury. Degustabox usually costs £12.99 which includes free delivery via DPD. That is already a bargain, as the products you receive are worth around double that. However, the wonderful people at Degustabox are so kind and generous they are giving you the opportunity to try your first box for just £5.99! That’s less than half the usual price!

To get this fantastic deal, click HERE to go to the website and enter the code IA7K4 at checkout. You can cancel at any time, although once you have experienced the excitement of having a mystery parcel of products, I am certain you won’t want it to stop!

 

DISCLAIMER: I received my box for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my opinions though and all views are my own genuine thoughts. I believe in honesty in all reviews and I would never say something was good if I didn’t believe that to be a true statement. 

 

Crafty Creatives… The Art of Papercutting

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Crafty Creatives is a fantastic subscription box which delivers an exciting craft kit to you every month. I love crafts and am keen to try out new ones, but the thought of buying loads of equipment only to discover I don’t like the craft after all scares me. That is why Crafty Creatives is so perfect! Every month you receive everything you need to complete a wonderful craft project, so you don’t have to spend a small fortune to see if you like it. I have to say though I subscribed around 6 months ago and have loved everything they have sent! Thanks to Crafty Creatives, I have made a fascinator, mosaic hearts, lip balms, a rolled wool trivet, and Hama bead coasters.

The October box was amazing! I have seen some stunning works of art made from papercutting and have admired their intricacy. I had wanted to try it but hadn’t known where to start! Luckily for me, this box gave me everything I needed to make 2 beautiful designs.

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Included in the kit were a self-healing cutting mat, a finger tip swivel knife, a picture frame, and the 2 designs to cut out along with the paper to mount them on. I was a bit nervous when I saw the swivel knife as it looked like it might be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but I was wrong thankfully. You hold it like a pen and it hooks comfortably around your finger, which makes it so easy to manoeuvre, and provides support when you move it around. The blade is what sets this knife apart from other craft knives. It turns smoothly as you change the direction of your hand! That means you can cut out any shape without having to move the paper or take the blade off the sheet. Fantastic! This box was worth having just for the knife!!!

The two designs were lovely modern ones…. words with a little symbol linked to the word. I cut out Star first as I knew I would prefer the Love one if my first attempt went wrong. I needn’t have worried though as they both turned out beautifully. I have kept Love in the frame provided and as my son is my little star, he has the star one in a frame in his bedroom.

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I definitely feel confident to carry on with papercutting projects, especially with this amazing swivel knife! It was such a therapeutic relaxing activity. Some crafts can take ages to produce finished pieces. This was relatively quick and easy, so great for people who like to see results fast!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box). 

DISCLAIMER: This is my own honest opinion of Crafty Creatives. I receive no fee/discount/compensation and I pay for my subscription in full. All views are my own. 

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf – Bakedin Baking Club September Recipe

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Do you love to bake but sometimes just don’t have the time? Work commitments keep eating into your free time? Say hello to Bakedin Baking Club.

I subscribed to the Bakedin Baking Club a while ago and have to say the recipes just keep getting better. Just when you think they’ve peaked with how delicious a recipe can be, they bring out the next one and it’s another “Wow Factor” one!

Every month you receive a wonderful box full of all the dry ingredients you need to bake a recipe created exclusively by Michel Roux. You also receive extras needed such as baking paper, skewers, etc. You just need to provide the eggs and any chilled ingredients.

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This might just look like 6 ingredients but it’s not. Different ingredients that go in to the recipe at the same time are packaged together in one bag for convenience, all of them weighed out exactly for you. Only top quality ingredients are used too. You don’t have to spend ages weighing everything out, which is great when you are short of time. All of this costs just £7.99 a month which includes delivery so it is fantastic value for money. The recipe card is clear and easy to follow and all the measurements of the dry ingredients are listed so you can make the recipe again any time you fancy.

I love marble cakes. The different colours and flavours really appeal to me, so I was very excited to get this Marble Loaf in the oven! The recipe said to line the loaf tin with the baking paper provided, but I have a huge supply of loaf tin liners so I decided to use one of those instead. I followed the rest of the recipe to the letter though. The vanilla and chocolate aromas from each bowl made my mouth water. Just look at all the flecks of ground vanilla in there! Yum!

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Spooning the 2 mixtures into the loaf tin and gently swirling them together was fun. I tried not to do it too much as I didn’t want a chocolate loaf on it’s own. (Well I wouldn’t have minded really but I wanted to do it right hehe). So this was how it looked before and after baking:

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The next part was to make the chocolate glaze topping, melt the white chocolate using their brilliant chocolate melting method, and make the feathered design on the top. They had provided skewers to test the loaf was ready, to swirl the mixtures, and to make the effect on top. Perfect!

Every recipe card has a Top Tip from Michel Roux on a way to enhance the recipe even more. The tip with this one was how to make a hot chocolate using any leftover chocolate topping. As you can see in the main picture, I did that, and it was scrumptious! The Marble Loaf went down really well in our house and with some Mums at my son’s school, who I gave some to. I will definitely be making this again and again, and making sure I have extra topping for more hot chocolate!!!

Bakedin Baking Club is perfect for beginners and for more experienced bakers alike. The recipes are exclusive and the numbered packages of ingredients make them super-convenient and easy to follow. They are also ideal to make with children, as the recipe includes clear photographs of each stage. Perfect for quality fun time with the family.

If you are tempted to try a Bakedin Baking Club recipe box for yourself, click HERE and you will receive your first one for just £1.99! That doesn’t even cover their postage to send it! You will receive your first box within a few days of ordering it so you don’t have to wait weeks like you do with some other subscription boxes. You can cancel at any time, although I know you won’t want to once you’ve tried your first one. Happy Baking!

DISCLAIMER: I pay for my subscription and have not been asked to write a review. I just love to promote fantastic products and services and this is definitely in that category! All views and opinions are my own honest thoughts. 

 

September Degustabox …. A Whole Day of Healthiness

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I’m sure regular readers of my blog will know all about Degustabox by now, but in case you don’t, here’s a quick rundown. Degustabox is a monthly surprise food and drink subscription box which costs just £12.99 per month including delivery via DPD couriers. The products you receive are worth much more than that so it is fantastic value for money. It is a brilliant way of discovering new products and brands and encouraging you to try new flavours and recipes using the products. As you have no idea what you will receive each month, the excitement when the box arrives is huge! I am always really impatient to open mine instantly, but my son loves us to take it in turns reaching in and picking out an item at a time, which means if it arrives while he’s at school, I have to use every scrap of willpower I have to leave it untouched!

The September Degustabox was yet again packed with delicious products for the whole family. There were items to cover every part of the day, from meals to snacks and drinks. Let me show you what it contained.

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  • TEISSEIRE SIROP… I’m starting with my favourite product this month. This is a French cordial type of drink. I received the Sugar-Free Raspberry and Cranberry flavour but you can also get Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, and Grenadine varieties in the sugar-free range. You only need a tiny bit of the syrup to make a truly delicious drink. You can add it to still or sparkling water, or to cocktails. The fruity flavours are perfect, smooth and naturally sweet. I loved the aluminium packaging too. It gave it a really luxurious appearance, as did the silky thickness of the syrup. We all loved this drink and will be definitely buying this regularly now! The RRP is £2.99.

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  • HARTLEY’S NO ADDED SUGAR JELLY POTS … There were 4 of these jelly pots in the box, much to my son’s delight! I had Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange, and Tropical flavours. I am really conscious of the amount of sugar in so many products aimed at children, so these jellies are wonderful as they have no added sugar, and a lovely fruity taste. They are just the right size to fit in lunchboxes, and are perfect as an after school snack. The RRP of these is 50p per pot.

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  • GET FRUITY … I received one of these bars in a previous box but in a different flavour. This time I had Marvellous Mango, but you can also get Juicy Apricot, Orange and Ginger Bar, Moist Mixed Berry Bar, Scrumptious Strawberry Bar, Tangy Pineapple, Coconut and Lime Bar, and Radiant Raspberry Bar. Each bar contains pieces of real fruit and juice so carries the flavour perfectly. The fruit and juices are combined with gluten free oats and Virgin coconut oil to make a delicious snack bar, ideal for lunchboxes or on the go. I had mine as a quick breakfast on a rushed morning! The oats make them satisfying and stop any hunger pangs. The RRP is £1.

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  • CHIA BIA … I received a packet of whole chia seeds and a packet of milled (ground) seeds. Chia seeds are super healthy, packed with omega 3, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are perfect for adding to smoothies, yoghurt, porridge, salads, and in baking. Last month’s Degustabox contained Bircher muesli which introduced me to the joys of overnight oats. I’ve continued to make that for breakfast and have been adding some of the whole seeds to that. When the seeds absorb moisture they swell and go jelly-like but with a slight crunch (sounds revolting but it really isn’t I promise). I’ve loved that texture with the oats. If you prefer you can sprinkle them on just before serving so they stay super crunchy. The RRP of these is £1 per pack.

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  • CIRIO BORLOTTI BEANS … I love the Cirio brand, but had only had their tomato based products before. I have to confess I had never eaten a Borlotti bean until receiving them in this Degustabox. I received 3 cans of them so plenty of chances to experiment. The beans are picked, shelled and steam-cooked in their cans to maintain a tender texture. They are a great source of fibre, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. In last month’s box I received some delicious Tobasco Barbecue sauce which I had used to make a barbeue chicken dish. I decided to make it again but to add some Borlotti beans, onion and pepper to the chicken in the sauce. My partner loved the beans so much he had a second helping! I used another can in a chilli con carne, but replaced the red kidney beans with Borlotti beans instead. That was delicious! I still have one can left but I will probably use them in another chilli as that was so good. The RRP of these beans is £1.89 for a pack of 3 cans.

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  • METCALFE’S POPCORN THINS … I have had these before and love them! They are available in dark or milk chocolate varieties. I received the milk chocolate which pleased my son as that is his favourite. They are kind of like a rice cake, except they use corn instead of rice. They are covered in a thick layer of Italian chocolate, and as you can imagine they taste soooo good. There are 2 thins in a pack. Again, perfect for lunchboxes (if your child’s school allows chocolate in them) or as a tasty snack anytime. The RRP is £1.

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  • EMILY FRUIT CRISPS … I received a packet of Crunchy Banana fruit crisps. When I opened the packet I thought they just looked like slices of dried banana so wasn’t overly excited to try them. When I did taste one though I realised they are much nicer than ordinary dried banana! These have the crunchiness of a crisp, rather than being just hard and dry, and they retain the banana flavour perfectly! Really full of sweet flavour. They have nothing added whatsoever, except a tiny bit of oil. The crunchy texture made them perfect to crumble up over yoghurt. The RRP is £1.75.

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  • SAY YES TO NO … I received a pack of Sour Cream and Onion Bread Chips. I love this brand and what they stand for. Say Yes to No means no added nasties and artificial flavourings, no false promises, no photoshopped images, no advertising lies, but yes to delicious chips. What you see is what you get, and I love that! These bread chips were scrummy. They tasted natural and were bursting with flavour. Perfect to eat as they are or with a dip. Or crumble up over salad. The RRP is £1.49.

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  • CAPE DRINKS … I received 2 cans of fruity sparkling drinks, Peach and Lychee, and Pineapple and Passion Fruit. These were amazing! So refreshing and light and fruity. They are made from Rooibos Tea, fruit juices, ginseng, natural botanical extracts, and added vitamins, and are packed with anti-oxidants. the peach and lychee was my favourite but both were beautiful. They contain only natural ingredients and have no refined sugar. Perfect for a healthy diet. The RRP is £1.59 per can.

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  • MRS CRIMBLE’S GLUTEN FREE PASTA WITH SAUCE … I love Mrs Crimble’s products. They are a fantastic brand for gluten-intolerant diets. I received Fusilli with a Gourmet Mushroom and Cream sauce. Sadly though I hate mushrooms, so couldn’t try this. I gave it to a friend who said she had it for lunch one day and it was beautiful. She said the sauce was delicious and she has recommended it to a friend who has to have a gluten free diet. The RRP is £1.99.

 

If you would like to try a Degustabox for yourself, click HERE to go to their website and enter the code BLDEG15 at checkout. This will give you a whopping £7 off the price of your first box, so your first box will be just £5.99! Absolute bargain. I hope you enjoy it!

 

DISCLAIMER: I recieved my box in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.