“ Manufacturer: Wowooo / Age: 7 Years+ / Type: Childrens Baking Set „
When my littlest Princess declared her greatest desire to be all things cooking based, her favourite Auntie was happy to oblige with this Princess Baking Set. Bearing the Annabel Karmel name, (for those who don't know Annabel is well known for her recipe books for children's food, and lately has also published cooking books for kids) this set contains cooking items and a number of recipes, all with a Princess theme. It is priced at £19.95 and available in John Lewis stores, amongst other places, it's aimed at children of 7+, but is, in my opinion, also suitable for younger children too.
What you get:
The set contains a number of pink and princess items. There's a pink apron, 9 pink cookie cutters (more of which later), a rolling pin, a pink bowl and a pink spoon. There's also an icing syringue, with a pink plunger if you hadn't already guessed and 8 nozzles. There's also a small recipe book with 5 different recipes.
Everything is actually of quite good quality, and you do get a fair few bits and bobs for the price. The rolling pin is child sized but quite sturdy, it is wooden with cute plastic handles - I'm guessing I don't need to tell you what colour they are! The apron is a proper wipeable affair with ties and a velcroable strap around the neck - it's printed with the Queen of Cooking's name and the word "Princess" and definitely sized for an older child though adjustable to my three year old who loves wearing it. The syringue is mini-sized but fully functioning too, I was surprised quite how good it actually is. Everything else is nicely designed too - the bowl has a rubber grip on the base and the spoon is the perfect size for little hands and has been designed to be easy pour I think. There are also some paper bun cases for making one of the recipes "pig cakes" and these are printed with cute little pigs.
To get you going the set comes with 5 recipes which are quite wide ranging, and at first sight rather ambitious. Obviously you could use your own recipes but we have worked our way through 4 out of the 5 recipes this comes with. We haven't made the lemon cheese cakes for the simple reason that they didn't appeal to my daughter, they look fairly simple though - 4 of the cookie cutters provided are circular act as ring moulds for making these child-sized cakes, the recipe looks straightforward but I haven't actually made it so can't comment fully.
The other recipes are, however, well thought out and appealing for children to make and provide delicious results - there are jam sweethearts (Annabel's take on jammie dodgers), a teeny heart cutter comes in useful here. The princess cookies were popular - my daughter loved making and icing biscuits in shoe, dress and tiara shape, thanks to another 3 of the cutters and that syringue. The Piggy Cupcakes were a fun twist on fairy cakes, and though I did wonder if the Meringues that are the fifth and final recipe were a step too far, these too were a resounding success. Actually ours looked suprisingly like the ones on the box, which you can just see on the picture above, which was great as even being an experienced cook myself I wouldn't have had the confidence to try a meringue recipe necessarily, so don't be put off as these recipes are actually achievable. The instructions for each step are clear and there are not over fussy ingredient requirements.
These may not be the most healthy of things to make, but as treats and as involving a range of cooking skills, I think that Annabel has struck the right tone. One slight criticism I have is that we found that the bowl was actually too small to accomodate the quantity of cookie mixture suggested - well we could get everything in, just not mix it - it wasn't too much of a problem as we just used a larger bowl. You will need a few other common cooking items to make these projects, such as baking sheets, but mainly the set does have all you need to complete the recipes. I would say most children would need some supervision.
I think that this is an excellent gift, and actually fairly good value for what is included. It is great to encourage children to cook and though I am not a huge fan of the whole Princess thing, I do think that this set will appeal to little girls and is well made. The cutters are metal coated and of good quality - they don't lose their shape like cheaper cutters can, and as I have said everything else is well designed too, you don't feel that this set has been scrimped on. I would recommend this set and we are delighted to have received such a lovely present that has already been used quite a lot and I am sure will continue to provide many more hours of cooking pleasure for both myself and my little cooking princess!
You can see this set and other less girlie sets like it on Annabel's webpage below, items that make up the set area also availabel to purchase individually from this link:
Link, in case you don't know what I am referring to in my title: