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We bought my uni student daughter one of these cupcake makers for Christmas. She is quite the budding chef/cook these days and loves to experiment.It is a small little gadget, slightly smaller than a sandwich toaster, which is great, easy to store away - literally yes you can produce little cupcakes within five minutes or so.. the box also comes with an icing set, for piping pretty icing designs on it.We have used this four or five times in the last couple weeks and it is absolutely brilliant - we bought it via Ebay and it was under £15, which I think is a total bargain. It came with tiny cupcake cases too, which I bought a 100 more at the supermarket for £1, but I would imagine that with savvy shopping you could get them for much cheaper.I would recommend this 100% to anyone
When I moved into a new flat a few months ago, my lovely sister came along with a house warming pressie for my husband and I... A coffee machine! Having been previously using the regular instant granule kind, I was rather thrilled with my swanky new machine for making coffee! After using it for a few months, here is my review about my new favourite kitchen appliance! ***Appearance*** The fine elements coffee machine is 23cms high and 17cms wide. In real life terms, in my fairly compact kitchen, a coffee machine of this size fits in well on my kitchen surfaces, it is slightly taller than my kettle and is relatively compact. It's size and shape is such that when I do not use it, it can have the cord wrapped around it and fits back easily into the corner of the work surface. It is black in colour, apart from the glass coffee pot and the white cloudy water tank. ***Function*** This appliance is an easy appliance to use, the water tank has clear markings on the side, in order to know how much coffee you are making. It begins at 2, and goes up in 2's, all the way up to 12. The measurement is cups, however, bearing in mind that in my flat, we drink out of mugs(!) rather than coffee cups, I would recommend that if you use this machine, allow a 2 cup measurement per mug in order to fill the mug! Above the glass jug, is a cone shaped part, with a tab on the side. Pull the tab to the side and you will find a plastic coffee filter holder. You put a paper filter inside the plastic holder. With the machine comes a small coffee scoop. Use the scoop to put your filter coffee inside the paper filter, according to how strong you drink your coffee. Turn on the coffee machine and wait for it to do it's thing! At this point, I go and start getting ready for the day, and it's always done by the time I'm out the shower! Although the length of time varies on how much coffee you are making (I'll stop stating the obvious now...), around 4-6 cups (using the measurements on the water tank) takes about 5 mins. I'm afraid I don't have any frame of reference to be able to say whether this is a good length of time or not, as it is my first coffee machine, it seems like a reasonable time to me! ***Cleaning*** There is a plate in the base under the glass jug which keeps the coffee warm. When you have taken the coffee pot out from under the filter, the coffee does occasionally drip from the filter area onto the hot plate. After waiting for the plate to cool down, the plate is non stick so all coffee which has dripped, comes off with a slightly damp cloth. The coffee pot can just be washed in with your washing up because the lid flips up to allow you to wash it easier. The plastic coffee filter lifts out and can also be washed up and the paper filter thrown away. The rest of the machine is easy to clean as all it needs is a damp cloth over it and it comes clean perfectly easily. There are no fiddly bits to contend with. ***Purchasing*** Although this was a present from my sister, I have seen this item located in the electrical appliances section of Wilkinsons, the hardware store for £8. ***Overall*** I would most definitely recommend this product. However, some thought must be given to the size. This machine says it has a 10-12 cup capacity, or 3-4 mugs! This is a great size for me to use, as it easily makes coffee for my husband and I, or 2 or 3 people having coffee of an afternoon. If you were trying to make coffee for more people than that, you would need to think about putting it on twice! Although this coffee machine is fairly basic, it definitely works for the home! It doesn't have the fancy milk frothers or coffee bean grinders that other machines have, but for your morning coffee it is exactly what you need.