The Bake Box, and a Bundt Cake

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I decided to spoil myself with the most ridiculous and over-the-top gift for my birthday. A year's subscription to The Bake Box. It's a subscription box that comes in the post every two months, and is packed with 6 recipes and the accompanying specialist equipment that you need to make them: a cake tin, fondant plungers, cutters, etc. Everything you never knew you needed and now need to go make space in a kitchen drawer to accommodate. Perfect.

Each box is themed and you don't know what you're getting until it arrives. But. That doesn't stop them from flooding social networks with photos of the latest box well before it pops through your postbox, as I've just discovered before my first box arrived. I know exactly what to expect this month: A Teddy Bear's Picnic style collection of goodies. Isla will be delighted, teh-dee is one of her favourite words at the moment. If you ask her what a teddy does, she gives herself a big hug and says ahhhhh.

Anyway. When I subscribed, I got the first ever box "Spots and Stripes" for free. I like the bundt silicon mould they give you, and decided to try that first with the recipe included. I don't like using gelatine if I can avoid it, so I changed the white chocolate icing to melted white chocolate which Isla covered with mini marshmallows. She's a dab hand in the kitchen these days. Flour and eggs are her favourite.

The cake process had a few extra steps included but it was very easy to make and came out quite tasty - although it didn't keep very well as with other cakes, and was a bit hard a day or two later. Maybe that's my problem more than theirs: who keeps cake for that long anyway?

I like the bakeware but I was very surprised that the silicon discoloured - almost as if it burnt - and it didn't clean up completely after soaking / scrubbing / bicarb-ing. I've never seen that in silicon bakeware before, and I used it well within the acceptable limitations. It seems to be just an aesthetic thing though so I'm not overly worried about it.

Isla was terribly impressed with the box in general: it came in the post (an event in our house), and unwrapped beautifully with tissue paper which made it look like a gift. There are lots of goodies in the box, many of which you'd never have a need to use but now have to go out of your way to try out to justify the price of the subscription. She liked the dress-shaped cookie cutter best which doubles brilliantly as a bracelet.

As an aside, I am really disappointed with their customer service. If you want to talk to someone there, you have to email them... and then wait a week for them reply. I wanted to know when my first box was arriving and I did get a reply asking for some more information which I provided, but then it took another week for them to get back to me (and that time, it was a different person altogether and they had simply repeated their request). A week later somebody else replied and asked for different information, by which time my box had arrived and I couldn't be bothered anymore. Facebook communication was even less successful. I think if you're going to charge people almost £20 every two months, you really ought to speak to them if they need help.

Still, I'm looking forward to the next box which should be arriving this week. Isla and I have been baking in the kitchen at least once a week and it is exciting to get something new to try out together. I imagine that all of these ridiculous and wonderful baking accessories will be put to excellent use for toddler tea parties and up-coming birthdays!

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