I’m rather partial to a trip around Lakeland in order to ooh and ahh over all the lovely cakey cookware, gadgets and gizmos! It’s the sort of shop that all my female (sorry to be sexist, I’m sure lots of men like it too) friends are in love with and everyone has a favourite product!
One of mine is the Dry-Soon 3-Tier Heated Tower Airer which I wrote a review of here. I wasn’t sent it to review and was under no obligation to write about it but I chose to because it really is SO good! I asked for it as a Christmas present and you know what?! Sad as that little fact may be, it was exactly what I wanted and I love it! It changed the way I can dry clothes in my gardenless flat and although costing the best part of a hundred quid (it’s very low energy costing about 5 pence an hour to run) it was worth every penny.
I’ve written about products I like from Lakeland a few times now, mostly ones I have bought myself but occasionally things which have been given to me for that exact purpose and I have to say, you do get what you pay for as a general rule. Lakeland = quality and frankly, I’m prepared to pay for that! What’s the point in having something which doesn’t actually work?
When Lakeland sent me their Gummy Bear Maker (£31.99) I did wonder however, if it would actually really be able to make gummy sweets like the picture shows? It seemed like it might be one of those products which promised far more than it could deliver and I was, despite my confidence in Lakeland, rather skeptical. I needn’t have been so though. It does of course make gummy sweets just like in the picture and we had great fun becoming confectioners putting it to the test!
I first saw the Gummy Maker at the Lakeland Cristmas press show and was intrigued but didn’t have much time to look into further so had no idea how it worked. Simply fit together the four trays, fill with ice and replace the silicon tops, heat the middle base area and fill the heating pot with ingredients, whisk and pour into moulds to set!
Now, I have to be honest, it IS a little fiddly getting the middle heating base in place with the plug chord having to be twiddled about to get it in just the right place. Once sorted however and you’re good to go. It really is as easy as I mentioned above and using one of the three recipes in the booklet provided you can make jelly sours, juice jellies or chocolate ones.
Yesterday the children and I had a go at fruit juice and chocolate jellies and because you can use a sweetener of your choice the jellies can be as ‘yummy Mummy’ as you wish! We made the decision to use sugar in the fruit juice sweets (bad yummy Mummy) and honey in the chocolate (good yummy Mummy) and I don’t think it really made much difference to taste either way (Maple Syrup is also an option). Gelatin is a must, (it does not work with Agar Agar but has not been tested with fish gelatin) I used beef. Milk also goes into the chocolate ones along with a touch of vanilla essence and with the fruit juice jellies it is just the juice of choice, sweetener and gelatin.
Choosing a sweetener means you can make the sweets ‘healthy’ and the pot is very easy for little ones to add the ingredients too!
You heat the pot, add ingredients, whisk and then pour using the handy spout into the moulds. Included are teddy bears, snakes and fish and because the mixture is thick with gelatin it is very easy to do half and half if you want different colours or flavours. Two heating pots are included which would make this easier!
And it works, after around 10 minutes the sweets are ready to be popped (carefully) out of the silicon moulds and they look exactly like bought sweets but of course you know what has gone into them. You do have to use a LOT of gelatin and this makes them a touch on the pricey side but I do think if you are very concerned for dietry reasons as to what your children eat then this is a fabulous way of letting them have sweets without compromising! I’m not such a Mother who worries about food colourings etc but I know people who are and this aspect is very important to them meaning a gummy maker could be just the ticket. For us, we just enjoyed the whole process of making them and having fun in the kitchen!
You have to be careful as you pop them out of the moulds, we had a few ear-less bears who were got the better of by my impatience but as you can see, they’re pretty impressive!
Overall the Gummy Maker works and that’s all that matters. It does what it promises, isn’t too much trouble to use and is also pretty easy to clean. I do think that you could do it without the ice by placing the silicon moulds directly into the freezer but I haven’t tried this. The kit comes with a giant bear mould which advises to do just that and it does kind of make me think you could perhaps do it without the kit entirely? I wonder if you just heated up ingredients on the hob and placed them in silicon ice cube trays before freezing if you might get a similar result without having to store a machine somewhere? Saying that, it is very attractive and enticing for the children, an activity for the afternoon that they can join in with and would make a lovely present. We’re pleased with the results but I’m not 100% sure we would buy it for our families needs?
I was sent the Gummy Bear Maker from Lakeland for the purpose of an honest review.