Lara's attention span currently maxes out at about 2 minutes for any one task, which is why I shudder when she asks "Mummy, I want to do some cooking". By the time I have lifted out all of the ingredients and equipment, got her to wash her hands, put on her apron and got into her Funpod, Lara has lost interest and says "No Mummy, I didn't want to cook THOSE biscuits/cakes/salad/pasta/vegetables" and bursts into tears. A ready-to-make cake mix isn't something I would ordinarily use for myself but for Lara, at this impatient stage in her life, it seems to solve a need - cutting out lots of the prep time and offering her a slightly increased level of independence
Lara was sent one of the latest cake mixes from the James Martin Bakery range to try out. The James Martin Chocolate Cake Mix is a lot more grown up than 'kids' cooking mixes and the ingredients reflect this. Yes, being a packet mix it does contain emulsifiers and raising agents that I wouldn't add if I were making it from scratch but it does at least contain cocoa (unlike some kids 'chocolate flavour' baking products I have seen) and in general, I was happy with the ingredients - they certainly led to a very tasty and good looking cake!
All Lara had to do to make the cake was to stir the cake mix with one egg (she can crack them herself now) and a small cup of Cola!! The secret ingredient.
Then I constructed the paper baking tray for her and she scraped it in. We cooked the cake on a low heat for 45 minutes until it was firm and well risen.
One the cake was cool, we made up the frosting by adding a small amount of butter and milk to another mix. We slathered it on and then threw chocolate curls at it. I must say, it looked like a very smart cake for a 2 year old to have made!
I can now see the attraction of a ready made cake mix - it certainly solved the attention span problem we are currently going through. Of its kind, I think this James Martin Bakery Chocolate Cake Mix was very good. It was a good texture, if a little lacking in flavour for the cake itself. I'd be happy to buy these again to cater to the urgent cookery demands of a preschooler however, I'm still pretty certain that both Lara and I would prefer to eat a chocolate cake made by James Martin himself - he being an awesomely good pastry chef.