When Character Options asked us if we'd like to review some of their Yummy Nummies Mini Kitchen Magic kits, we had no idea what to expect. They are based on a craze that started in Japan, where children can create miniature food items that look and taste just like the real thing. But take note - they look and taste like the real thing but they aren't the real thing. This is a food craft which is perfectly edible but not designed as a food replacement and you shouldn't try to make a main meal out of your creations - as will become clear when you see them. The box explains that they are "super mini" but even so, I was surprised to see that each item is about the size of a 2p coin.
We started with the Pizza kit and unpacked the contents - you get a plastic tray, three small sachets of powder and three miniature tools and measuring spoons, plus the all important instructions.
First you need to measure out the right quantity of pizza base powder with the little scoop.
Use the same scoop to measure out the water - quite a fiddly operation as it is so small. You'll notice in the photos that all three of the Madhouse kids - aged 5, 10 and 13 - wanted to get involved in this activity so it appeals to a wide range of ages and both sexes.
Mix it up - it's quite runny and doesn't look particularly appetising at this point !
After a few seconds in the microwave (which Pierre excitedly helped me to count down !), it came out looking like this - slightly rubbery, spongy discs.
Next we needed to mix the second sachet - the sauce - with water. It's disconcertingly red like strawberry jam but it genuinely smells of pizza.
Spread it over the pizza bases then pop it back into the microwave for a few more seconds.
The final step is adding some of the cheese flavoured powder to the tops and spreading it out with your finger.
Here's the finished result - they are very small but the kids were very impressed.
The texture is quite stodgy and rubbery but the flavour is spot on. Although it only takes about 30 seconds to cook in the microwave, once you've added in the preparation time, it's probably just as quick to make a flatbread pizza with a tortilla wrap base ... but that's nowhere near as much fun, according to the kids.
They wanted to move straight on to the cookie kit. Again, it provides the plastic preparation tray, the mini utensils and three pouches, this time containing cookie powder and two sachets of mini choc chips (white and milk chocolate).
As before, you measure out the powder.
Add the water.
Mix it all up and split it between the little moulds.
With cookies this size, you don't have to worry about watching the calories !
Dot a few chocolate chips on top of each cookie then it's off to the microwave for a few seconds.
They never get quite this enthusiastic about making real cookies !
Here's how they come out. Pierre said it was fairy food and Juliette said it was like edible Fimo modelling clay !
The cookies got a bit stuck in the tray but the kids didn't seem to mind. I think they were just quite amazed at being able to create something edible using nothing but powder and water and a few seconds in the microwave.
We tried out the cookies and pizza kits but there are many more available. The complete range is split into three categories - in Dinner Delights, there are Chicken Nuggets, Burger & Fries, Spaghetti & Meatballs and Pizza; in Bakery Treats, there are Cupcakes, Doughuts and Cookies; and in Candy Shop, there are Gummy Goodies and Chocolate Bar Maker.
As an adult, I wasn't hugely impressed because I think cookies and pizzas are probably the easiest and quickest to create as real food. I think I would have been more impressed with producing a mini version of burger and fries or chicken nuggets probably. The kids, however, were ecstatic - they see it more as making edible creations from modelling clay rather than real cooking or food prep so they thought it was very innovative and creative.
A couple of things that could be tweaked easily would be to create bigger trays so that you can create all ten cookies/pizzas in one go rather than in three batches and to provide trays that don't need cutting, as it's quite fiddly for younger children and creates sharp edges. I'd like to see slightly bigger creations too. The press release made it very clear that these are tiny creations that will be unsuitable as a main meal and that they're not designed as a food replacement (which I take to mean that they have zero nutrients in them) but I didn't find this to be very clear on the actual box itself. They seem quite expensive for what they are but I know the Madhouse kids will want me to hunt down some of the other kits so that they can try them out too !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.