Time seems to be a major factor for most mothers, and of course there are the health issues over fat and sugar to consider as well. So most of my baking now is for charity stalls and I tend to use butter icing, chocolate buttons and coloured strands for decoration. My first reaction to the Supercook products was "can't wait to try them". The packaging is certainly attractive and would be easy to spot on the supermarket shelves. Reading the instructions on the spray colourings, however, I was disappointed to find that preparation ­ which involved covering surfaces ­ was time consuming. Children would definitely have to be properly supervised. Also, it should say whether or not the products are likely to stain. On the whole, though, the results were good. Thomas particularly loved the ready-to-roll chocolate flavoured icing. He made all kinds of animals and loved eating them, and the fruit-flavour icings were great fun and easy to decorate with. I think the Royalice and spray cans were quite expensive, and I will probably stick with the traditional ways which are cheaper. Vegetable colourings are always successful and involve far fewer chemicals. I would imagine that these are useful for bakers and anyone making special occasion cakes although ­ and I say this as one who laments the passing of the home-baking era ­ you can buy excellent ones featuring children's favourite televison characters in supermarkets. {{P&P }}

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