How you doin’? I’m feeling great today, but whenever I have an off day, get frustrated or even mildly depressed, I like to cook and bake (of course, I also like to bake when I’m happy, too!). Doing something constructive with my hands just makes me feel good. There is nothing better to relieve tension than to knead a dough ball while making bread or mix a beautiful batter and watch it bake.
I am excellent cook (even if I do say so myself) and consider myself a pretty good baker—which means I bake from scratch at least once a week. More often than not, I try not to use a boxed mix, a pre-made batter, puck or the refrigerated Poppin’ Fresh tube. In my book, Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts—Running Press, I demonstrate how easy it is to make great desserts from scratch. I just feel mixing a few ingredients together makes a huge difference in the taste and really doesn't take that much longer.
Before I go shopping at the store, I always try to take inventory of what’s in my pantry, refrigerator and freezer. I hate to miss something lurking in the corner that may end up going bad and having to be tossed out. Somewhere behind the 3-year old cans of tuna and the water chestnuts lurks a box of 2-year old cake mix. I don’t know how it got there, but there it is. Do I toss it out? Not on your life.
The best way to improve your 2-year old (probably out-of-code) box cake mix and make it taste like a cake made-from-scratch is… don’t follow the directions on the box.
Start by whisking in 1 teaspoon of freshly purchased baking powder. Don’t use the baking powder that’s been on the shelf—well, forever. Next, replace the vegetable oil with almost the same amount of melted butter. Not only does it improve the moisture and texture, but the butter adds an amazing buttery flavor to your almost-ancient cake mix. Just for the record, butter actually has fewer calories per tablespoon than oil.
You will need this handy-dandy guide to replacing oil with unsalted melted butter. Cut along the dotted line and put it in a place where you will remember it even after the pandemic is over.
ChefSecret: Your cake mix doesn’t have to be old, out of code or showing signs of dinosaur DNA—it can be a new, just-purchased box of any flavor of Betty’s best, Duncan’s finest or even a store brand—my butter and baking powder work on the new stuff as well.
#Cake #Baking #Choclatique #Dessert #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #RunningPress
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