Don’t get me wrong, I like good food and I like to cook. I’m writing a food blog after all. There’s nothing quite like home cooked food and the satisfaction of knowing that your family is eating fresh and healthy as much as possible.
However, I’m all for the kind of cooking that means I can spend a little less time in the kitchen so I have more time for whatever else I want to do, even if it is just sitting down and lazing when the mood hits me. So I’m always happy to try out shortcuts in the kitchen so long as I’m not compromising on the quality of what I cook and serve.
I must confess that I have been tempted, on occasion, to reach out for readymade or so called instant foods from the store shelves, if only because it meant I could save some time because had to do what seemed like too many things all at the same time! Yet every single time I have resisted this temptation, thankfully, only because of the thought of what was actually in those boxes scared me.
For example, this is what the Pilsbury Rich Choco Super Moist Sureme Cake Mix says it contains, according to the information the company provides – “Ingredients : Sugar, Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Wheat Starch, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Contains 2% Or Less Of: Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Cellulose, Mono And Diglycerides, Corn Starch, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Sodium Caseinate, Cellulose Gum, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Stearate, Datem, Tbhq And Citric Acid (Antioxidants)”. If that list doesn’t scare you to death, it certainly looks like the ingredients themselves might eventually!
Take for example the cake mix of the sort I just mentioned above. How great would it be to be able to make a batch of your own cake mix with ingredients you’re happy to be using? Well, you can and it’s very easy to do. This Cake Mix makes a very soft and moist cake too.
This is not a particularly original idea but one that’s been in use for quite a while. You just need to mix up the dry ingredients and they will store in the freezer for up to two months. I tend to usually make small batch cupcakes or a smaller cake for tea so I usually divide the mix into two ziplock bags and freeze them for easy use.
I find this cake mix really handy when one has kids at home, and there’s a constant and unexpected demand for cakes just when the last thing one has time for is baking a cake! Or even when someone drops by unexpectedly, or when I need a quick-to-make cake for dessert or some other occasion. You can bake this Cake Mix into a simple Vanilla Cake or even add other flavours to this Cake Mix like I’ve done with this Lime Tea Loaf.
The recipe below makes 6 cups of dry Cake Mix which is enough to make two 9” cakes for a two-layer cake or one 9” x 13” tall cake, one 12-cup Bundt cake or 24 cupcakes. Depending on what you’re going to bake you will have to adjust the baking times accordingly. So two 9” cakes (for a layer cake) would take about 25 minutes, a 13” tall single cake would take about 35 minutes, a Bundt cake about 45 minutes and cupcakes would need about 20 minutes. Please note the baking times are an approximation.
Make It At Home Series : Homemade Yellow Cake Mix & A Lime Tea Loaf
For the Yellow Cake Mix :
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup powdered milk
- 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 200 gm butter chilled , cut into 1/2-inchs pieces
For the Lime Tea Loaf :
- 1/2 Yellow Cake Mix powder (above)
- 3/4 cup water warm
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
For the Sugar Glaze :
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsps lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- To make the Yellow Cake Mix, put the flour, corn starch, milk powder, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt in the processor bowl and run it a couple of times for a few seconds so it all combines well.
- Then add the chilled butter pieces and process again for about 15 seconds or so until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Itu2019s much like mixing ingredients for a pie crust except you want the butter pieces to combine well with the flour and stay as largish lumps. Donu2019t over process or the butter will start melting leaving you with a paste!
- Use immediately to make a cake or transfer the Cake Mix into ziplock bags and freeze for use later. This Cake Mix will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- To make the cake batter for a Lime Tea Loaf, put half the powdered Cake Mix in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup warm water and beat on slow speed with a hand held mixer. Then beat in the egg, the lime juice, lime zest, vanilla and lemon extract to a smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter to well-greased 8" x 4" loaf pan. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 40 minutes till done and the cake is golden brown. Completely cool the cake on a rack.
- Mix together the ingredients for the Sugar Glaze in a small bowl using a little more water, if necessary to make a thick flowing icing. Drizzle or pour over the cool cake. Let it set, then slice and serve.