Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Box-Free Cake

Last Wednesday, for my daughters class, I made 36 chocolate cupcakes with ganache for the frosting. They were so moist, rich and beyond chocolatey.  So it got me thinking about cake mixes.

It's been 5 years since I last bought a box of cake mix.  I originally made the decision to stop buying cake mixes because of the trans-fats, but now that I've had years without "boxed" flavor... I honestly can't eat it because it never really tastes like the 'real' thing.  And quite frankly, if I'm gonna eat a piece of cake... I want to be in LOVE with it.  It better be amazing or I won't waste my taste buds time ;)  So--it could be said--as a side benefit to only eating the BEST version of cakes (or any other baked goods for that matter) is that the prepackaged ones no longer taste good.

I'm not much for reciting numbers and facts...some things are just OBVIOUS. 

Here's what I put in my chocolate (cup)cakes:

Unbleached Organic Flour, Cocoa Powder, Organic Butter, Local Buttermilk, Free-Range Organic Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Organic Sour Cream, Fair-Trade Organic Brewed Coffee, Pure Organic Vanilla, Kosher Salt

And the ganache frosting:
Chocolate chips, Organic Heavy Cream


For comparison.... just look what's in a name-brand box of devils food cake mix:


Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Dextrose, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Modified Food Starch, Wheat Starch, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Artificial Flavors

And frosting:

Sugar, Water, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Mono- and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60), Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Corn Syrup. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Corn Starch, Salt, Invert Sugar, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Carmelized Sugar (Sugar, Water), Caramel Color, Acetic Acid, Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate), Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate. 

Seriously, cake doesn't need ALL of that stuff in it to taste good.  Boxed cake mixes, along with a long list of other convenience products are engineered to sit on a shelf.  Not to mention all of the ingredients (listed in yellow) that are made from corn, which is most likely genetically engineered corn.  For me, the word engineered doesn't and shouldn't have anything to do with food.  But, if you like or need facts... do a little research or just watch Food Inc.


Wanna make a box-free chocolate cake??  Here's one recipe that I use: