CCU slid through the aisles, the trench coat collar sticking up high, as she pretended to gaze at ingredients thoughtfully.
She was so close, a bead of sweat trickling down from her temple. She wiped it away, as if swatting a fly, trying to appear inconsequential.
A man with a moustache looked at her. They knew. She quickened her pace, her heart beating erratically, and she pushed past busty ladies balancing their babies to get to the area.
The cake mix area.
Like a venus flytrap, her hand snaked out and grabbed the mix, before being stuffed into the inside of her coat.
And so, she fled Coles.
*Disclaimer: This story is for humorous purposes only, no foods were stolen in the making.
**Also, I don’t know if Coles is worldwide, but here down under, it is one our major supermarkets. No they did not pay me to use their name specifically, it could have been Woolworths for all its worth, whatever suits your imagination :)
Ok, now see here, this story is all what you would call, an example of, ‘artistic licence’ – taking an event and twisting it because I have the right to do so as someone who regards themselves as published. No sorry, actually, it can be done by anyone.
Ever heard of Chinese whispers? Exactly.
ANYWAY, not to get off track here, I received this cake mix not by stealing as I may give the impression above, and not by active buying, because… I might have a teensy-tiny thing against using cake mixes. Yes, I admit, I am a snob. Using cake mixes gives me the impression of sawdust coming out of the oven and icing that could be chewing gum on the bottom of your shoe.
True story since the only cake mix I tried had these results. And from then on, I never used cake mix again.
You see, a sweet friend gave me Adriano Zumbo’s Mirror Cake Mix. And I was like, ‘Yeah, wow, I got to use this despite my history’ because, well, if you know me at all, you would know my obsession with Adriano Zumbo’s macarons and dessert train :D
So I was totally going to make it! Cross my heart!
BUT… then I forgot about it. Oops. Year 12 started, life grew hectic, and I may or may not have spaced. But here I was, cleaning out my baking pantry like the good child I am and BAM. The expiration date of September 13th hit my face with a nice big slap! :P
Oh dear. Must resolve it. And that is how I found myself beginning to bake this cake-mix cake this weekend.
I hope by now, the photos have given you the impression that I rather enjoyed this cake. Rather enjoyed as in, FREAKING LOVED IT! I know, I know, what happened to the cake mix hater, but you MUST give me and it some credit ok?
The cake was:
- Chocolatey (it is worth repeating)
- Looks exactly like the picture on the cover – Don’t giggle, this is important! What if you were expecting Betty Crocker muffins and instead, came out with muffins which had no muffin top?
- Glazed with magic. Really.
What was so commendable about this cake, more than its incredible texture or flavour equivalent to my made-from-scratch go to mudcake recipe, was the fact that when it said ‘mirror glaze’, it most certainly did come out with the ability to see the lights and even the box itself reflecting off it.
It just really added to the whole experience of eating a cake by seeing my face in it. Yeah, I am pretty darn delicious ;)
Also, since I decided to review this cake, I had to make sure I wasn’t looking at it from a somewhat amateur baker’s point of view, but from the perspective of a person who may not even have baked cookies before and now needed a dessert for a party they completely forgot about. Yep, it does happen to those non-bakers, the poor darlings!
I found that in general, the instructions were very clear, though I tweaked them a little as you shall see below. Of course the ingredient/nutrition list was fine as usual and I think the idea of having video instructions available – after, 1 in 3 people find it easier to learn by visuals. Yes I made that statistic up but it IS probably true. Don’t question me yeah? :P
In no way does the flavour need improving. Seriously, look at the photos, read my points, if I tried to improve this, it would not be possible. Unless of course you added a swirl of Nutella. Though you may just perish from chocolate overload, a very real possibility.
But how could we improve this as a product, and make this an even easier dessert to make? Simply follow my little extra tips of course :D
- The recipe says ‘stir in chocolate’ in the first instruction, but I think ‘immediately’ is a key term missed out here – a novice may leave the butter to cool, may get distracted, and when the chocolate is stirred in in the end, the butter may not remain hot enough to allow the chocolate to easily melt into it and be stirred through to create a smooth textured mixture
- Also, don’t worry if the butter boils in the microwave – its all good, just make sure every little bit is melted and as long as your dish is covered, the butter will be fine and your microwave will be clean :D
- It also says to ‘add in the eggs’ straight after the chocolate has melted in the butter mixture – take it from a girl with personal experience – three eggs in a still relatively hot mixture = scrambled eggs. My advice here? Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes before adding in the egg, mixing one in at a time, for the best results :)
- This is also quite direct in its timing for baking – while I guess this is good to give a novice certainty, it does not accommodate for idea that people’s ovens are all different – for instance, of course the first 60 minutes of baking are fine but my cake was baked 10 minutes after instead of the 20 minutes suggested on the box – writing ’10-20 minutes’ and giving specific instructions as to how to check the cake is down (skewer inserted brings out few crumbs, lightly press down on cake and it should spring up) may have been a better idea
- The instructions to cool the cake got me a little – I let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, after running a sharp knife around the edges well, before gently shaking it out onto a wire rack, not a chopping board, since otherwise, condensation would build up below and sogify your cake (just call me Shakespeare my darlings!) – By all means, once it is at room temperature and it is time to glaze, go ahead and move it to a chopping board or serving platter :D
- Also, I should mention that my cake rose considerably, so it was pretty fantastic BUT the instructions say to tip out the cake out onto a flat surface – if that is the case, use a large knife and level up the top, making sure you don’t be too crumby :) – Eating the cut offs was my favourite part without a doubt!
- This cake has a very liquidy batter – do be worried, I wasn’t used to it, but it certainly had brilliant results!
And lastly, I would really appreciate it if they would write which mix is which much clearer. I had a mini heart attack trying to distinguish between the icing mix and the cake mix. JUST saying :P
So overall how did this cake mix go?
Adriano Zumbo Mirror Cake
A solid rating of 9/10 :D – Beautiful looking, pretty decent instructions and FAB results for the tastebuds!!!
Definitely check it out people, and if you are visiting down under, you should definitely invest :D
But do remember, you don’t know what exactly is in cake mixes (the preservatives and all!), I would not recommend only making them, NO WAY!
There will always be a little artificial flavour, even in this one with all its awesomeness, so remember, these are delicious and a simple way out only once in a while!!! :)
To see more baking mixes by the Baking God himself, visit his website!