Friday, February 11, 2011
Thinking Outside of the Box... of Cake Mix, That Is!
How is one supposed to be creative, with the rush & turmoil of today's social & economic pressures?
... Especially when it comes to Cake.
Let's face it, if you want to make a homemade cake from scratch, it will take you a good 2 to 3 hours, and quite a few dollars (if you have to buy all of the ingredients), or you can just make a cake from a box, which takes about an hour & will cost you about $2.00 and the price of a couple of eggs & some oil. Regardless of which you prefer, the idea of being able to have a delicious dessert at the end of a long hard day [at the office, dealing with personal business, running around ragged, dealing with the family, the spouse, the pets, the PTA, social engagements ( you know, those things where you have a saccharinny smile, & act like you are having the time of your life), etc., etc.] makes it all worth doing again tomorrow.
So...How do we make time & be thrifty about getting to enjoy that slice of wonderment that we all so much deserve at the end of the day?
First off, plan a couple of hours on a low rush day, to use your baking time as an act of stress relief. The whole process incorporates the ideology of many modern practices of relaxation. For instance, reading, small reflexive movements with your body, slow counting, breathing... drinking the leftover brandy, from that apple cake recipe, are all part of the technique. Shoot, you can make several cakes in one day, and skip Yoga for a week... now the gym, that would be another story.
After baking the cakes & letting them cool, go ahead & slice them in half ,lengthwise( if you like 4 layers) wrap them in plastic & freeze them. Freezing cakes locks in moisture & preserves them, so they are as good as freshly baked, a week later. Frozen cakes are also easier to ice & maneuver.You have just created the basis for a weeks worth of treats that will only take minutes to prepare as you want them.
In order to be cost effective, what better way is there than to use what you already have on hand? Who doesn't have a jar of peanut butter, or a can of fruit in its own juices sitting around? Shoot, get creative using things that you normally wouldn't spread on cake... Cream Cheese? Butter? That sweet Liqueur that's been sitting in the cupboard since, you don't know when? How about some Lemon Basil & sardines?
Caking is not necessarily about trying to be cost effective & time efficient. It is about creating a treat that you love, and making it even better.
Even if you use that boxed mix, or decide that scratch is for you, expand your mind to the possibility that it can be so much more than...500 Calories a serving!
Chris & Trey (contributing author)