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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Strawberry Basil Bundt cake

Let me say up front that this is a boxed cake.  I saw it in World Market and thought it sounded interesting, and it didn't have any weird ingredients.  (Well there's basil, but I digress...)

I was making it on a weekday evening to take to a work party the next day.  When I opened the box, there were 3 unmarked, foil-looking plastic bags.  I searched them all over looking for some identification --- there was supposed to be a batter mix, a swirl mix, and a glaze mix --- but I couldn't find anything.  I figured the largest bag must be the batter mix and the middle-sized bag, the swirl mix.  The instructions were to mix up the cake batter and reserve 1 cup.  To that reserved cup you were to add the swirl mix.  The swirl mix, from what I could tell, was just strawberry-flavored powdered sugar.  Didn't seem TOO odd --- the cake mix wasn't terribly sweet, so a swirl of a more potent flavor seemed reasonable, but was a little disappointing.

I made the cake per the directions, swirling the two batters together, and it baked up fine.  I left it to cool overnight, with the intention of glazing it during lunch the next day. 

So the next day, I start to prepare the glaze.  I pick up the packet and there I see, in fine type, "Swirl mix".  Well now, isn't that interesting.  No wonder the mix I'd used had looked like powdered sugar.  It WAS!  But a little (okay a lot) of extra sugar in the cake wouldn't hurt anything.  But how would the swirl mix be as glaze?  I was about to find out.

I opened up the packet and it was a dark pink powder, sort of like dry Jello.  It tasted mildly sweet, like strawberry, and a bit tangy.  I added about a cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon or two of water until it was a glazing consistency, and forged ahead.

Conclusion:  In the end, it all worked out fine.  The cake was quite sweet, and the glaze came out tasting a bit like candy and had these strawberry "bits" in it.  A little went a long way --- it somewhat overwhelmed the rather delicate cake flavors --- but everyone thought it was great.  It's a decent cake mix, and those two flavors do actually compliment each other nicely.  But now I feel compelled to bake it again to see what it's like when done right!  Only this time, I would cut the oil (1/2 cup) in half, as it was a bit rich.  In the end, a fun experiment.

Recipe:  Strawberry and Basil Bundt Cake Mix by Sof'ella

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