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