Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Baking With Betty

Betty Crocker is a brand my Mum remembers not being able to buy in the UK, she was friendly with kids from the local US Airforce base and as such she got to try and see things that most Brits didn't have at that time. Fast forward a couple of decades, and you'll find Betty on a shelf in most UK supermarkets and beyond.

Cake mixes, like most so-called shortcuts are quite divisive, with many vowing never to use them and simply not understanding why you would start from scratch. I feel this way about lots of food, but cakes are hard. Baking is a science, and chemistry was not my strong point in school, so anything that helps me to get it right first time- and FYI if you have to attempt making your cake 3 times baking gets costly, then bring it. See also icing, frosting and decorating, because I'm about as creative as a brick wall.


So, what do you get with a Betty Crocker bake?

These....

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Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting & sprinkles


And these....

Cookie cookie cookie.
'Rainbow' White choc chip cookies

let us not forget these....

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'Christmas' Chocolate Muffins

Now whilst I'm quite capable of weighing flour, creaming butter and sugar, and I have a grasp on what the batter should look like before you fling it all in the oven, this is just so... easy. And quick. I have a small kitchen, which I have to share, and I'm often short on time. not including baking time (obvz) I made ALL THREE of those different cakes and cookies in less than 15 minutes. Yes for real, that's what an electric whisk will do for you, as well as not having to faff  with the scales.

The rapid disappearance of all items tell me they tasted pretty awesome. But here's the good bit, no decoration creation. Betty Crocker recently launched Vanilla Frosting with Sprinkles- so one tub, one lid, both items. And even I can shove a bit of frosting I didn't have to make into a piping bag, or lazier still use a palette knife (if I had one)....

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Frosting.... not quite all over the kitchen

I never said I wasn't a messy cook.

The sprinkles also working well in paler cakes and cookies for the 'Rainbow' effect a la my cookies

Cookie Monster.

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ALL THE SPRINKLES

I was very generously offered the opportunity to attend a Betty Crocker baking event last month, but was sadly unable to last the course because my stupid sickly insides decided to be miserable. But before I left, I learned some interesting things:

Did you know that Betty Crocker started of as a radio show advising women on cooking and baking in the US?

Betty Crocker only launched in the UK in the 1990's, despite being in existence since the 1950's.

There are way more products than you think- I'd never heard of Betty Crocker tray bake mixes or muffin mixes, and it was only when embarking on this review that I knew they made frosting and icing. One stop shop much?!

And FYI there's a whole load of inspiration for customising your cakes on the Betty Crocker website, and my muffins above were doctored to become Christmas Muffins- I added 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and the finely grated zest of half an orange to the mix, to add a hint of Christmas spirit and thinking forward to some of the baking I've committed to over the next few weeks.

If anyone has any more suggestions for Christmas-style alterations to make, be my guest- please do let me know if the comments, especially if you have tried these things with a Betty mix.

All products featured are press samples sent for review. All new, views & photos are my own, and gracious thanks to the Betty Crocker crew for their patience. 
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