Saturday, May 17, 2014

Skimpy Betty Crocker

I guess I have to apologize again, for the delays in the tutorial on Delectable Mountains.  I still have the sore throat, although I am improving greatly.  Thursday night was the first night since May 1 that I slept through the night without waking myself up with a coughing fit.  I promise I will get back to showing the process for Delectable Mountains very soon.

Right now I want to share what I discovered this morning about packaged cake mixes, specifically about Betty Crocker cake mixes.

We don't usually have cake or cookies on hand, but Dear Son #1 is visiting right now, so a few goodies are in order.  Today I decided to make a batch of cinnamon buns and then a chocolate/cherry cake.  I think I've posted the very simple recipe at some time previous, but here it is:

CHOCOLATE/CHERRY CAKE (like Black Forest Cake, only easy)

1 package of chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of Almond extract
1 can of cherry pie filling.

Mix these ingredients together and bake in a 9 x 13 pan.  Ice with chocolate icing (bought or homemade).

I noticed on the cake mix box the following: "NEW Bake Times."  That's kind of strange, I thought.  Could they have changed the ingredients so that it bakes faster?  I finished mixing the batter and put it into the pan, and noticed: THERE IS QUITE A BIT LESS BATTER THAN THERE USED TO BE! So this is one of those sneaky things that food manufacturers (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) use to get more money for the same product.  Charge the same amount, but put less in the box!

I looked at another cake mix in the cupboard, a Duncan Hines mix.  The ingredients in that box weight 515 grams.  The ingredients in the Betty Crocker weigh 432 grams.  Shame on you, Betty Crocker!

Then I read the list of ingredients: "enriched wheat flour, sugar and/or golden sugar, corn syrup, cocoa, baking soda, corn starch, modified corn starch, soybean and/or cottonseed oil, shortening (so far, nothing terribly objectionable), propylene glycol mono esters of fatty acids, monoglycerides, carob powder (fine), monocalcium phosphate, salt (o.k.), sodium aluminum phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, artificial flavour, citric acid.  Do we actually know what those things are? Do we really want to ingest them?!!!

And then, in bold print, as a warning: CONTAINS WHEAT (Quelle surprise!!), MAY CONTAIN MILK INGREDIENTS (!!!)  Oooh, be careful, little mouth, what you eat!

I know--there are people who are allergic to milk ingredients, but I doubt they would be using a cake mix without checking the ingredients.  On the other hand, could all these chemical additives be at least partly responsible for, among other things, obesity and increasing problems with allergies and food intolerances?

By the by, did you know that there is actually only a very small percentage of the population that is truly allergic or sensitive to gluten?  All these gluten-free products are a marketing device (read scam).  Ridiculous are the products that never did contain gluten that are now advertised as "gluten free."

That's my rant for the week!

I guess I have to look up my old chocolate cake recipe, all normal, ordinary ingredients.  A little bit more work, but definitely a better cake than what I'm getting today! 

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