Baking Betty Crockers' Cupcakes

I was asked if I wanted to review one of Betty Crocker's must-try product. At this stage, I could make things up for language fioriture sake and tell you that Betty Croker asked me to help her out but:

a) Betty Crocker never existed - it is a made up name-
b) I have to be careful about lexis as this story shows.

The product in question: Cupcake mix. Not being sure how I felt about cupcakes but going to a BBQ and in need of food which would travel easily on two buses I found the offer opportune and gladly accepted. I knew I was not going to produce what I understand is called Gourmet cupcakes, larger cupcakes based around a theme, the type one sees in specialists' shops.

I was happy  to settle for standard cupcakes as long as they rose which has always been my problem with cakes, they often look as flat as  yes .... pancakes. It was my chance to shine and rise, except that I do not own a cupcake tray. Off to the neighbours and back with 9 silicon moulds which looked like a rainbow when lined up on an oven tray.

The instructions at the back  of the Betty Crocker packets indicate that I would only require 10 minutes to get the mix ready for baking and then 16 minutes for baking- I needed to add water, oil, milk, and two eggs- my first effort concentrated upon the lemon mix which stretched as far as 8 cupcakes, not the promised 9. They did all rise and though it took me 20 minutes to mix, it worked well.
Should I have been able to make cupcakes without the mix. The obvious answer is yes but remember the pancake effect.

The icing - was the bit that amazed me - I have never been able to make a proper icing and here it worked without effort. Now I understand that the secret is to keep working that icing sugar with very little liquid.

I have one grumble : the fluted paper cups, it would not cost much more to include coloured paper cups instead of plain white after all cupcakes thrives on their looks. Moreover the paper cups are far too large and little cupcakes looked a bit drowned.

Attempt number two with the chocolate mix, produced more or less the same results, relatively faster. The acid test was always going to be  in the eating. Back to the neighbours with 5 empty silicon moulds and 4 cupcakes. They loved them, praised their moist textures and I now get great big grins when I met my neigbourgs in the street. Personally I thought that the taste of the baking powder was slightly too strong.

As for the BBQ, it may not have been a great choice of cake. On arrival the host told me, "you should not have bake fairy-cakes on my account." I knew the host was gay and that in Australia cupcakes are called fairy cakes but it never occurred to me ....anyway, on the spur of the moment, the only answer that came to my mind  was "I didn't bake them, Betty Crocker did."

My verdict : 
+ the mix is really convenient, and can be used with kids
- the taste of baking powder comes through a little bit too much
+ there is a lot of fun recipes on the Betty Crocker's website
- Paper cases are not pretty and too big
+The icing is really good and easy to make
+ The cupcakes are moist and light
+ cupcakes mixes are available from ASDA,Waitrose and Morrisons RRP £2.15. which adds up to £0.23 per cupcake.

You may have noticed that some of the cupcakes were sprinkled with glittering sugar and decorated with Daisies stay posted as these sparkles are going to be Pebble Soup's next Give Away

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