Here’s what belongs in chocolate cake: Milk, Eggs, Flour, Cocoa, Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, Vegetable Oil and Vanilla.
Here’s what Betty Crocker says belongs in their chocolate cake mix: Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Corn Syrup, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium, phosphate), Corn Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Carob Powder, Propylene Glycol Mono and Diesters of Fatty Acids, Distilled Monoglycerides, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavor, Contains Wheat; May Contain Milk Ingredients.
Nine Spartan ingredients versus two dozen Persian. Okay, the latter number could be inflated as it may contain milk ingredients and is not entirely sure whether we’re getting partially hydrogenated soybean or cottonseed oil (or both). Sadly, I can actually understand why someone would choose a boxed cake mix. I mean, hey, I’m an American and guess what type of bang I like t0 get? The most for my American buck. Since I can have Betty’s Crocker for under three dollars (floozie!), and it has the alleged benefit of prepackaged convenience, the decision should be a no-brainer. Right? This is the part where I’m supposed to lecture you about the foulness of preservatives and the lies corporations buy. However, I’m gonna spare you that because… well, it’s 2012. If you don’t understand how bad food affects the body, you don’t read.
What I’d rather focus on is the aforementioned convenience we think validates all that dietary garbage. Look with a more discerning eye. The Betty Crocker mix requires eggs and vegetable oil (which are obviously not included), so the monetary cost is not that discrepant. As for prep time, an unfortunate too many of us go fetal at the phrase “from scratch,” as though we’re expected to milk our own cows. Not so. In fact, the only difference between doing it yourself and having some fictitious marm (in an ugly red suit) guide you is a matter of measuring the baking soda, flour and sugar yourself. You’re stacking on another ten minutes and that’s if you suck at fractions. Meaning, you get to spare your body two-and-a-half unnecessary ingredients for every extra minute you spend in the kitchen. Pretty damn reasonable if you ask me.
We will frost these at a later date.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine all ingredients in mixer. Blend on low until moistened. Blend on medium for 3 minutes. Transfer batter to paper-lined cupcake pans. Fill cups 2/3 to 3/4 full. This is a thicker cake batter than most as it has butter and chocolate. If making regular cupcakes, bake for 20 minutes. If making mini-cupcakes, bake for 10 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a knife can be inserted into center of one and comes out clean. The result is a nice, light and moist cake.