Guest Author - Deborah Markus
The King Arthur Flour Company sent me a package of their Deliciously Simple chocolate cake mix to review. I have enjoyed their flour products in the past, and their mixes have always been spot on; this one was no exception.
One thing I want to mention right away -- this is not a mix to use if you want to make a double layer cake. This mix will give you one 9" x 9" cake or about 15 cupcakes.
The reason that I bring this up is that I was impressed by the fact that this mix calls for four eggs. For such a comparatively small cake, that's a lot. I was happily sure that this was going to be one incredibly rich cake, and I was quite correct.
Other than the eggs, you only need to add vegetable oil and water. The directions mention that you can throw in a cup of either chocolate chips or chopped nuts, but these are purely optional.
This mix also doesn't call for a lot of beating of ingredients. You whisk together your eggs, oil, and water, and then just stir in the mix.
The resulting cake is impressively dark. As for the texture, I cheerfully admit that it's moister than any homemade cake I've ever managed to put together. I think this may be the summer I try to outdo this mix with a creation of my own. I doubt I'll win, but at least I'll enjoy trying.
The Deliciously Simple cake mix's list of ingredients is fairly short, which I always appreciate. I was interested to see that they included both ordinary unbleached wheat flour and malted barley flour. Perhaps that's part of what makes this cake's crumb so uniquely moist?
One unexpected bonus of baking this cake was the frosting recipe on the box. It calls for a heavy cream and semisweet chocolate chips. Initially I was skeptical -- it seemed too easy -- and at first the texture of the frosting supported my doubts. However, when I tried whipping it (as per their suggestion for a "fluffy" frosting), it came together beautifully. It was a delicate frosting -- almost a mousse, really. My son was wild about it, as was I. Just be sure to beat it with an electric mixer rather than an old-fashioned eggbeater, or you'll be there all day.
I've enjoyed King Arthur Flour products since the first time I brought a bag of their flour home. This mix is one more example of the outstanding work this company does.