Product Type: Betty Crocker Baking & Ingredients
Newest Review: ... cases and joined in the middle. I would not call this satisfactory advise from Betty Crocker. Further on (in a small font size) it sug... more
For the lazier domestic god(dess)!
Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix
Member Name: luxuryliner
Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix
Advantages: Yummy and easy to make
Disadvantages: Pricey and no nutritional information
But then, the Betty Crocker range is perfect for the lazier domestic god(dess). They're basically a range of ready-to-make cakes, desserts and other bakery goods which I've seen in pretty much every supermarket from Sainsburys and Tesco to smaller corner shops. I've noticed items such as Devil's Food Cake, cookies, brownies, ready-to-spread icing, and of course, the Blueberry Muffin Mix I'm reviewing now. I absolutely love blueberry muffins, so when I saw these on the shelf, I thought I might as well give them a go (not to mention kid my flatmates that I'd been hard at work baking all day...)
The mix came in a large cardboard box, temptingly printed with a large picture of the very moist-looking and appealing finished product. I must admit that I was a bit sceptical about how they would actually turn out; the muffins in the picture looked so professional that I wasn't sure I'd be able to match up to them!
Inside the box was a sealed plastic packet of dry muffin mix, and, surprisingly, a tin of blueberries in syrup - I was expecting a packet of dried blueberries, so a tin of juicy squidgy berries was a pleasant surprise. The plastic packet opens nicely but the tin isn't a ring-pull, so you'll need a can opener to get it open. There's also a nest of 6 greaseproof muffin cases; reassuringly, they're all substantially larger than ordinary fairy cake cases.
There's also no nutritional (read: horrific calorie content) information on the back of the packet, which is a bit coy of them. I think it's safe to assume that each muffin contains a disgusting amount of calories, fat, sugar and every other nasty and is probably best consumed as a treat only!
~~EASE OF USE~~
On the back of the box are very clearly set out instructions, complete with three ingredient illustrations - you have to add an egg, three tablespoons of oil and 300ml of milk. These are all standard fridge/store cupboard essentials, so I wasn't that bothered about them adding to the cost too much.
The actual muffin mix is pale yellow, dry and powdery; once you've added these extras, you have to stir the whole thing, carefully and not too hard - the packet warns you, in terrifying capital letters, NOT TO BEAT THE MIXTURE! I wondered about this, but a quick Googling reveals that apparently muffins are better when they're not properly mixed, as they're lumpier and doughier if they've been left unbeaten. So now I know.
Anyway, then you add the blueberries - they're in syrup so make sure you drain them properly to stop the mixture becoming too runny and stained blue throughout. Again, the packet warns you to take care doing this and not to break up all the lumps! I just stirred them in gently and tried not to break the berries up either, as I like the yummy squish when you bite into a whole blueberry.
When everything's mixed together, you'll need to put the muffin cases in one of those cake baking trays with all the holes in it (I used one and they turned out really well). However, if you haven't got one, the packet says that it won't hurt them too much if you just put them on a flat baking tray.
They cook really fast - the packet instructions say to give them 20-24 minutes, but they were starting to look golden and yummy after about 15 minutes so I took them out.
~~APPEARANCE AND TASTE~~
You know what? They actually did look like the impressively professional muffins on the front of the box - really fat and fluffy-looking, with that distinctive large-topped muffin shape. The blueberries were distributed nice and evenly throughout, giving substantial smudges of blue in the golden brown. The kitchen smelt amazing (yes, I did get some comments about my mad baking skills!) and they tasted every bit as good as they looked, really dense yet fluffy and nicely sugary.
They're mainly wheat flour and sugar, with an impressive 13% real blueberries; they also contain dextrose, raising agents, modified corn starch, salt, corn starch, stabilisers and flavourings. Real honest home baking this is not, but bear in mind that it's a packet product and you'd find all of these less than wholesome added extras in any supermarket ready-made cake. If you're allergic to eggs, milk or gluten, steer clear.
~~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~~
A 375g packet, containing everything you need except an egg, some oil and some milk costs £1.98 in Sainsburys. With the addition of the extras you're still only looking at a little over £2 for 6 huge, delicious muffins; it's not that cheap but in terms of convenience and fun it beats getting everything together yourself!
If you like baking but are a bit averse to organisation, these are perfect! If you've got allergies to milk, eggs or gluten, they're not for you, but for a fun treat that's easy for anyone to rustle up (including children) they're hard to beat. I also like the fact that they have real blueberries included, as the finished product is just that little bit more luxurious.
Downsides? The lack of calorie information is really annoying, plus they'd work out a bit too pricey for me to keep buying and making. But then, I'd work out a bit too lardy if I constantly ate them...so maybe it's a good thing!
Summary: Good baking kit for those short of time and inclination!
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