“ Brand: Asda / Type: Muffin / Cupcake mix „
It was my father's birthday recently and he asked me if I'd bake him a celebration cake. I offered to buy a cake mix and he said he'd rather I just bake one up from scratch, that it was a simple thing to do. I reminded him that my cooking skills were quite bad and that I even failed my Food and Nutrition exam in which we had to bake a basic Victoria sponge, but he was insistant. The result of this was the worst cake I have ever seen in my life. I mean it looked like an iced pancake and tasted like an egg pie. After dividing the cake amongst family members I shouted to my dad, who was in the next room, if he thought the cake was okay and he shouted back that it was, followed by lots of odd snuffling and choking noises. When I popped my head around the door he was secretly stuffing the cake into the mouth of his dog, hoping to get it all in there before I noticed! I was really embarrassed by this fiasco and promised I'd make up for it by buying an easy bake cake mix and trying again.
I found this Triple Chocolate Muffin Mix whilst shopping at Asda. It is the store's own brand so it was a bit more reasonably priced than some of the other ready mixes on offer. The product comes in a large purple box with a picture of three large muffins on the front, which look absolutely gorgeous. The packaging is well designed as it clearly tells you many things about the product on the front of the box. It shows that preperation time is 10 minutes, baking time is 18 minutes and that the pack makes 6 muffins. There is also a helpful Food Facts panel in the corner of the box which shows that the product is suitable for vegetarians, that it contains no hydrogenated fats and that it contains no artifical colours or flavours. The back of the box shows what ingredients you need and also has really basic cooking instructions. These instructions would be better if numbered just to make it a bit easier, but even so they are simple to follow.
Inside the box you get a packet of powder mix and six paper muffin cases. You don't need many extra ingredients to add to the powder mix. All you need is:
4fl oz. Milk
as well as practical utensils such as:
A baking Tray or Muffin Tin
You also need to have a functioning oven as you can't use a microwave to cook these.
To begin you need to set your oven to 220 degrees/425 degrees Farenheit or Gas Mark 7. You then need to seperate the muffin cases and place on your tray. Then it's a quick and simple mix job. You should mix your egg and your milk together first. Then empty the powder muffin mix into your bowl, add the liquid mixture then stir until a "lumpy batter" is formed. Then divide the mixture between the muffin cases and place in the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes.
When I followed the instructions for this muffin mix I was surprised that it said add the egg/milk liquid mix all at once as this makes it quite sloppy. I panicked a little as the mixture just looked like a cocoa drink rather than a cake mix. It was literally as runny as that. It also makes it harder to mix the powder into the liquid and I found myself pressing down hard on powdery lumps that had formed. I recommend, in this case, that you should add the milk and egg mix gradually. The powder mixture also contains two types of chocolate chip, white and milk chocolate chunks, which can be mistaken for lumps of powder. Eventually I mixed it until I was sure that all the powder had been moistened by the liquid and the mixture was a little less runny at this stage. Even so when it came to putting the finished mix into the cases I found it was easier to pour the mixture rather than spoon it.
I have a normal, non fan assisted oven and it took 15 minutes for the muffins to cook. They are ready when a skewer (or sharp knife if you prefer) inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
My muffins looked quite nice although the shape of each muffin was quite odd. Some of them had gone submarine shaped and none of them had risen as much as I had imagined they would, and not as much as the packaging photo suggests they will. They did not have the rounded top that muffins are supposed to have. When I tried to think of why this might be I can only guess at things like: I used full fat milk instead of semi-skimmed. It doesn't specify which type of milk to use on the packet though. I also might not have gotten enough air into the mixture or perhaps I should have moulded the shape after putting the mixture into the cases? I really don't know. They weren't terribly flat though, just not your typical muffin shape. The tops of the muffins looked lovely though as the white and brown chocolate chips had risen to the top and were encrusted in the cracked brown surface like little gems. This is accurately shown on the packaging photograph. Overall the muffins were entirely presentable and I was happy to share them around without fear of being laughed at for my baking skills!
The taste of the muffins was nice. The sponge is chocolate flavoured and there are the two types of chocolate chip, hence the 'triple chocolate' effect. I would have preferred the sponge to have been a tiny bit more chocolatey or sweet but the chocolate pieces were abundant and helped to lift the flavour. The white chocolate pieces are especially creamy and delicious. The muffins are quite moist immediately after baking but dry out quickly - there were some left over and even a day later they were noticably drier. They are lovely both warm straight out of the oven or cool.
I think this cake mix might be one of the most simple I've ever used as there is only one ingredient you have to measure, the milk. For this reason I think it's excellent for kids although it MAY be such that there is so little to do that this leaves them bored! In any case it's one of the best cake mixes I've used aimed at people like me who can't bake a cake to save their life! It makes you feel like you've achieved something even if you have cheated enormously and the lovely melting chocolate aroma that fills your kitchen area whilst cooking is worth buying this for alone!
Nutritional information for the muffins is as follows. Each muffin contains 11.3 grams of fat and has 256 calories as well as 2.9g of fibre and 6.6 g of protein.
The Triple Chocolate Muffin Mix is available at Asda stores and online and is a bargain price of only 64p. That's a great price for six large muffins and I'd definately buy again to help save my blushes and for an enjoyable, easy baking experience.