As the time for end-of-the-year lists and New Year’s resolutions approaches, I thought I’d de-clutter my blog of some of the Weekend Cooking ideas I planned to write up someday – most of which never even made it to draft form.
Here’s Part One:
The Big Cake Enhancer Test
My daughter used to blog about living with newly diagnosed celiac disease at Based on a Sprue Story, and noticed she got a lot of hits on a post that mentioned King Arthur Flour’s Cake Enhancer, which is a gluten-free product (although no one’s claiming that it’s organic, healthful, or all-natural).
So she planned an experiment to see if cake enhancer really made a difference in baking, particularly in gluten-free baking, as cake enhancer (whatever this “miracle ingredient” that the King Arthur people discovered in Europe actually is) when mixed in with the dry ingredients and baked in a cake, is supposed to make any cake softer and moister and stay fresh longer.
We did this experiment as part of a birthday celebration (which incidentally also proves the hypothesis that geekiness runs in families). The plan was to do the experiment jointly, with my daughter then writing a clever blog post about it, which then I’d piggyback on and share as my own Weekend Cooking post. (The fact that I’m writing the post instead of her, probably proves that she is, in fact, the cleverer one.)
Problem #1: Due to poor planning and forgetting how understocked our local supermarket tends to be, I ended up with two different brands and flavors of gluten-free cake mix – yellow King Arthur and another brand’s chocolate. (Why is this a problem? For those of you without keen scientific minds like ours…it introduced variables other than the cake enhancer.) This was so long ago (May 2014) that I’ve forgotten what the other brand was now.
Problem #2: After much lively family discussion and debate on whether Cake A or Cake B was softer and moister (and therefore the one with the cake enhancer in the mix) – someone with a real instead of imagined scientific bent* suggested that the King Arthur Flour gluten-free cake mix might have Cake Enhancer already in it. When I checked with King Arthur Flour, they confirmed that indeed it did. Our experimental results were therefore totally invalid, and the blog post never got written.
All was not lost, as we had fun doing the taste test. Both gluten-free birthday cakes were very good and not noticeably gluten-free, so I still believe in King Arthur Flour’s Cake Enhancer!
Happy Weekend Cooking!
*probably my husband, as usual