Several months ago I was contacted by Incognito Cakes, who are about to launch a range of gluten, wheat and dairy-free cake mixes (Edit: in fact, you can now order their chocolate cake mix!). Would I like to review these before they are launched to the general public?
Well, I’m never ever one to turn down cake, but unfortunately I received them during a period of my life where I was being sent cake mixes left, right and centre to review for Can I Eat It? (I’m their resident gluten-free reviewer). At one point I had ten – TEN – cake mixes in the house. I’m glad those dark days are over.
So really all this is just my long way of apologising to Incognito Cakes for sitting on their mixes (not literally) for several months before actually reviewing them.
Anyway, on to the cakes. They sent me three varieties: coconut muffins, carrot muffins and a chocolate cake mix. The carrot muffins are currently sitting downstairs, begging for me to eat just one more. However, the fate of the coconut muffins and chocolate cake illustrate just where my brain has been the past few months.
But let’s start with the carrot muffins!
The instructions said to add 170ml vegetable oil (I used sunflower), 3 eggs and 3 medium sized carrots to the mix.
I love how easy mixes make everything, and you can still get the benefit of a freshly made cake.
I happen to absolutely love carrot cake, so I was eagerly hovering by the oven for the 15 minutes these took to bake.
They turned out delicious, in spite of my best attempts at dribbling the batter all over the place when I put them in the cases.
The cake was very moist and perfectly flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg. The pack said it makes 6 muffins, I managed to get 9 smaller ones out of the mix. When I made the coconut muffins I made exactly 6 good-sized muffins.
If you make these freshly, I doubt many people would even notice they were gluten and dairy free. They are really lovely. My only comment is that I would perhaps use a smidge less oil next time purely because they greased up my hands a little as I was stuffing them into my mouth. Also, if I was feeling decadent I would have whipped up a cream cheese icing… but then again I’m all about the icing!
Now onto the coconut muffins…
Very unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of these, as I was making them for a meeting (a very important cake meeting) and I ran out the door before I even remembered to snap a shot. So I’ll have to paint the picture with words.
These were similar in texture to the carrot muffins (before the addition of carrots, obviously). Coconut always gives gluten-free products a great texture, and these came out light and slightly chewy.
They were duly served to a meeting full of gluten-eaters and yet they mysteriously vanished, almost as if they actually LIKED them! So once again, the verdict on these muffins was fantastic. Lime flavoured buttercream would go nicely with them.
Now for the chocolate cake…
I am so embarrassed about this I thought I’d leave it til last. I had contemplated not reviewing it at all, but then I would feel ashamed about my terrible secret.
I made a complete pig’s ear of the chocolate cake mix.
Even though I am of course a cake-baking, book-writing, Queen of the KitchenAid (and surrounding territories), I am not immune to PMT and the effects it has on my brain.
You see, once a month I have a day called Dropsy Day. It’s the day when I’m unable to pick things up, hold on to them, catch them, or otherwise judge distances, speeds etc. Last month on Dropsy Day I dropped a glass jar of passata on my first trip to the supermarket in Holland. It’s basically the day where my mind is fully present, but my body has gone AWOL.
This was not Dropsy Day.
This was the day after.
The day when my body has to make decisions because my mind is on holiday. I like to imagine my frontal lobe on a beach somewhere, sipping piña coladas while the rest of me runs around like a headless chicken going “WHAT AM I DOING???”
Normally speaking, to get a cake out of a loaf tin, you run a palette knife down the sides, leave to cool and flip it carefully onto a wire rack.
But on The Day After Dropsy Day, while my executive functions were on their 4th Mai Tai, this happened:
This is what happens when you forget to run a palette knife down the edges, or indeed leave it to cool, and decide instead to turn it upside down and shake it out. I don’t know whether I should be proud or ashamed that I still ate the cake. But it was delicious.
Unfortunately when I crept downstairs the next morning to have some breakfast cake, the boyfriend had gone and put it in the bin! Outrageous!
All in all, this was really lovely chocolate cake. Just don’t do what I did and go throwing it about the place!
The chocolate cake mix is available to buy online here. The coconut and carrot muffins mixes will be available from October.