Ready, steady, Bake

Hello Readers; those returning and those who may be reading for the first time,

Ages ago, I bought some baking mixes from Approved Foods. To be honest, they’re not great but they were really cheap and we often learn what not to buy after we’ve bought it! I won’t waste it!

The ginger cake mix leaves a lot to be desired. I added half a jar of home made lemon marmalade. It makes it sticky and heavier but you can taste the lemon alongside the ginger and it gives it some extra stickiness. I’ve cut it into portions, wrapped and froze them. We’ll eat them warmed with custard.

The plain vanilla sponge mix is a much better. Simply add an egg and water and whisk for three minutes, pour into cake tins and bake. I sprinkled the top with caster sugar and filled it with some home made hedgerow jam. 
The final cake I made was a boiled fruit cake. No boiling involved. Take a budget cheap as you can get pack of mixed dried fruit, place in a microwavable bowl and pour the cold tea that’s left in the tea pot over it. Zap in the microwave for two minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl with 300g of sugar and 300g of self raising flour, one egg and a teaspoon of mixed spice. Mix together and baked in a lined tin on 180 degrees for about an hour.
Well, the ginger and marmalade cake may not look great but it tasted fine! I just can’t throw anything away, I have to make do. Have you made anything recently that wasn’t great but you made do and ate it anyway? I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

18 thoughts on “Ready, steady, Bake

  1. Nigella's Express Chocolate Mousse. Fortunately the story of this disaster has provided so many laughs among my friends that I have almost forgiven N for her dire recipe!
    I had NEVER thought of doing the 'boil' bit of boil'n'bake in the microwave. froogs you are a genius!!
    Approved Foods Cup-A-Soup ARE a bargain – but begin to get a bit boring in my school lunchbox, when you have 3 dozen of them.

    weekend blessings x


  2. Froogs, Do you have any of the chocolate sponge mix???? I bought some, but up to now I have never managed to make a decent cake with it yet. I have the songe cake mix but have not tried it yet, what size tin did you use????


  3. I also bought cake mixes from approved foods but wouldn't buy again as I enjoy baking and would rather make my own. But I am slowly using them up and adding my own ingredients to make the changes. They do work out really cheap when you consider the cost of margerine or butter, sugar etc to make a traditional cake. Their muffin mixes were really good value and the scone mixes as I don't know why but I can never seem to get scones right. What I did get from them that was well worth the money was their pastry mixes. Just add water, no rubbing in or using the food processor involved. As you say, you learn what not to buy after you've bought it.


  4. Hi Froogs, I use the ginger one to make syrup sponge, just pour some golden syrup or honey into a pudding bowl, whizz up ginger sponge mix and pour on top and ding in the microwave until a knife comes out clean, it's very good with custard and the syrup makes a nice sticky sauce when it's turned out. Try it, it's yummy. The worst one I had was the muffin mix, still have quite a lot of that one left. That said, I think the pastry is great as I don't get indigestion from it. xx


  5. There are a series of cookbooks here in the U.S., don't know if you have them, but the first one is called “The Cake Doctor”. This book is all about starting out with a bought cake mix, and then how to add different ingredients to make it absolutely wonderful! Then there is the Cupcake Doctor, The Dinner Doctor (this one is dinner mixes, not cakes) and I even think I have The Chocolate Cake Doctor. I have lots of cookbooks, but we won't go into that. You can add sour cream, pudding mixes, cream cheese, peanut butter, all sorts of things! Look in your charity shops, the books may be in there.


  6. Thank you for your comment on my blog, but, it was the large paper cake case I was asking about. (last picture with fruit cake in). I already have tins mostly inherited from mum and MIL!
    Julie xxxxxxxx


  7. Froogs – pleased you are back. You might be able to get a book deal on the intriguing mystery of the contractual silence!!! Must have been bad if you had to leave the country!

    I have some success with boiled fruitcaked in the breadmaker. Put it on for a jam cycle with the boiling stuff, then on cake cycle next when you add the flour and other things, oh and lots of glace cherries at that stage. Comes out nice. If it doesn't, add brandy and have as Christmas pud!

    I'm a bit surprised that you have not started keeping a kettle or a cast iron pot on your woodburner – we do. You can even fry on it, but I don't much like frying in the lounge!



  8. Yes, my first attempt at picalilli turned out quite good, all eaten fairly quickly.
    The second, for some reason best known to the picalilli fairies, didn't turn out so good, but I'm eating it with cheese in sandwiches, I WILL finish it.


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