Pre-Mixes Anyone?-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
HOW many bakers started with the real thing, meaning starting everything from scratch and slowly worked their way into making and baking cakes, brownies, cookies, breads and the like?
And how many lucky ones has started using commercially prepared mixes in their new found love and skills in this culinary adventure?
I bet in some way or the other, we all have tried using mixes to our great advantage or disadvantage. And why is this so? Well, let’s see.
Advantages. Mixes comes prepared and pre measured. All one has to do is to add all or any of the following ingredients like eggs, oil or butter, milk or water and some basic enhancing stuffs like raisin, nuts, coloring, etc. First time bakers or seasoned bakers find this a lot easier & faster because it is almost always foolproof, as long as the directions in the package is followed to a T!
One always comes out with exactly the same taste, consistency and amount which really save a lot of time, energy & effort. Well, almost.
It is readily available in major supermarkets and it can be stored at home for a certain period of time. Which means if one feels like baking at the spur of the moment or one is expecting company unexpectedly, it is less time consuming to prepare, with less mess and extra ingredients left which can spoil or go rancid if not kept well.
It might cost more, but in the long run, it saves time as well especially if we are under time pressure. But one thing I would like to share with you is that using a simple basic mix, one can also create various varieties and taste where imaginations and extra “ingenuity” would play a big role in defining this baked goodie.
Say for example a vanilla cake mix or a yellow cake mix. Adding flavoring and coloring can transform this mix into something better and interesting. Experiment, as I would always say. Adding coloring, flavoring, fruits, nuts or chips can alter the whole mix. One can use this mix for a pineapple & cherry upside down cake or a custard cake.
What about brownie mixes? Adding nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, marshmallows, coconut shreds, or even chunks of candies can totally renovate the brownie and bring it into a higher level. Same with cookie mixes. Why not add pinipig, cereals, raisins, chips, drained canned fruits and even oatmeal for a twist? It’s your call.
But of course, it is always nice to make everything from scratch. But again, if the volume of baking is high and consistency is needed then one might really consider pre mixes for a more pronounced and more standardized &consistent quality of the baked product. Unless one can tackle a big volume and has a big mixer and a big oven!
That is why large commercial bakeries and production companies tend to have pre mixes. And I know that there are companies that do this too, whether the standard mix they produce or “made to your specification” mixes for a more personal and unique combination that is yours alone.
Noticed the different sauces, marinades, mixtures for cooking available? It is clearly making our life a lot easier in terms of preparing our foods and baked goods. Plus the fact that we are always consistent in every batch we make. Which is not bad after all.
If only one can keenly observe the abundance of premixes (both for baking & cooking) in the market, one can try and come up with so many “improved” and “upgraded” food that is not only pleasing to the eyes but also to the other senses as well! Which one can truly say “I made it myself!” and obviously, you really did it… With a little help from “something in a box, a bottle or a pack!” Shhhh! That’s our little secret!
So, explore, discover, and delve into what is available and you would be surprised what you can do!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 16, 2012.