Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Forced compromise

I can understand why Edmonds would want to have a section in their cookbook promoting recipes which use their cake mixes. What is less easy to understand is why they would subsequently stop making the products required in some of these recipes.

Muffin cake (p75) is one such: the recipe lists Edmonds Apple and Sultana Muffin Mix as an ingredient. Sounds good - except that the only muffin mix Edmonds make these days (as far as I can discover) is a chocolate one. And that wouldn't really work in the recipe. So I'm sorry to say I was forced to purchase the most similar product I could find: Betty Crocker's Mixed Berry muffin mix. Forcing me to use a competitor's product kind of defeats the purpose of plugging your products in recipe-form, doesn't it?

When I got my muffin mix home, I turned to the muffin cake recipe, only to find a second non-existent product listed in the recipe: Fleming's Vita-Crunch. As far as Google was able to tell me, Vita-Crunch was some kind of toasted oaty muesli type stuff. As a substitute, I toasted up some rolled oats, and added a handful of crushed cornflakes and some chopped nuts, crossing my fingers that it would do the trick.

The cake itself was very easy to make. I combined the dry ingredients with come cinnamon, before adding the contents of the berry sachet, along with an egg, some oil and a bit of water. I briefly considered switching the berries with some apple and sultanas, in an attempt to more closely replicate the original recipe, but decided not to bother.

The cake was supposed to be made in a ring tin. I don't have one, so just placed a small drinking glass in the centre of my 20cm round tin. I spooned in the cake batter, scattered my substitute "Vita-Crunch" over the top, chucked it all in the oven and hoped for the best.

I wasn't feeling too optimistic when I got the cake out of the oven. It seemed to have cooked through just fine, but I wasn't sure how it would taste. I brought it to work today to feed to my fellow blood-donors, warning them all that the cake was a bit experimental and that might taste a bit weird.

With such low expectations, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the cake was in fact very tasty. The "Vita-Crunch" topping was entirely unnecessary, since it didn't add much to either the flavour or texture, and also since most of it fell off as we attempted to eat it. Probably the original Vita-Crunch was more successful.
The cake itself, however, was really very nice: it had a nice moist muffiny texture and the berry and cinnamon combination actually worked really well.


  1. Vita crunch was wonderful, and I am so upset It is not sold any more.

  2. Vita crunch was more like roasted golden syrup or brown sugar encrusted lumps of oats based muesli, hence the crunch. My sister and I used to fight over who got to get the biggest pieces and squash them. I've never found anything I liked quite as much in this category, but there have been a few close products in the UK, Spain and now here again. RIP Fleming's Vita Crunch!


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