Julia Child said it: “A party without cake is just a meeting.”
With those words as inspiration, I broke out the box of Cherry Chocolate Chip (“Infused with a hint of Amaretto”) coffee/tea cake from Invisible Chef and began the step-by-step of baking my first cake without guidance. Duh. How hard could it be, barring a kitchen fire or oven explosion? As it turned out, the process was a figurative piece of cake.
Invisible Chef was founded 10 years ago by longtime friends Terry Howard and Jill McCauley, who parlayed modified family recipes (and a few from their favorite B&Bs) into the concept of using natural ingredients to make small batches of product in a boutique factory in Kentucky. The result is a line of mixes for cakes, breads, scones, muffins, brownies, cupcakes, pancakes, waffles and more ($5 to $15). Find them at www.theinvisiblechef.com and at brick-and-mortar stores including Macy’s, Cost Plus World Market, Home Goods, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Yankee Candle.
Back in the kitchen, I poured the cake mix into a bowl, added two eggs, milk and vegetable oil, and stirred “until just moistened.” Should I add some butter-sauteed pecans or more dried cherries? What about some Meyer’s lemon juice? Nah, keep it pure.
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Later, after the cake had cooled, we cut into it. Hey, really good, but better after a night in the refrigerator. Would we buy the product again? Yes, and make the above-mentioned additions for the experiment of it.
Now, about Invisible Chef’s mixes for beer bread and lemon-blueberry waffles ...