RE:Framed: Manipulation

I’ve never used a cake mix in my life.  Never, ever, ever.  I mean, I guess it’s alright once in a while to whip up something really quick from a box.  But to me, it doesn’t taste the same.   Cake mix cake tastes so, generic and bland.  But, I have a solution for your plain cake box troubles!


Remember my post way back when about changing a recipe to suit your tastes? Like changing a recipe to make it super awesome, secret, and one of a kind?  Well, that works with cake mix too.  Think of cake mix as sort of a base for an incredible and quick creation that will taste absolutely marvelous.

To make a super awesome cake right out of a box, I would make a couple alterations.

1.   Replace water with buttermilk.

The acid in the buttermilk really elevates your cake from a tough, dry sort of block to a light and crumbly delicacy with an even crumb.  Also, it enhances the flavor of the cake, rather than water. If you don’t have buttermilk, sour cream is a great option too!

2.  Add extracts

I know that a vanilla cake mix tastes like vanilla cake.  However, to get a real, intense, aromatic vanilla flavor just from a box is impossible.  Add some vanilla extract to brighten things up!  Also, if you’re adventurous, some almond extract also tastes divine in cakes.

3.  Add an extra egg yolk

Sometimes, a cake from a mix is too dry.  To remedy that, just simply add an extra egg yolk.  An egg yolk is purely fat, and will add that moisture and bind together the cake mix.

This is a great chocolate cupcake recipe, from a cake mix! By Tidy Mom

Speaking of manipulation, I would like to bring up a key chapter in “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. In the chapter, The Substance of the Shadow, a personal letter from Doctor Manette is read aloud.  The letter is very detailed, with 1st person memories from the doctor himself.  The letter was written during his time in the terrible Bastille Prison.  Doctor Manette is an innocent man.  But how come he was thrown into prison?

Well, like manipulating a cake mix, Doctor Manette was manipulated by the Marquis and his twin brother.  A long story short, Doctor Manette was called to help the victims of the Marquis and his brother’s cruelty.  Once inside, Doctor Manette states, “There is great strength in despair.”  At this moment forward, the Marquis realizes that he cannot trust Doctor Manette anymore.  2 days later, after a visit from the Marquis’ wife and young Charles Darnay, Doctor Manette is lured into capture by the Marquis.  With Doctor Manette’s letter of complaint in his hand, the Marquis burns all evidence of the violence that Doctor Manette witnessed in his chateau, and he whisks the Doctor into the Bastille.

This is a case of not-s0-good manipulation.  There are some things you should change and trick, but taking a person into the most terrible prison of France?  Not so good.


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